தில்லை ஓவியங்கள்!


This is plate 19 from James Fergusson’s ‘Ancient Architecture in Hindoostan’. Chidambaram is the sacred spot where Shiva, in the form of Nataraja, danced his powerful cosmic dance. It has been a place of pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu since about the ninth century.

The Shivakamasundari temple was built in the 12th century and is dedicated to Parvati, spouse of Shiva. It is one of the earliest buildings within the complex of the Nataraja temple, which was built in the late Chola era (12th to 13th century). It is a distinct unit with a surrounding colonnade and entrance gateway. For Fergusson, it was the most interesting of all the temple sites he visited in south India.

This is plate 22 in James Fergusson’s ‘Ancient Architecture in Hindoostan’. The temple town of Chidambaram is renowned as a place of worship of Shiva in his form as Nataraja, the cosmic dancer. Here Shiva struck his celebrated Ananda Tandava pose – a blissful dance. The Dancing Shiva was the favourite deity of the Chola kings who built the Nataraja temple in the 12th century and were crowned within its precinct, but the buildings were added to frequently up to the 20th century. The most splendid structures of the temple are the four lofty gopurams (or towers) in the four cardinal directions that constitute the gateways. The dance postures of the Bharata Natyam, the classical dance of the South, are revealed in the sculptures on the gateways. The temple still serves as an artistic, religious and cultural centre of the region and its dozens of bronze images of Shiva are still worshipped.

Drawing by F. Swain Ward in c.1762, with a view of the stepped tank or reservoir of the temple at Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu and one of its gopurams in the background, part of King George III’s Topographical Collection. The town of Chidambaram is a great religious and artistic centre of south India. The temple here is dedicated to Shiva in his form as Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer. The earliest parts of the temple complex date from the 12th century, in the time of the Chola kings, devotees of Nataraja. They held their coronation ceremonies here. The temple lies within four walled enclosures, raised in different periods. Some of the most splendid structures of Chidambaram are the four lofty gopurams (towers) of the third walled enclosure, built in the 12th century but with later renovations. The gopurams mark the cardinal points and act as gateways to the temple. The Shivaganga Tank is a prominent feature of the third enclosure and has a colonnaded gallery on four sides.
Drawing by F. Swain Ward in c.1762 of the temple at Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, part of King George III’s Topographical Collection. The town of Chidambaram is a famed religious and artistic centre in south India. The temple here is dedicated to Shiva in his form as Nataraja, performing the cosmic dance. It was founded by the Chola Kings, devotees of Nataraja, between the 12th and 13th centuries. They held their coronation ceremonies here. The temple lies within four walled enclosures, raised in different periods. Some of the most splendid structures of Chidambaram are the four lofty gopurams (towers) of the third walled enclosure, built in the 12th century but with later renovations. The gopurams mark the cardinal points and act as gateways to the temple. One of the heavily decorated gopurams can be seen in the left in this picture. To the right is the little shrine to Nandi, the sacred bull which is the vehicle of Shiva.
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