Earth Sublime

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chidambaram – Paying homage to the three-eyed one

Of the holy trinity of Hindu gods, one of them has a temple dedicated to him in Chidambaram. He is Lord Shiva or the three-eyed one, the one who is known to cause destruction when angry. That makes Chidambaram a favourite haunt of the Shaivites. What is unique is also the fact that at Chidambaram, Shiva is worshipped in the Nataraja pose, which is very rare.

So we started our day with a visit to this temple. Just like the famed temple in Madurai, the Chidambaram temple also boasts of 4 entrances – north, south, east and west. As we entered through the south entrance, the first thing we laid our eyes upon was the massive gopuram with the figures on it commanding our attention and admiration. Inside the temple, there are vast spaces. We entered the temple and could not help but be amazed at the impressive corridor with stone carved pillars on both sides and offset by huge lamps. We could not pay our respects to the deity immediately as the door had been closed shut by the priests who were probably cleaning and beautifying the image. After some time to the loud chant of the temple gong and with waving lights, we got a glimpse of Lord Shiva and prayed before the beautiful image.

As is the case with most temples in the south, the temple here also has a beautiful pushkarni (pond).

After collecting the Prasad, we left the premises of the temple feeling extremely pious.


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