Chidambaram’s Siva Nataraja Temple
October 8, 2011 • Hinduism, Spiritual Adventures
Sacred to Saivite Hindus the world over, this majestic temple complex in Chidambaram sprawls over 40 acres and is dedicated to the Hindu god Siva. Here Siva manifests as Lord Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. Although there are many temples in South India dedicated to Siva, five among them are particularly special, as they each represent one of the five natural elements. Chidambaram represents akasha or ether.
Thousands of domestic and international pilgrims visit the temple each day, worshipping wholeheartedly at the sanctum sanctorum and leaving the sanctity of the temple a changed person.
The sanctum sanctorum is held up by 28 pillars (representing the 28 agamas or methodologies for the worship of Lord Siva), the roof has 21,600 golden tiles each inscribed with the sacred mantra “Namasivaya” (denoting the number of breaths a person takes in a day) and these tiles are fixed to the wooden roof with the help of 72,000 gold nails representing the number of nadis (psychic nerve currents carrying energy to various parts of the body).
We’ll be visiting this sacred temple during both our spiritual adventures coming up in January and February 2012.
Kothsu, a unique dish made with eggplant, onion and tamarind is prepared in the temple kitchens and Chidambaram is also known for special rice preparation made with black pepper and cumin. Learn more about our culinary adventure to southern India in February 2012.
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