Places to Visit near Chidambaram
The ancient Chidambaram Temple (Tamil: சிதம்பரம் கோயில் ) is dedicated to Lord Shiva in His form of the Cosmic Dancer (Nataraja நடராசர்). It is one of the five Dancing Halls (Sabha) of Nataraja and the most famous one.
Chidambaram is the Kanaka (Golden)Sabha. It is also one of the panchabhoota sthalams - representing five basic elements. This is the Akasa Sthalam representing 'Space' among the Pancha Bootha Sthalams. For Saivites all over the world this is the most important Siva Temple. The stand alone word "Kovil" would automatically mean Chidambaram Temple to Saivites. The others are - Tiruvannamalai (Thejo sthalam - Fire) Kanchipuram (Prithvi sthalam - Earth) Kalahasti (Vayu sthalam - Air) Tiruvanaikaval (Trichy) (Appu sthalam - Water).
It was an argument that who is superior, either 'Sivam' (Lord Siva) or Shakthi (Parvathi). In order to resolve thus, they performed a dance programe at Chidambaram in front of Vishnu, Bhramma and points. While they were playing dance, Siva was about to be defeated.
But knowing fully well Siva played on "OORTHAVA THANDAVA" i.e. raising is leg above his head. This 'Ooorthava Thandava' is one of the posture in the dance. It could not be played by the women folk due to their modesty and shyness. In this parvathi could not equally play this posture and agreed her defeat and she was go to the extreme end of the town. In order to contain her haughtiness and to teech a lesson that Sivam and Shakthi are also important in our life. 'Thillai Kali' is a deity in anger. This anger was pacified by Bhahma by Chenting Veda and also praising her. Because of the penance of Lord Brahma 'Kali' became Cool. So that Goddess 'Thillai Amman' in this temple seems with four faces. Stone Inscripts : The Hindu 'Shoza' periods are represented in the inscriptions in this temple. This temple about construction in the regime of 'Kopperunsingan'
DIVINESS OF THE TEMPLE: This Shakthi temple is known for its uniqueness. Sri Ganesh, Sri Thillaiamman, Sri Thillaikali, Sri Muruga, Sri Durga, Sri Viranar, Sri Kanagavaishnavi are the deities that are offered homage here.
AUSPICIOUS DAYS: Fridays and Sundays very special at this Thillaikalli amman Temple.
Pichavaram - The Back water Mangrove Forest
Pichavaram is home to the second largest Mangrove forest in the world, and it is one of the unique eco-tourism spots in South India. The backwaters, interconnected by the Vellar and Coleroon river systems, offer abundant scope for water sports such as rowing, kayaking and canoeing. The Pichavaram forest not only offers waterscape and backwater cruises, but also another very rare sight - the mangrove forest trees are permanently rooted in a few feet of water.
The Pichavaram mangroves are considered among the healthiest mangrove occurrence in the world. Pichavaram consists of a number of islands interspersing a vast expanse of water covered with green trees. The area is about 2,800 acres (11 km2) and is separated from the sea by a sand bar which is a patch of extraordinary loveliness.
The Pichavaram mangrove biotope, consisting of rare species like Avicennia and Rhizophara; presents a special attraction, with its peculiar topography and environmental condition. It supports the existence of many rare varieties of economically important shell and finfishes.
The Pichavaram mangroves attract an appreciable bird population of residents, local migrants and true migrants. Amongst others, one can view birds like Watersnips, Cormorants, Egrets, Storks, Herons, Spoonbills and Pelicans. At the mangroves, so far, 177 species of birds belonging to 15 orders and 41 families have been recorded. The season for birds is from September to April every year. Peak population of birds could be seen from November to January. This is due to high productive nature (in terms of prey organisms) of the ecosystem and coincidence of the time of arrival of true migrants from foreign countries and local migrants from their breeding grounds across India. The availability of different habitat types such as channels, creeks, gullies, mud flats and sand flats and adjacent sea shore offers ideal habitat for difference species of birds.
