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Chidambaram - Sri Thillai Natarajar Temple

Chidambaram Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the heart of the temple town of Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.
Chidambaram Natarajar Temple
Chidambaram is one of the five holiest Shiva temples, each representing one of the five natural elements; Chidambaram represents akasha (aether). The other four temples in this category are: Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara, Trichy (water), Kanchi Ekambareswara (earth)Kanchipuram, Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire),Thiruvanna malai and Kalahasti Nathar (wind),Kalahasti.

The temple complex spread over 50 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. To the followers of Shaivism (Saivism) or the saivaite, the very word koil refers to Chidambaram. In the same way, to the followers of Vaishnavism it refers to Srirangam or Thiruvarangam.

Meaning of Chidambaram : The word Chidambaram may be derived from chit, meaning "consciousness", and ambaram, meaning "sky" (from aakasam or aakayam); it refers to the chidaakasam, the sky of consciousness, which is the ultimate aim one should attain according to all the Vedas and scriptures. Another theory is that it is derived from chit + ambalam. Ambalam means a "stage" for performing arts. The chidakasam is the state of supreme bliss or aananda and Lord Natarajar is the symbolic representation of the supreme bliss or Aananda natanam. Saivaites believe that a visit to Chidambaram leads to liberation. Yet another theory is that it is derived from the word chitrambalam, from chithu meaning "play or dances of God" and ambalam meaning "stage".
Natarajar Temple Chidambaram
Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar Temple
Special features : A unique feature of this temple is the bejewelled image of Nataraja. It depicts the Lord Shiva as the Lord of the dance Bharatanatyam and is one of the few temples where Shiva is represented by an anthropomorphic murthi rather than the classic, anionic Lingam. The Cosmic Dance of Lord Nataraja symbolises the motion of the universe as sustained by Lord Shiva. The temple has five courts. Aragalur Udaya Iraratevan Ponparappinan (alias Vanakovaraiyan) rebuilt the Siva temple at Chidambaram around 1213 AD. The same Bana Chief also built Tiruvannamalai temple. The temple has been traditionally administered by an endogamous group of shiavite brahmins called Dikshitar, who also officiate as its priest. There have been several renovations in its history, particularly during the days of Pallava/Chola emperors in ancient and pre-medieval periods. 

Significance of the temple:
v  The temple has the pride of being sung by the Great Four Saivites, Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukkarasar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar.
v  This is the 1st Shiva temple on the northern bank of Cauvery river praised in Thevaram hymns (Paadal Petra Sthalam).
v  It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams - Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Tevaram poems.
v  One of the Pancha Bootha Sthalangal - Here Lord Shiva represents the element of space.
v  One of the Pancha Sabha Temples.
v  One of the 108 Divya Desam Shrines of Lord Vishnu (Govindaraja Perumal) is located inside the Natarajar Temple at Chidambaram.
v  The Word 'Kovil' always refers to Chidambaram.
v  The chidambaram 1000 pillar mandapam (Raja Sabha) in the north-east of the outer corridor of this temple is an important piece of an architecture .
v  This sivasthalam is said to have given 'moksha' (liberation) to infinite devotees - notable amongst them are Nandanar, Tirunilakandanayanar, Vyagrapada Munivar and Patanjali Munivar.
Chidambaram - Sri Thillai Natarajar Temple
சிதம்பரம் தில்லை - நடராஜர் திருக்கோயில்
Main Deity
Lord Shiva
Sri Natarajar - Thillai Koothan, Chidambaram Adalarasan
Goddess Name
Sri Sivagami Ambal
Ancient Names
Koothan Kovil, Tillai Vanam, Thillai
Temple Tank
Sivaganga Theertham
1st Paadal Petra Sthalam in North of cauvery region,
One of 275 Devaram Padal Petram Sthalams,
One of the 108 Divya Desam
One of the Pancha Bootha Sthalangal,
One of the Pancha Sabha Temples,
1500 years old
Travel Base
How To Reach :  The Natrajar temple, 78 km south of Pondicherry and 235 Km from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state of south eastern India. Frequent bus facilities available form all major towns. 

Thillai Kali Temple is a Hindu Temple located on the outskirts of the town of Chidambaram, Cuddalore District Tamil Nadu in India. It was built by Chola King Kopperunjingan who ruled between 1229 and 1278. This Temple is on the outskirts of the city of Chidhambaram. Legend says that Lord Kaali moved here after losing to Lord Siva in the celestial dance contest.
Thillai Kalli Amman Temple

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