Chidambaram Thillai Natarajah Temple
Chidambaram Thillai Natarajah Temple
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Chidambaram Thillai Natarajah Moorthy temple is one of the very famous Hindu temples in India. This temple is situated in Kadalur district of Tamilnadu state in India at around 189 kilometers distance from Chennai, the capital city of Tamilnadu.
The Chidambaram temple is respectfully called by other names such as Kovil, Thillai, Siththirakoodam, Puliyoor, Perumbaatruppuliyoor, Pothuch Sitrambalam, Ponambalam, Pundareekapuram, Thaniyoor, Viyaakirapuram, and Pooloka Kailash.
The five major natural forces, wind, water, earth, fire, and the sky are essential for the living beings in the earth. In the ancient time, people worshipped these natural forces as ‘Pancha Pootha’ (Five Giants’)
These same forces that are essential for life also have the capacity as the forces of destruction.
Wind can form as a destructive storm of cyclone and water turn as a flood or a tsunami to destroy while earth too can destroy life via volcano or earthquake. Similarly, fire too can destroy life and also the sky can be a destructing force by way of preventing sunlight, snowing, raining, lighting and thundering.
Because of this reasons the Hindus worship these forces as a form of the Lord of destruction, Lord Shiva.
In South India, we are able to worship Lord Shiva representing the five basic classical elements called Panchaboothas in Tamil in five different temples. Chidambaram temple represents Arether – sky which is called Akasha or Aakayam in Tamil. ( Please read the list of ‘Five Panchabootha sthalas’ given in this essay).
According to our ancient Hindu Puranas and religious literature, Lord Shiva performs his very beautiful and divine dance ( Thiru thandava in Tamil) at Chidambaram.
The hall where Lord Shiva performs his divine dance is called ‘Pon Ambalam’. The roof of this beautiful hall is covered with 21,600 golden tiles.
In the Chidambaram temple premises, next to the main temple of Thillai Natarajah Moorthy, we can see temples denoted to Devi Sivakami, Lord Skanda ( Muruga), Devi Mahishasuramardhani and a temple called Navalinga temple along with some other small temples.
A beautiful temple pond called ‘Sivaganga thirtha’ is situated near the main temple. The devotees can bathe in this pond happily. In ancient Hindu literature, it is said that the holy water of this pond is as auspicious as the holy water of the river Ganga.
Inside the sanctum sanctorum which is called the Garbhagriha, we can worship the main deity, Lord Shiva in his divinely beautiful dancing pose. Next, to the statue of the main deity, we can see and worship ‘the Secret of Chidambara’ ( Chidambara ragasiyam).
The formless form we witness inside that dark room makes us understand the very important aspect of Hinduism that the Almighty Lord who has no form is filled in abundance all over the great universe.
The details of abishekams performed to Chidambaram Thillai Natarajah Moorthy temple:
- On the Thiruvonam star day in Siththirai ( April – May) month, holy abishekam is performed to the Natarajah Moorthy at the Kanagasabai.
- On the Uththiram star day in Aani ( June – July ) month, holy abishekam is performed in the evening to Lord Shiva at the hall with one thousand pillars called Raja Sabai.
- On the Poorvapaksha sathurththasi day in Aavani ( August – September ) month, abishekam is performed in the evening to Lord Shiva at the Kanagasabai.
- On the Thiruvaathirai star day in Maargazhi ( December – January ) month, abishekam is performed before sunrise to Lord Shiva at the hall with one thousand pillars called Raja sabai.
- On the Poorvapaksha sathurththasi day in Maasi ( February – March ) month, abishekam is performed in the evening to Lord Shiva at the Kanagasabai.
Famous Hindu temples
In South India, there are five very famous temples denoted to Lord Shiva which represent five basic classical elements such as the Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Aether( sky).
Here is the list of these five temples: Pancha boothas Temples (Five basic classical elements)
1. Earth (Bhoomi or Nilam in Tamil): Kanchipuram Ekambareswarar temple
2. Water (Jalam or Neer ): Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswarar temple
3. Fire ( Agni or Neruppu): Tiruvannamalai Annamalaiyar temple
4. Wind ( Vaayu or kaatru): Sri Kalahasti Kaalahasteeswarar templ
5. Aether ( sky) (Akash or akaayam): Chidambaram Thillai Natarajah temple