CHIDAMVARAM NAGARAJA TEMPLE
One of the memorable events which I want to cherish throughout my life is Bharat Natyam festival held in Chidambaram temple. After the enchanting boat ride in Pichavaram, we headed towards the famous Chidambaram temple, in Chidambaram city which is approximately 78 km away from Pondicherry. Chidambaram Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the five holiest Shiva temples in India. But I want to share the amazing experience of witnessing a grand dancing festival of South India on the auspicious day of Mahashtami which we had never expected.
But I want to share some brief history of chidambaram temple and the dance festival associated with this holy place.The temple is famous for various myths , related to the grandour of lord SHIVA. Sources from internet says-
“The ancient Nataraja temple of Chidambaram pays special tribute to Lord Nataraja- the dancing Shiva. The magnificent gold roofed temple situated in the middle of the town has a bronze image of Nataraja in a dancing pose known throughout the world as the most perfect synthesis in metal art. The temple has carved pillars depicting Lord Nataraja in 108 poses of Bharat Natyam classical dance in the eastern tower.”
The Natyanjali festival is an annual dance festival dedicated to Lord Shiva is celebrated every year during February-March for five days in the Chidambaram temple premises. For all dancers, from all over India, this is a golden opportunity to perform and to pay their tribute to Lord Nataraja. It was originated around 1981,now it is organized jointly by tourisom dept of Tamil Nadu and Natyanjali Trust of Chidambaram temple. The uniqueness of the festival lies in its devotional aspect and thus differs from other dance festivals.(sources collected from internet).