Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram – Shrines

Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram – Shrines
The temple complex has many shrines, most related to Shaivism but elements of Vaishnavism and Shaktism are included. The innermost structures such as the sanctum and the shrines all have square plans, but the gateways do not align except the innermost two courtyards.





Sanctum:
For brief details, please refer below link;
Mother Shrine:
For brief details, please refer below link;
Govinda Raja Perumal Shrine:
For brief details, please refer below link;
Brahma Shrine:
Within the inner courtyard, to the east of the Chit Sabha, a small shrine houses the Idols of both the Creator god Brahma, of the Hindu Trinity, and Chandikeshvara, a deified saint can be found. The presence of Brahma (a deity almost never worshipped) establishes the worship of all three deities of the Hindu Trinity with in one complex.
Thiru Moola Nathar Shrine:
There is a shrine for the original Shivalingam worshipped by Saints Patanjali and Vyagrapathar – called the Thiru Moola Nathar and his consort Umaiyammai / Umaiya Parvathi in the Temple premises.
Pandya Nayakan Shrine:
The Pandya Nayakan Shrine is dedicated to Murugan, the second son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. This shrine is also shaped as a chariot, pulled by horses and elephants. This temple was according to tradition build by a king of the Pandya dynasty from Madurai, which superseded the rule of the Cholas in the 13th century. His name was Sundarar Pandya, and the temple is named after him.
Surya Shrine:
The Nataraja temple has a pre-13th century Surya shrine. The image is unusual as it depicts a three headed Surya same as Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu, with eight hands holding iconographic items of these deities, along with two lotuses in a pair of hands in front, accompanied by two small female figures possibly Usha and Pradyusha, standing on a chariot drawn by seven horses and Aruna as charioteer. 
Mukkuruni Vinayagar Shrine:
The temple also has a significant shrine for Ganesha in the southwest corner.
63 Nayanmars Shrine:
There is also a shrine for the 63 prime devotees of Lord Siva called Nayanmars inside the Temple premises.
Nalvar Idols:
Each of the four most revered Saivite Saints (Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manikkavacakar) has worshipped at Chidambaram, and the bulk of Manikkavasagar’s work is in praise of Shiva at Chidambaram. Accordingly, their images are placed in the temple entrances corresponding to their points of entry into the temple. (Sambandar - South, Appar - West, Sundarar - North and Manikkavacakar - East).
Vyakrapada & Patanjali Shrine:
Idols of the two great saints, Vyakrapada and Patanjali can be found in the Ardhamandapam of the sanctum. They stand with their hands folded, worshipping.
Kalpa Vriksha Sculpture:
A Sculpture of the Kalpa Vriksha or Wishing Tree of Paradise can be found on the western wall of the shrine.
Other Shrines:
There are shrines for Navagrahas and Nine Lingams (Nava Lingams) etc. can be found in the Temple premises.

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