Natyanjali, Dancing at the Feet of Lord Nataraja, Chidambaram
The ancient siva temple in which siva exists in a dancing form. The sanctum represent that siva exists in the form of “sky” which is one of the five elements.
Natyanjali festival opens on the auspicious occasion of the Maha Shivaratri day and of course in the right kind of venue – the ‘Prakara’ of the Chidambaram temple. Chidambaram was a Chola capital from 907AD – 1310AD and the Nataraja temple was erected during the later time of the administration. The temple complex has four large gopurams. The north and south ones are 49m tall. The presiding deity is Shiva in his aspect of as the cosmic dancer. The Chidambaram temple is situated in the middle of the town surrounded by four broad chariot streets. The magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, built a thousand years ago, provides a beautiful backdrop for the event. The setting is truly divine-Chidambaram’s gold-roofed temple, with pillars depicting Lord Nataraja in 108 poses from Bharatanatyam – Tamil Nadu’s classical dance.
The temple complex is another fine example of Dravidian architectural delight. The ten-day temple car festivals are celebrated in APRIL-May and Dec.-Jan.
The Natyanjali dance festival is in February and prominent performers from all over the country take part in it.The ancient Nataraja temple of Chidambaram pays special tribute to Lord Nataraja – the dancing Shiva. The temple has carved pillars depicting Lord Nataraja in 108 poses of Bharathanatyam classical dance in the eastern tower.
The Natyanjali festival dedicated to the Cosmic Dancer (Lord Shiva) is celebrated every year during February-March. Lord Nataraja, according to Hindu mythology is the cosmic dancer. He is also called “the Lord of Dances”.It is said that Lord Shiva performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe. There are two forms of Shiva’s dance: Lasya and Tandava. Lasya is the gentle form of dance and Tandava is the violent and dangerous dance that is done for destruction. The dances represent two aspects of Shiva’s nature where he destroys in order to create and tears down to build again.This form of Lord Shiva is seen in sculpture as dancing in an aureole of flames, putting his right foot on a demon apasmara (who symbolizes ignorance) and the left leg lifted up. This is a well known sculptural symbol in India and used many times as a symbol of Indian culture.
The Natyanjali festival dedicated to Lord Shiva is celebrated every year for five days in the temple premise. It begins on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri. During this time leading dancers from all parts of India congregate and dance in the temple as an offering to Nataraja. Many dancers think it is a blessing to be able to perform their ‘arangettam’ (first stage performance) in the vicinity of the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Nataraja in Chidambaram.
Natyanjali festival is jointly organised by The Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, The Ministry Of Tourism, Government of India and The Natyanjali Trust, Chidambaram. It is designed to promote a universal message of ‘Unity in Diversity’ conveyed in the universal language of music and dance.
20th Febraury 2012 to 24th February 2012
Chidambaram. Chidambaram is situated along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, 75 kms south of Pondicherry.
How to Get There
Air : The nearest airport is at Trichy, at a distance of 160-km.
Rail : The railway station is close to the Nataraja Temple. Express and passenger trains leave for Chennai four times daily, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur twice daily, Tiruchirappalli and Madurai.
Road : Chidambaram is well connected by road with Chennai, Pondicherry, Madurai, Thanjavur, etc.
Sambandam A, Nagasamy R
57, Car St., Chidambaram
Ph: (04144) – 22534
Fax: (04144) – 22265
Posted on January 17, 2012, in Art, Attractions, Entertainment, Events and tagged Chidambaram, Maha Shivaratri, Nataraja, Natyanjali, natyanjali festival 2012, Shiva, Tamil Nadu. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.