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Om Namashivaya
Om Namashivaya

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The Origin of Tillai

The Origin of Tillai (Chidambaram):

           Natarajar is a unique concept, among the noblest symbolisms of the supreme power. The linga of Chidambaram is of the ether akasa) category, that is the Lord without form. There are, in South India, five sacred spots, each housing a linga associated with one of the five elements, Pancabhutas: Prthivi (earth) at Kanchpuram, Appu (water) at Tiruvanaikka, Teyu (fire) at Tiruvannamalai, Vayu (air) at Tirukkalahasti and Akasa (ether) at Chidambaram.

          The earliest name of this place was Tillai, after the tree of Tillai (Excoecaria Agallocha), which was once found in abundance about this place the next important name by which it is known is Puliyur or Vyaghra Agrahara or Pura in Sanskrt, evidently named after Vyaghrapada, one of the primary devotees of this place. After its rise into clebrity in Saiva hagiology, it was changed into Perumparrapuliyur, i.e. Puliyur, which includes in the devorees supreme attachment to the Lord and frees them from their worldly.


          After the introduction of the Natarajar cult, it became famous as the place of the ethereal linga of Jnana-Akasa. Hence the name Cit Sabha or Dabhra Sabha. Cit Ambalam (=sabha) became Chidambaram -- also Cirrambalam and Tiruccirrambalam. Ambalam means 'sabha' (or Hall) in Tamil, in Malayalam the word Ambalam means 'open space' and also 'temple', while the Sanskrit word Ambaram means the open sky, ether. Cit-ambaram is another word for Cit-akasa.

          Chidambaram is the home of Natajarar -- the Lord of the Cosmic Dance (His Ananda Tandava), Koyil (the house of God), Koyil par excellence (the Temple of temples). It is a centre sanctified by hoary traditions and rich associations over many centuries. It has been for ages a centre of Saivism and Vaishnavisam, a stronghold of the Advaita philosophy of Sankara and the Saivasiddhanta of Maykanda Devar. Saints and scholors have enriched this place. The great synthesis of Dravidian and Aryan cultures and the grand philosopichic conception of the Divine Dance evolved here impart a peculiar charm to this place in the minds of the pious Hindu.


Location:

         Chidambaram is about 250 km South from Chennai ( Madras ) in Tamil Nadu and is easily reached by rail and road. The town is situated on the main railway route between Chennai and Trichy about halfway between these two Cities. There are number of buses from all the major Towns and Cities of TamilNadu to this templ e town.

The Temple :

        The temple occupies an area of about 51 acres. Four imposing towers rise on the four sides of the temple. Each of these towers rises to about 135 ft and is comprised of 7 storey�s and are topped with 13 copper 'Kalasam' (finials). The entrances at the base of these towers are quite large rising at least to a height of 40 ft. The outer perimeter wall is about 30 ft high enclosing the outer 'street' (veedhi) and the inner enclosures (praharam).

 

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