Festivals have great value in Chidambaram. The Natyanjali festival dedicated to the Cosmic Dancer (Lord Shiva) is celebrated every year during February-March. Lord Nataraja, according to Hindu mythology is the cosmic dancer. He is also called “the Lord of Dances”.
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. 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.
An Oppurtunity For All
This is an opportunity for all dancers, from all over India, to perform and to pay their tribute to Lord Nataraja. Natyanjali festival is jointly organised by The Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, The Ministry Of Tourism, Government of India and The Natyanjali Trust, Chidambaram. The festival lasts for 5 days.
This dance festival at Chidambaram brings together all the prominent dancers of India with an enchantment and elation, which shone in their eyes and evocative Abhinaya as they offered their dance to the great divinity, Lord Nataraja. To many of them it is like a dream come true, to be able to perform in the vicinity of the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Nataraja himself, whose ‘Padams’ and ‘Varnams’ they often dance upon creating an imaginary figure of the Lord.
The Natyanjali Dance Festival is designed to promote a universal message of “Unity in Diversity” conveyed in the universal language of music and dance. Its purpose also is to both educate and entertain the audience.
Places to stay in Tamilnadu
Accommodation is available at the hotels in Chidambaram.
How to Get There
Air : The nearest airport is at Trichy, at a distance of 160-km.
Rail : The railway station is a 20-minute walk southeast of the Nataraja Temple. Express and passenger trains leave for Chennai four times daily, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur twice daily, Tiruchirappalli and Madurai.
Road : Chidambaram is well connected by road with Chennai, Pondicherry, Madurai, Thanjavur, etc.