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Chidambaram_temples

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Tamil Nadu

Chennai

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Thiruchirapalli

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Thanjavur

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Kodaikanal

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Chidhambaram

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Coimbatore

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Hogenakkal

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Kancheepuram

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Madurai

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Chidambaram Temple:
The word Chidambaram may be derived from ‘Chit’, meaning ‘consciousness,’ and ‘ambaram’, meaning sky (aakasam or aakayam) thus it refers to the 'chidakasam', the sky of consciousness. Chidambaram Temple is a complex spread over 40 acres in the heart of the city. It is an ancient and historic temple dedicated to Lord Shiva Nataraja and Lord Govindaraja Perumal, one of the few temples where both the Shaivite and Vaishnavite deities are enshrined in one place. It is of great religious, historical and cultural significance. Chidambaram is one of the foremost Shaivite shrines in India. It is interesting to note that the word "Koyil" or temple in the Tamil Shaivite tradition refers to Chidambaram, where Natarajar is enshrined in the Ananda Tandavam (Dance of Bliss) pose.


Chidambaram is one of the Panchabhoota signifying the 5 elements of wind water, fire, earth and space. The four great saiva acharyas Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar and Manikkavachakar are connected with this holy temple and produced master pieces eulogising their respective paths. The temple is built of granite on 39 acres of land in the heart of the city. It is surrounded by massive walls with four big tall gopurams in four directions and a big tank called Sivagangal tank measuring 175x100 feet towards the North. The North & South gopurams are 160feet high. The 108 dance postures as seen in the Natya Sastra are sculpted in these towers.

Other special features in the temple are:

  • The shrine for Govindaraja Perumal.

  • The representations of many famous Siva Lingams associated with different temples in India.

  • Durga temple adjacent to this.

  • The Vinayaka idol blowing a conch.

  • The huge Ganesha in the outer prakara considered to be one of the biggest in India.

  • The Subramania temple next to the Ambal temple.

The Nataraja Temple:
The temple located in the centre of the town covers an area of 40 acres. It is one of the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu. The roof of the sanctum sanctorum is covered with gold plates. The presiding deity of the temple is represented by air, one of the five elements of the universe and is known as Akasa Lingam.
The Eastern tower rises to a height of 40.8 metres. 108 Bharatha Natyam dance gestures can be seen on the Eatern towers as well as Western tower. The Northern tower rises to a height of 42.4 metres.
The Sivakamiamman temple, the Sivaganga tank, the thousand pillar hall are other important features of the temple.

Kali Temple:
The Thillaikaliamman temple is on the northern end of the town. It was built by Kopperunjingan, who ruled between 1229 AD and 1278 AD.
 



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