Sirkali Bhramapureeswarar is a ancient temple complex with 3 different Shiva Shrines. The Bhramapureeswarar shrine is housed in the lower level. The second level houses Periyanakar with Periyanayaki on a 'Thoni', hence the name Thoniappar.
Sattainathar/Vatukanathar is also housed here. From the steps leading to the Toniappar and the Vatukanathar shrine, one can grasp the entire layout of this vast temple and its towers and mandapams. There are 22 Theerthams associated with this shrine. Three different forms of Shiva are worshipped here, the Shivalingam (Bhrammapureeswarar), a colossal image of Uma Maheswarar (Toniappar) at the upper level, and Bhairavar (Sattanathar) again at the upper level.
The temple has 3 vast courtyards with high walls of enclosure. There are two sets of 7 tiered gopurams in the outer walls of the enclosure. The original shrine during the period of the Nayanmars included the shrine of Bhrammapureeswarar, on the southern bund of the temple tank; the Toniappar shrine on a mound west of the central shrine, and the Sattanathar shrine in the second floor reached from the southern prakaram of the Toniappar shrine by a flight of steps. The enlargement of the original temple happened during the period of Kulottunga I, Vikrama Chola, Kulottunga II and III (as in Chidambaram - 11th through the 13th centuries). The temple is a holy site for Hinduism and thousands of devotees come to pay homage to the deities.
There is big Perumal (Thirukkazhiseerama Vinnagaram) temple also inside the town. In and around the town of Sirkazhi are twelve divya desams celebrated by Tirumangai Alvar. Sri Taadaalan at Sirkazhi and the 12 sthalams known collectively as Tirunaangur divya desams. In ancient times, this town had 12 different names, including Brahmapuram,Venupuram,Thonipuram, Kazhumalam, Pugali, and Shri Kali. In addition, a large, ancient Siva Temple (Thirukolakka) is there.
Bhuvanagiri is the birth place of the famous saint of South India, Sri Raghavendra Swami. The town is also close to the birth place of Saint Ramalinga Adigalar (town Maruthur).
The word Bhuvanagiri is a combination of two Tamilized-Sanskrit words - Bhuvanam (means World) and Giri (means Mountain or Unmovable). Hence, the name Bhuvanagiri can mean "the place (world) that does not move".
Puhar (Tamil: பூம்புகார்) (also known as Poompuhar) is a town in the Nagapattinam district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was once a flourishing ancient port city known as Kaveripattinam, which for a while served as the capital of the early Chola kings in Tamilakkam.It is located near the mouth of the Kaveri river, aside the sea coast. Much of the town was washed away by what is now speculated to be a tsunami around 500 AD. Ancient pottery dating back to the 4th or 5th century AD have been discovered off shore around this town. The ancient city of Puhar was destroyed by the sea around 1500 years ago. Scientists speculate that this could have been the effects of a Tsunami possibly caused by Krakatoa 535 AD event. This tsunami is mentioned in the Tamil Budddhist poem Manimekhalai (see below), which relates that the town Kāveripattinam or Puhār was swallowed up by the sea due to the Chola King not holding the annual Indra festival, causing the wrath of the sea goddess Manimekhalai. This event is supported by archeological finds of submerged ruins off the coast of modern Poompuhar. The town of Kāveripattinam is believed to have disappeared in between the 3d and the 6th century.
The major tourists attractions in Poompuhar :
Silappathikara Art Gallery A beautiful building of great sculptural value has been built as Sillappathikara Art Gallery.Scenes from Sillappathikaram, the Epic of the land have been given lively shapes in stones on the walls of the Gallery. These sculptures carved by the sculptors of Mamallapuram Art College remain the treasure house of Tamil Culture.
Masilamani Nathar Koil Though heavily eroded by the sea in a number of places, this temple built in 1305 by Maravarma Kulasekara Pandiyan, still manages to impress all the tourists to Poompuhar with its architectural richness.
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