The episode becomes widely known. Two sages named Patanjali (also called Sesha-bodied in the south for his connection to vishnu) and vyaghrapada (also called Tiger-footed sage) want to see the repeat performance of this "dance of bliss" in the Thaillai forest, Chidambaram. They set up a shivalinga, pray, meditate and wait. Their asceticism impresses Shiva who appeared before them in Chidambaram and performed "the dance" against "the wall, in the blessed hall of consciousness". This is how this temple started, according to the mahatmya embedded in the tamil Sthalapurana. 50 According to kulke, the late medieval text Chidambaramahatmya may reflect a process of Sanskritisation, where these north Indian named sages with Vedic links became incorporated into regional temple mythology. 23 According to another Hindu legend, mahalingaswamy at Thiruvidaimarudur is the centre of all Shiva temples in the region and the saptha vigraha moorthis (seven prime consorts in all Shiva temples) are located at seven cardinal points around the temple, located in various parts.
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These kings themselves went on pilgrimage to Chidambaram, and gifted resources to strengthen its walls and infrastructure. 46 A 1847 sketch of gopuram with ruined pillars, published by james Fergusson The destruction of Vijayanagara Empire in late 16th century by an alliance of Sultanates, followed within thermovex a few decades by entrance of Portuguese, french and British colonial interests brought geopolitical uncertainties. The portuguese were already a major Coromandel coast trading group by early 17th century, a region to which Chidambaram belonged. 47 The portuguese began building forts, garrison and churches in Coromandel coast region after the demise of Vijayanagara, triggering the intervention of the French and the British. By mid 17th century, the temple complex was within the patronage of nayakas, who repaired the temple and repainted the frescoes on mandapa ceilings. According to michell, these restorations likely occurred about 1643 ce during the reign of Shrirangadeva raya iii. 48 According to British reports, Chidambaram temple town had to bear the "brunt of several severe onslaughts" between the French and the British colonial forces several times particularly in the 18th century. 49 Legend edit The Chidambaram temple legend is contained in the 12th-century text Chidambara-mahatmya. The central episode states that Shiva visits sages in the mythical Pine forest in the form of a beggar accompanied by mohini, none other than Vishnu in the avatar of a beautiful woman. Mohini triggers lustful interest of the sages, while Shiva performs Tandava dance that triggers the carnal interest of the wives of these sages. The sages ultimately realise how superficial their austerities have been.
43 44 According to nagaswamy, those who buried the temple artworks followed the hindu Agama texts such as Marici samhita and Vimanarcanakalpa that recommend ritually burying precious metal murtis as a means of protection when war and robbery is imminent. Over 200 such items have been recovered, including relevant hordes of copper plate inscriptions. 44 The Islamic invasion in the 14th century, states george michell a professor and art historian of Indian architecture, brought an abrupt end to the patronage of Chidambaram and other temple towns. 45 The delhi sultan appointed a muslim governor, who seceded within the few years from the delhi sultanate and began the madurai sultanate. This Sultanate sought tribute from the temple towns, instead of supporting them. The muslim Madurai sultanate was relatively short-lived, with Hindu vijayanagar Empire removing it in late 14th century. 45 The vijayanagara rulers restored, repaired and expanded the temple through the 16th century, along with many other regional temples.
Most of the structure and plans currently seen in the Chidambaram complex, including the mandapas with their pillar carvings, the various shrines with polished granite sculptures, the sacred water pool and the early gopurams are from the 12th and 13th century, attributed to the late. 37 Invasions edit In the north, the Indian subcontinent had been conquered by roles the delhi sultanate. Muslim armies had begun raiding central India for plunder by late 13th century. In 1311, the Ala ud Din Khilji's Muslim general Malik kafur and his Delhi sultanate forces went deeper into the Indian peninsula for loot and to establish annual tribute paying Muslim governors. 38 The records left by the court historians of the delhi sultanate state that Malik kafur raided Chidambaram, Srirangam and other Tamil towms, destroyed the temples, and the Chidambaram Shiva temple was one of the sources of gold and jewels booty he brought back. The temple towns of Tamil Nadu were again targeted for loot in 1320s. However, when the news of another invasion spread in Tamil lands, the community removed them into the western Ghats or buried numerous sculptures and treasures in the land and concealed chambers underneath temples sites before the muslim armies reached them. A large number of these were rediscovered in archaeological excavations at the site in and after 1979, including those in Chidambaram.
