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No:2 New Railway Road, Kumbakonam, IN

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    »Thillai Nataraja Temple

    Located in the small industrial city of Chidambaram, the Thillai Nataraja Temple dedicated to lord Shiva is considered to be one of the greatest temples of South India. There are four imposing gopurams (gates) in the complex with a height of 45 meters (147.16 feet). The temple, built in succession by kings of the Chola dynasty is dedicated to Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva. The intricate sculptures within, depict lord Shiva in poses of Bharatnatyam, an ancient classical form of dance. The complex covers an astounding 40 acres (16.18 hectares) and is home to the Dikishitars, an ancient class of temple priests which live only in this temple. The complex has numerous water tanks with the Sivaganga water tank being the the largest one. The temple has two ancient dance halls called the Thousand Pillar Hall and the Hundred Pillar Hall, both of which are used for an annual classical dance festival held in the temple. The main shrine located at the center is a rock-cut structure that features a golden pavilion with deity housed in it. One of the temple's unique features is that the depiction of lord Shiva is in the form of a Nataraja statue unlike the lingam which features in most temples. There are several smaller shrines in the complex dedicated to other gods and goddesses. Take your time exploring the ancient temple; the stunning architecture, sculpture, art and symbolism will leave you spell-bound.

    Off East Car Street
    Chidambaram, 608001
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