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Sri Chidambaram thillai natarajar temple

Moolavar : Thirumoolanathar (moolataneshwarar, Sabanayagar, Kootha Perumal, vidangur, Thtchinmeru vidangur, ponanbala koothan)
Urchavar : NA
Amman / Thayar : Umayambikai, Sivakama Sundari
Thala Virutcham : Thillai
Theertham : Shivaganga, Paramananda Koopam, Vyakrapada Theertham, Anantha Theertham, Nagacheri, Brahmma Theertham, Shivapriyai,Pulimedu, Kuyya Theertham, Tiruparkadal
Agamam / Pooja : NA
Old year : 1000-2000 years old
Historical Name : Thillai
City : Chidambaram
District : Cuddalore
State : Tamil Nadu


   Tamil word KOIL means Thillai Chidambaram Natarajar temple for the Saivites and Srirangam Sri Ranganathar for the Vaishnavites as the spiritual capital of their respective faiths. All the four Saivite saints, Gnanasambandar, Tirunavukkarasar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar had praised Lord Nataraja in their moving devotional hymns Thevaram and Tiruvasagam. This is the first Shiva temple on the northern bank of Cauvery praised in Saivite hymns.


   10 day Margazhi festival in December-January begins on the day prior to Tiruvadhirai star day with flag hoisting. The importance of the festival is that it is dedicated to Saivite Saint Manickavasagar. During the evening pujas of the festival, the saint is taken to the main shrine, where Arati is offered to Lord with chanting of Tiruvempavai songs authored by the saint. During the morning pujas the saint is honoured with Arati. An event called Vidayathi festival is celebrated both for the Lord and the saint. 10 day Aani Tirumanjanam begins with flag hoisting 10 days earlier of Uthira star day. From day one to eight of the festivals procession deities Somaskanda, Shivananda Nayaki, Vinayaka, Subramania and Chandeswararm (panchamurthis) are taken in procession in silver and gold vahans. On holy days as Tiruvadhirai star day in Chithirai (April-May) and new moon days, Lord Natarajamurthi grants darshan on the banks of Shiva Ganga theertham and in the following Tamil months too on this star day. Night festivals are celebrated in the temple in all months-Chithirai to Panguni (April-May to March-April) on the first day of the month, Tiruvadhirai and Karthikai star days, new moon and full moon days, Fridays and Pradosha days.

Temple's Speciality:

   Presiding deity Tirumoola Nathar is a swayambumurthi. Yet, Lord Nataraja is the ruling deity. Of the panchabhoodha sthalas (places) Chidambaram belongs to Akasha. The hymns sung by Gnanasambandar, Tirunavukkarasar and Sundarar were found from this temple only.

Opening Time:

   The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.


   Sri Thillai Natarajar Temple, Chidambaram-608 001, Cuddalore district.



General Information:

   The region was once dense with Thillai trees, hence the name of the place Thillai. These trees are not presently seen in the place. However, they are in the backwater area in Pichavaram east of Chidambaram. Within the temple the tree made of stone is on the western side of the prakara of Tirumoolattanar shrine. The darshan of Lords Brahmma, Vishnu and Shiva is comfortably available to the devotees from the mandap before Lord Nataraja shrine. It is noteworthy that the famous Vaishnavite shrine of Lord Govindaraja Perumal temple, among the 108 Divyadesas is close to Lord Nataraja shrine. The temple for Thillai Kali who challenged Lord Shiva in the dance contest is also nearby.


   Praying to Lord Nataraja, the first benefit the devotee gains is mental peace. The prayer frees the devotee from any and every health problem. Many pray deeply to gain excellence in arts and a bright future in the field. They also pray for child boon and prosperity.

Thanks giving:

   Devotees perform abisheks with oil, cosmetic powders, milk, curd, fruit juices, green coconut, panchamirtha, sandal, rosewater and sacred ashes. They also offer fresh and clean vastras. Gangabishekam and Kalasabishekam are also offered to Lord. For Mother Sivakama Sundari, abisheks are performed with turmeric powder offering sari. Some place contributions in the Hundi and arrange Annadhana-feeding. Devotees also contribute for the renovation of the temple.

Greatness Of Temple:

    Lord Shiva is in three forms in Chidambaram, as visible idol form, formless as Akasha or space and form and formless as a Spatika Linga. What is Chidambara Rahasyam ? secret: There is small entrance near Lord Sabanayaka in the Chit Saba. The screen is removed and an arati is offered. There is nothing in a form inside. But there hangs a golden Vilwa garland without a Murthi. The secret is that Lord is here as Akasha which has no beginning or an end. This can be understood only by experience. Of the Panchabhoodha Sthals, Chidambaram belongs to Akasha.

Temple History:

   Sage Vasishta, revered as leader of Rishis had a relative Madyandinar by name. He had a son named Maadyandinar (the first name is short in sound, the next longer ? spelling differs). Sage Vasishta advised that the boy should worship the Swayambulinga in Thillai Vanam forests for gaining complete spiritual wisdom. Son Maadyandinar reached this place. He was sad that he lost his puja time in picking up flowers after sunrise and these flowers were not pure as the honey in the same are taken away by the bees. He appealed to Lord Shiva saying that he was unable to pick the flowers in darkness due to lack of light and the flowers become unfit if picked after sunrise.

Special Features:

   Miracle Based: Lord Shiva is swayambumurthi in the temple.

*Sources from Dinamalar.com

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