The temple is more than three thousand and five hundred years old. Origin of the temple is shrouded in the mystery, but there are legends that explore its connections with the Patanjali saint. The latter happens to be the founder father of Yoga. According to the classical account of the Sangam, Viduvelvidugu Perumtaccan, was the chief renovator of this Pancha Bhuta Sthala. The temple had undergone a sequential series of renovation, some of which had taken place during the Chola reign. In fact, the temple in its existing form testifies to the high-end planning and exemplary craftsmanship of the Chola dynasty.
Spiritual and historical relevance of the temple
The southern part of the country boasts of five acclaimed Shiva temples. Each is a representation of the natural elements that comprise the Mother Earth. Chidambaram Temple Tamil Nadu is the representation of the ether element. The respective courtyards signify the earth, water, fire, air and the ether elements. You may be interested in visiting a Pancha Bhoota Sthala. In that case, you should make it a point to visit the temple as it is the symbolic representation of the ether element.
Presiding deity of the temple
Thillai Koothan or the Master Dancer happens to be the presiding deity of this particular temple. Thillai Koothan or Thillai Natarajah represents the Lord as the master dancer. It is the only temple that upholds the anthropomorphic form of the Lord Shiva, where the Lord finds himself in the middle of the cosmic activities. The predominant deity has a consort in the form of the Shivakami Amman. Nataraja embodies the cosmic energy while the Amman happens to be the representation of the female energy. The dancing pose of the deity has inspired the classical dance form of the Bharatnatyam.
Description of the deities
A bronze image represents the cosmic essence of the Lord. The inscription is essentially Tamilian, and the sculpture signifies the style statements of the Chola architecture Chidambaram Temple Tamil Nadu. In fact, the bronze motif that represents cosmic brilliance of the Lord has become the standardized symbol of the Hindu and Shaivite religious faith.
Existence of several shrines
The temple doesnt have one but several shrines of different types. The shrines are grand to look at, and include other deities such as Ganesha, Vishnu, and Murugaan.
Worshipping procedures and rituals
The daily cycle of ritual consists of seven different offerings. Since there are seven distinct offerings that are made in the course of a day; you should take note of the different slots that exist in the Chidambaram Temple timing. Proceeding for the day, starts off at quarter to seven in the morning. Proceedings begin with the performance of the awakening ceremony. The official closure takes place at half past ten in the night, with the Lord being taken across in a palanquin to his bed chamber. Fire sacrifice and holy ablution take place after the completion of the awakening ceremony. Around twelve in the noon, the priest performs the main puja protocol by burning lamps and making offerings in silver. An umbrella in silver apart from a lamp is extended to the cosmic figure of Nataraja.
Special occasions celebrated
Chariot Festival of the Lord Nataraja is one of the major hallmarks of attraction. The midwinter festivity attracts tourists and pilgrimage, in large numbers. The festival brings to light the cosmic force of the divine deity. In this context, it is worth noting that the Chidambaram Temple is responsible for leading the festive spree that takes place with the emergence of the Arudra star. The temple channelizes yet another festive occasion that calls itself as the Ani Tirumanjam. The latter covers a time frame of eleven days. The proceedings start off with the ceremonial flag hosting. The performance of yoga, in the course of daily procession that takes place, is the leading point of attraction. The procession upholds the five images of the Lord that are placed atop specially designed palanquins.
Pilgrimage value of the temple
The temple finds its esteemed presence in the Virat Hriday Padma Sthalan. The place is supposed to be the representation of the universes lotus heart, where the Lord once performed his cosmic dance. It is auspicious to be at one with the place where the Lord gave expression to his ultimate blissfulness. The temple is also supposed to be a holy representation of the Pancha Bhootha Sthala. The fact that you can get a feel of the five main cosmic elements is another proposition that adds to the pilgrimage value of the South Indian temple.