Monday, March 06, 2006

Weekend Darshan - 8

Our destination this time was Sirgazhi and Chidambaram, because we wanted to take some time off at Cuddalore.

Natarajar Temple, Chidambaram:
One among the popular Shaivite temples, and a rare temple in South India where we get to see Lord Shiva in a form other than the usual "Lingam". One can also find Lord Vishnu called by "Govindaraja Perumal", adjacent to the main deity in this temple. Again a rare thing to see. There's a shrine within the temple with 9 lingams called "Nava-lingams", one in the name of each of the Nava-grahas.
Well, these are some nice things that we have got to say about the temple. This temple should be taken up by the ASI. Who would want to lose all the precious inscriptions on the stone walls for a Janatha-cem paint, and lose the stateliness of the gopurams to flashy looking oil paints???


We saw some beautiful sculptures of various Bharatanatya poses on the walls of the main gopuram. This temple holds lots of architectural marvels and they have to be taken care by the right people(ASI).

Thiruvikrama Narayana Perumal Temple, Sirgazhi:
This is a small and beautiful temple, just off the Sirgazhi- Chidambaram highway. This is one among the three divya desams where Lord Vishnu can be seen measuring the earth and sky, the other two being Thirukoviloor and Kancheepuram.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Unlike the other two temples, the right foot of the Lord here is not exposed on all days except Vaikunda Ekadesi. There's a very interesting history for this temple, which you can read from the above picture.

Sattanathar Temple, Sirgazhi:
Easily this was the best among the lot that we visited over the weekend. This is a very huge temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said that "Gnana Sambandhar" got his enlightenment here. So there is a separate shrine dedicated to Gnanasambandhar.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Lord Shiva can be seen here in 3 forms here. Details in the picture above. This temple was not on our list. We went in after noticing the huge walls from the bus, but we never expected we would be on for such a surprise.


Blogger Revathi R said...


People talk about Thanjavur district, whenever they talk about culture, art and religion. But the erstwhile South Arcot district is full of cultural places to see. Chidambaram is one of my favourite places. I haved blogged about it too!

But how do you manage to take time off???

10:04 AM  
Blogger thennavan said...

Koduththu vechchavar yaa neer :-)

9:57 PM  
Blogger b a l a j i said...

i too have heard about temples in South Arcot district... But dont know the exact ones to visit.

if u dont mind can u give me the link to ur blogpost

kandippaa naan idha oru koduppanai-yaa thaan nenaikaren

10:07 PM  
Anonymous R. Balaji said...

Balaji, I have heard that the Perumal temple `within' the Natarajar Temple at Chidambaram is actually a separate temple, and a `paadal pettra sthalam.'
An interesting distinguishing point I remember hearing a long time back - the perumal temple comes under the HR&CE administration of the State Government but the Shiva temple is under a separate traditional administration.
That is why you will not find a `Hundi' in the Shiva temple -- this has something to do with legal technicalities. Only the Perumal temple has the usual `hundi.'
Nice Pics. Keep giving more such darshans.

9:04 AM  

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