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The Ultimate Source of Information on Indian Temples

Temples of Tamilnadu
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Temples of Tamilnadu


Six worship services are offered in this temple each day at the shrine of Nataraja - the last of which is the ArdhaJaama Puja (the most special one), where the padukas (footwear) of Nataraja are ceremoniously taken to the Palliarai (night chamber) of Shiva and Parvati - in the innermost prakaaram after elaborate rituals. It is believed that the entire pantheon of divine figures in the Hindu system of beliefs is present during this occasion.

The first puja in the morning involves the waking up of Shiva, and a transport of the padukas back to the main shrine, followed by fire rituals and ablutions to the crystal Shivalingam. The worship services that follow at about 9:30, and then at noon, and at 5 in the evening and at 7 pm involve a combination of rituals involving ablutions to the Crystal Lingam and the ceremonial show of lamps to Nataraja and Sivakami amidst the chanting of Vedic and Tamil hymns.

The Saiva Agama system of temple rituals followed in almost all of the Saivite temples in Tamilnadu, is not followed at Chidambaram. It is a unique worship protocol said to have been prescribed by Patanjali that is followed at this temple. Worship services and temple administration are carried out by the Podu Deekshitars, who are believed to have been associated with the temple ever since its coming into being.