Chidambaram is a municipality in the state of Tamilnadu, India. It is renowned for its beautiful temple, dedicated to Nataraja, which is a dancer form of lord Shiva. It is regarded as one of the Panchabhootha Stalams that connote the five important elements, in Tamilnadu.
Chidambaram temple features a collection of architectural styles incorporated over centuries. In this temple, you can view the Ananda Tandava (the cosmic dance of joy) of Nataraja. He is dancing in the Chit Sabha, which means the cosmic golden hall. The dancing posture of Lord Shiva is the most beautiful figurine that you can enjoy viewing in Tamilnadu. It is believed that the Chidambaram Nataraja temple has been in existence from the Sangam period (very early on in the Christian era). The Chola Kings Aditya I and Parantaka I adorned the roof of the shrine with gold. The Pandya Kings and the Vijaynagar rulers made several bequests to this temple. Adi Sankara, an Indian saint is said to have presented the Spatika Lingam to this temple. You can view the Aakasa Lingam, which is a representation of Shiva as formless space. The Chidambara rahasyam is the formless form of Shiva can be found right to the major Shiva shrine.
You can view some delicate pillars in the Nritta Sabha, featuring an image of Shiva in the Urdhava tandava pose (Shiva raising his leg vertically up, with another foot of the leg facing the sky), Sarabheswara (peaceful form of Shiva) and Shiva winning over Kaali (Goddess Parvati) in a dance competition. The one hundred and eight karanas of Bharatanatyam are represented in the gopurams of Chidambaram temple.
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