Nataraja (Sanskrit: नटराज, romanizedNaṭarāja, Tamil: நடராஜர் meaning "the lord of dance") is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic ecstatic dancer. His dance is called Tandavam or Nadanta, depending on the context of the dance.[1][2] The pose and artwork is described in many Hindu texts such as the Anshumadbhed agama and Uttarakamika agama, the dance relief or idol featured in all major Hindu temples of Shaivism.[3]

The classical form of the depiction appears in stone reliefs, as at the Ellora Caves and the Badami Caves, by around the 6th-century.[4][5] Around the 10th century, it emerged in Tamil Nadu in its mature and best-known expression in Chola bronzes, of various heights typically less than four feet,[6] some over.[7] The Nataraja reliefs have been identified in historic artwork from many parts of South Asia, in southeast Asia such as in Bali, Cambodia, and in central Asia.[8][9][10]

The sculpture is symbolic of Shiva as the lord of dance and dramatic arts,[8] with its style and proportions made according to Hindu texts on arts.[6] It typically shows Shiva dancing in one of the Natya Shastra poses, holding Agni (fire) in his left back hand, the front hand in gajahasta (elephant hand) or dandahasta (stick hand) mudra, the front right hand with a wrapped snake that is in abhaya (fear not) mudra while pointing to a Sutra text, and the back hand holding a musical instrument, usually a damaru.[6] His body, fingers, ankles, neck, face, head, ear lobes and dress are shown decorated with symbolic items, which vary with historic period and region.[1][11] He is surrounded by a ring of flames, standing on a lotus pedestal, lifting his left leg (or in rare cases, the right leg) and balancing over a demon shown as a dwarf (Apasmara or Mulakaya[2]) who symbolizes ignorance.[6][12] The dynamism of the energetic dance is depicted with the whirling hair which spread out in thin strands as a fan behind his head.[13][14] The details in the Nataraja artwork have been variously interpreted by Indian scholars since the 12th-century for its symbolic meaning and theological essence.[7][15]

Nataraja is a well known sculptural symbol in India and popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture,[16][17] in particular as one of the finest illustrations of Hindu art.[18][19]

The Lord of the Dance
Shiva as the Lord of Dance LACMA edit
A 10th century Chola dynasty bronze sculpture of Shiva, the Lord of the Dance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
TextsAnshumadbhed agama
Uttarakamika agama


1 dancing Hindu god Shiva Nataraja Tanjore, India
Nataraja iconography

The word Nataraja is a Sanskrit term, from नट Nata meaning "act, drama, dance" and राज Raja meaning "king, lord"; it can be roughly translated as Lord of dance or King of dance.[20][21] According to Ananda Coomaraswamy, the name is related to Shiva's fame as the "Lord of Dancers" or "King of Actors".[15]

The form is known as Nataraja in Tamil Nadu and as Narteśvara or Nṛityeśvara in North India, with all three terms meaning "Lord of the dance".[22] Narteśvara stems from Nṛtta same as Nata which means "act, drama, dance" and Ishvara meaning "lord".[23] Natesa (IAST: Naṭeśa) is another alternate equivalent term for Nataraja found in 1st-millennium sculptures and archeological sites across the Indian subcontinent.[24]


The dance of Shiva in Tillai, the traditional name for Chidambaram, forms the motif for all the depictions of Shiva as Nataraja. He is also known as "Sabesan" which splits as "Sabayil aadum eesan" in Tamil which means "The Lord who dances on the dais". This form is present in most Shiva temples, and is the prime deity in the Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram.[25]

The two most common forms of Shiva's dance are the Lasya (the gentle form of dance), associated with the creation of the world, and the Tandava (the vigorous form of dance), associated with the destruction of weary worldviews - weary perspectives and lifestyles. In essence, the Lasya and the Tandava are just two aspects of Shiva's nature; for he destroys in order to create, tearing down to build again.[26]

According to Alice Boner, the historic Nataraja artworks found in different parts of India are set in geometric patterns and along symmetric lines, particularly the satkona mandala (hexagram) that in the Indian tradition means the interdependence and fusion of masculine and feminine principles.[27] Nataraja is also shown with his wife Parvati as they dance together.


