Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.
If the modern city of Chidambaram does not offer major tourist interest, the city is nonetheless a very important religious center, in particular for the Shivaïtes, a branch of Hinduism who particularly revere the god Shiva. For 2 millennia, Chidambaram has been considered a high place of this religion.
However, Chidambaram had to wait for his heyday until the end of the reign of the Cholas, around the 12th century CE when Emperor Vikrama decided to have a temple built in honor of Nataraja.
The temple of Nataraga
The Nataraja is actually a representation of Shiva performing a cosmic dance. The temple is therefore dedicated to the "dancing Shiva" and representations of the god in a dancing position can be found on the roof at the entrance to the temple.
Construction of the temple lasted over 120 years, and the Chola dynasty had given way to that of the Pandyas before construction was completed. The four entrance towers as well as the surrounding wall and the hall with 1000 pillars date from this period, thus making the Nagaraga temple of Chidambaram one of the oldest temples still in operation in Tamil Nadu, even in the South of the India.
Multiple improvements were made to the temple, which continued to grow and improve until the arrival of Muslim troops from Malik Kafur in 1311.
The Muslim invaders, however, did not destroy the temple, but looted it and took away all the gold it contained, whether it was gold statues or coins donated by worshipers. This plunder left deep traces among the Shaivites.
Later, around 1525, the northern tower was built and since that time, few significant changes have been made to the temple of Nataraga, temple of the dancer Shiva, in Chidambaram.
about the place, Chidambaram:
Chidambaram is a small town in Tamil Nadu in the south of India which has just under 70,000 inhabitants. The most important monument in the city is the Thillai Nataraja Temple. The current temple was built during the 10th century making it one of the oldest in South India.
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