- Natarajar Temple at Chidambaram
Courtesy: Raman's Kalakad
Natarajar Temple at Chidambaram is living testimony of ancient “Advanced astrological and geological knowledge” of Hindus surpassing to anything contemporary. STUNNING FEATURES OF ARCHITECTURAL EXCELLENCY: The place where temple located is the center point of world’s magnetic equator. Three of the five Panchaboothasthala temples, those at Kalahasti, Kanchipuram and Chidambaram all stand on a straight line exactly at 79 degree 41 minutes East longitude -truly an engineering, astrological and geographical wonder. Of the other two temples, Tiruvanaikkaval is located at around 3 degrees to the south and exactly 1 degree to the west of the northern tip of this divine axis, while Tiruvannamalai is around midway (1.5 degree to the south and 0.5 degree to the west). The 9 gateways signify the 9 orifices in the human body. The Chitsabai or Ponnambalam, the sanctum sanctorum represents the heart which is reached by a flight of 5 stairs called the Panchaatchara padi – pancha meaning 5, achhara – indestructible syllables – “SI VA YA NA MA”, from a raised anterior dias – the Kanakasabai. The access to the Sabhai is through the sides of the stage (and not from the front as in most temples). The Chit sabha roof is supported by four pillars symbolic of the four Vedas . The Ponnambalam or the Sanctum sanctorum is held by 28 pillars – representing the 28 agama s or set methodologies for the worship of Shiva. The roof is held by a set of 64 beams representing the 64 forms of art and is held by several cross-beams representing the innumerable blood vessels. The roof has been laid by 21,600 golden tiles with the word SIVAYANAMA inscribed on them representing 21600 breaths. The golden tiles are fixed using 72,000 golden nails which represents the no. of nadis exists in human body. The roof is topped by a set of 9 sacred pots or kalasas, representing the 9 forms of energy. The arthamandapa (sanctum) has six pillars denoting the six shastras (holy texts). The hall next to the artha mantapa has eighteen pillars symbolizing the eighteen Puranas . Sri Nataraj Mandir at Satara is a replica of this temple.
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