Naralokaviran, the general of king Kulothunga Chola i was responsible for building the steps that lead to sivaganga water pool, a goddess shrine, a shrine for child saint Thirugnana sambanthar, temple gardens and a pilgrim road network in and around Chidambaram. He constructed a hall for recitation of tevaram hymns and engraved the hymns in copper plates. 35 The thousand pillar choultry, with friezes narrating Hindu texts, was built in late 12th-century. 35 Between the second half of the 12th century and the early 13th century, the Chola kings added colorful and high gopura stone gateways as easily identifiable landmarks, starting with the western gopura. Thereafter, about mid 13th century, the pandya dynasty ended the Chola dynasty. The hindu pandyas were liberal supporters of Chidambaram temple, along with other Shiva and Vishnu temples, just like the Chola. Sundara pandya added the huge eastern gopura at Chidambaram, beginning the colossal gateway tradition.
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27 note 1 The Chidambaram temple built on this heritage, yet creatively evolved the idea into forms not found elsewhere. The earliest historically verifiable Shiva temple at Chidambaram is traceable in inscriptions that date studies to the rule of next Aditya chola i in early 10th century, and far more during the rule of 10th century Chola king Parantaka. 10 2 note 2 For them, the dancing Shiva was the kula-nayaka (family guide or deity) and Chidambaram was the capital they built. 30 These inscriptions and texts from this period suggest that the significance of the Agama texts and Shaiva bhakti movement was strengthening within the Chola leadership and thought. 2 The copper plate inscriptions of Parantaka i (c. 907-955 CE) describe him as the "bee at the lotus feet of Shiva" who built the golden house for Shiva, with Chit-sabha, hema-sabha, hiranya-sabha and Kanaka-sabha (all mandapam, pillared pilgrim rest places). He is referred to as "Pon veinda perumal which means "one who covered with gold" the Chit-sabha of Chidambaram.
Both Aditya i and his Chola successor Parantaka i were active supporters of arts and temple building. They converted many older brick and wooden temples into more lasting temples from cut stone as the building blocks in dozens of places across south India. The temple, according to inscriptions found in south India and southeast Asia, was also historic recipient of a precious jewel from the king of Angkor who built the Angkor Wat through Chola king Kulothunga, who submitted it to the temple in 1114. 33 Kulothunga i and his son expanded the Chidambaram Nataraja temple expanse sixfold. Chidambaram temple thrived during the Chola dynasty rule through mid 13th century, along with the later Shiva-based Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram capitals, as well as Vishnu-based Srirangam temple towns. Its facilities infrastructure was expanded.
21 History edit nataraja shiva as the cosmic dancer, inspired the 10th-century Chola kings to rebuild the Chidambaram temple with stone and gold. A silver Nataraja, not Shivalinga, is the principal icon in this temple. 22 The nataraja temple has ancient roots, likely following the temple architecture tradition that is found all over south India from at least the 5th century. Textual evidence, such as those of the sangam tradition, suggest a temple existed here along with Madurai in ancient times, 7 but the town is not named Chidambaram in these pre-5th century texts. 23 The earliest mention of "dancing god of Chidambaram" as Shiva is found in 6th and early 7th century texts by Appar and Sambadar.
23 The suta samhita embedded inside skanda purana and variously dated between 7th and 10th century mentions the Chiadambaram dance. The surviving Nataraja temple has a structure that is traceable to the early Chola dynasty. Chidambaram was the early capital of this dynasty, and Shiva nataraja was their family deity. The Chidambaram temple town remained important to the Cholas, albeit with increasing competition from other temple towns when Rajaraja Chola i moved the capital to Thanjavur, built a new city and the massive brihadeeswarar Temple dedicated to Shiva in early 11th-century, which is now. 7 24 25 Nataraja Shiva and his "dance of bliss" is an ancient Hindu art concept. It is found in various texts such as Tatva nidhi which describes seven types of dance and their spiritual symbolism, kashyapa silpa which describes 18 dance forms with iconographic details and design instructions, as well as Bharata's ancient treatise on performance arts Natya shastra which. Reliefs and sculptures of Nataraja have been found across the Indian subcontinent, some dating to 6th-century and earlier such as in Aihole and Badami cave temples.
