Chidambaram Temple Nataraja Swamy. This is one the Pancha Bhootha Sthalams, where Lord represents Space (one of the Five elements). Lord Siva was here known by Thillaikoothan. This is one of the 108 Divya Desams, holy abodes of Lord Vishnu.
Chidambaram Temple Legends
As per the Legends, there was a competition held between Lord Siva and Goddess Kali at Chidambaram with Lord Vishnu as a judge. While dancing heavily, Lord Siva’s earring got detached and fell on the ground. Lord picked up the ring with one foot and fixed it at its original position. As Kali can’t imitate this posture before a man, she withdrew from the competition and left angrily to the town border and stayed there. Goddess is here known by Thillai Kali Amman. Lord stayed here as a Govindarajaswamy to watch the cosmic dance of Nataraja.
On hearing Cosmic dance from Lord Vishnu, Adi Seshu descended to the Earth as the Sage Patanjali reached Thillai to perform penance. Sage Vyagrapada an ardent devotee of Lord Siva who performed penance to obtain tiger claws so that he can climb trees easily to procure Bilwa leaves for the Lord’s prayers. Lord Nataraja appeared before them and performed cosmic dance them on a Thaipoosam day. On their request, Lord stayed here in Thillai for the benefit of all beings.
To remove the darkness of Dharuka Vanam Sages, who questioned the significance of the God. Lord Siva took form as a handsome man, and the ladies of Dharuka Vanam followed him. Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini and Sages of Dharuka Vanam followed her. Angered sages felt that they had been deceived and performed a Yajna ‘Atharva Veda Homam’ to destroy Lord Siva. Demon Muyalagan ( Apasmarapurusha) emerged out of the holy fire with all weapons. Knowing this, Lord Nataraja razed high and performed the cosmic dance. Lord Nataraja crushed the demon under his feet and the snakes emerged out of the Yajna decorated the Lord as the garland. A deer with huge antlers is held in one hand. The threatening tiger decorated Lord as waist cloth, the furious fire was captured in another had and the sound of evil enchantment as his anklets.
Chidambaram Temple History
This temple was built by the King Simhavarman from Chola dynasty in the 5th Century A.D. Later this temple was renovated by Pandya’s and Vijayanagara Kings. There are four Temple towers facing all the four directions, East, West, North and South. Each tower is of 7 storeyed structure and is 135 feet high.
Chidambaram Temple Timings
Morning Hours: 6:00.am to 12:00 pm
Evening Hours: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
How to reach Chidambaram Temple?
- Tiruchirapalli International airport is 172 km away
- Chidambaram Railway station is connected with other parts of Tamil Nadu. Daily trains are running from Chennai to Kumbakonam, Chidambaram falls in between.
- Temple is 123 km from Thanjavur
- Temple is 224 km from Chennai
Chidambaram Temple Gallery
Reference Link: Temple History