A few words about Pichavaram first. This sleepy village about 250 KM from Chennai is home to the Second Largest Mangrove forest in the world and a magnificent bird century in its own. Very rare and fast diminishing, mangrove forests are jungles of mangrove trees like Avicennia and Rhizophara which remain rooted in water. A biosphere in itself, a mangrove forest is a delicate system; and though resilient to the forces of nature, has not been able to withstand the recent onslaught of the mankind. This makes Pichavaram very special, as apart from being a shelter to migratory birds of many kinds, it’s one of the last stands made by the mangroves in the world.
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.