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The first national Highway 32 (old numbering: nh-45A) passes through Chidambaram. The tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and private companies operate services connecting it to major cities in the state. 19 The site is linked to the Indian railways with daily express trains to south Indian cities. 20 Chidambaram is a temple town, with the nataraja complex spread over 40 acres (0.16 km2) within a nearly square courtyard in the center. Its side roads are aligned to the east-west, north-south axis. It has double walls around its periphery with gardens. It has had entrance gateways on all four sides.
9 16 This composite word comes from its association with Shiva nataraja, the cosmic dancer and resume the cultural atmosphere for arts. 9 The word Chidambaram is translated by james Lochtefeld as "clothed in thought". 1 The town and temple name appears in medieval Hindu texts by various additional names such as kovil (lit. "the temple pundarikapuram, vyagrapuram, sirrampuram, puliyur and Chitrakuta. Additional names for Chidambaram in Pallava era and North Indian texts include kanakasabha, ponnambalam, Brahmastpuri and Brahmapuri. 18 Location edit The nataraja temple in Chidambaram is located in the southeastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of the kollidam river (kaveri 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west from the coast of bay of Bengal, and 220 kilometres (140 mi) south of Chennai. The closest major airport is about 60 kilometres (37 mi) north in Pondicherry ( iata : pny).
for the convenience of pilgrims ( choultry, ambalam or sabhai ) and other monuments. 6 12 Shiva himself is presented as the nataraja performing the Ananda tandava dance of Delight in the golden hall of the shrine pon Ambalam ( ). 13 The temple is one of the five elemental lingas in the Shaivism pilgrimage tradition, and considered the subtlest of all Shiva temples ( kovil ) in Hinduism. 1 It is also a site for performance arts, including the annual Natyanjali dance festival on Maha Shivaratri. 14 Contents Etymology edit The town used to be called Tillai, likely derived from the mangrove of Tillai trees ( Exocoeria agallocha ) that grow here and the nearby pichavaram wetlands. 15 The site became the capital of Cholas in the 10th century, and they renamed it to Chidambaram and built the current temple for their family deity of Nataraja Shiva. The word Chidambaram comes from the tamil word Chitrambalam (also spelled Chithambalam ) meaning "wisdom atmosphere". The roots are citt or chitthu means "consciousness or wisdom while and ampalam means "atmosphere".
1 8 9, the temple wall carvings display all the 108 karanas from the. Natya shastra by Bharata muni, and these postures form a foundation. Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance. 1 5, the present temple was built in the 10th century when Chidambaram was the capital of the Chola dynasty, making it one of the oldest surviving active temple complexes barbing in south India. After its 10th century consecration by the Cholas who considered Nataraja as their family deity, 10 the temple has been damaged, repaired, renovated and expanded through the 2nd millennium. Most of the temple's surviving plan, architecture and structure is from the late 12th and early 13th centuries, with later additions in similar style. 11, while Shiva as, nataraja is the primary deity of the temple, it reverentially presents major themes from. Shaktism, vaishnavism, and other traditions of Hinduism.
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The main gopuram of Chidambaram Natarajar temple. Nataraja temple, also friend referred to as the. Chidambaram Nataraja temple or, thillai nataraja temple (Tamil:, is a, hindu temple dedicated. Nataraja, shiva as the lord of dance. Chidambaram, tamil Nadu, india. 1 5 6, the temple has mythical roots and a shiva shrine existed at the site when the town was known as Thillai. 5 7, chidambaram, the name of the city and the temple literally means "atmosphere of wisdom" or "clothed in thought the temple architecture symbolizes the connection between the arts and spirituality, creative activity and the divine.