As the Lord of Dance, Nataraja, Shiva performs the Ananda Tandava (dance of bliss), the dance in which the universe is created, maintained, and dissolved. The symbolism in the art has been variously interpreted by scholars since the Chola empire era:[6][15][28]

  • He dances within a circular or cyclically closed arch of flames (prabha mandala), which symbolically represent the cosmic fire that in Hindu cosmology creates everything and consumes everything, in cyclic existence or cycle of life. The fire also represents the evils, dangers, heat, warmth, light and joys of daily life. The arch of fire emerges from two makara on each end, which are water creatures and part of Hindu mythologies.
  • His legs are bent, which suggests an energetic dance. His long, matted tresses, are shown to be loose and flying out in thin strands during the dance, spread into a fan behind his head, because of the wildness and ecstasy of the dance.
  • On his right side, meshed in with one of the flying strands of his hair near his forehead, is typically the river Ganges personified as a goddess, from the Hindu mythology where the danger of a mighty river is creatively tied to a calm river for the regeneration of life.
  • The upper right hand holds a small drum shaped like an hourglass that is called a ḍamaru in Sanskrit.[29][30] A specific hand gesture (mudra) called ḍamaru-hasta (Sanskrit for "ḍamaru-hand") is used to hold the drum.[31] It symbolizes rhythm and time.
  • The upper left hand contains Agni or fire, which signifies forces of creation and destruction. The opposing concepts show the counterpoise nature of life.
  • A cobra uncoils from his lower right forearm, while his palm shows the Abhaya mudra (meaning fearlessness in Sanskrit), suggesting not to fear nearby evil, as well as evil and ignorance surrounding the devotee as he or she follows the righteousness of dharma.
  • The lower left hand is bent downwards at the wrist with the palm facing inward(away from the viewer) and points towards the raised left foot so that it is diametrically opposite to the lower right arm(Abaya mudra).
  • The face shows two eyes plus a slightly open third on the forehead, which symbolize the triune in Shaivism. The eyes represent the sun, the moon and the third has been interpreted as the inner eye, or symbol of knowledge (jnana), urging the viewer to seek the inner wisdom, self-realization. The three eyes alternatively symbolize an equilibrium of the three Guṇas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
  • The dwarf on which Nataraja dances is the demon Apasmara purusha (Muyalaka, as it is known in Tamil), and which symbolises action and dance that leads to victory over demonic evil and ignorance.
  • The slightly smiling face of Shiva represents his calmness despite being immersed in the contrasting forces of universe and his energetic dance.[7]

The above interpretations of symbolism are largely based on historic Indian texts published in and after 12th-century, such as Unmai Vilakkam, Mummani Kovai, Tirukuttu Darshana and Tiruvatavurar Puranam.[15] Padma Kaimal questions some of these interpretations by referring to a 10th-century text and Nataraja icons, suggesting that the Nataraja statue may have symbolized different things to different people or in different contexts, such as Shiva being the lord of cremation or as an emblem of Chola dynasty.[32] In contrast, Sharada Srinivasan questions the link to Chola, and has presented archaeological evidence suggesting that Nataraja bronzes and dancing Shiva artwork in South India was a Pallava innovation, tracing back to 7th to 9th-centuries, and its symbolism should be pushed back by a few centuries.[33]


Nataraja The Lord of Dance from Thanjavur Palace
Nataraja at Thanjavur Palace

An essential significance of Shiva's dance at Tillai, the traditional name of Chidambaram, can be explained as:[34]

  • First, it is seen as the image of his rhythmic or musical play which is the source of all movement within the universe. This is represented by the circular or elliptical frame surrounding Shiva.
  • Secondly, the purpose of his dance is to release the souls of all men from the snare of illusion.
  • Lastly, the place of the dance, Chidambaram, which is portrayed as the center of the universe, is actually within the heart.

Nataraja, states James Lochtefeld, symbolizes "the connection between religion and the arts", and it represents Shiva as the lord of dance, encompassing all "creation, destruction and all things in between".[35] The Nataraja iconography incorporates contrasting elements,[16] a fearless celebration of the joys of dance while being surrounded by fire, untouched by forces of ignorance and evil, signifying a spirituality that transcends all duality.[36]

Nataraja is a significant visual interpretation of Brahman and a dance posture of Shiva. The details in the Nataraja artwork has attracted commentaries and secondary literature such as poems detailing its theological significance.[7][15] It is one of the widely studied and supreme illustrations of Hindu art from the medieval era.[37][38]


Shiva's statue at CERN engaging in the Nataraja dance
A statue of Shiva Nataraja gifted by India at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland

One of earliest known Nataraja artworks has been found in the archaeological site at Asanapat village in Odisha, which includes an inscription, and is dated to about the 6th century CE.[39] The Asanapat inscription also mentions a Shiva temple in the Saivacaryas kingdom. Literary evidences shows that the bronze representation of Shiva's ananda-tandava appeared first in the Pallava period between 7th century and mid-9th centuries CE.[40]

Stone reliefs depicting the classical form of Nataraja are found in numerous cave temples of India, such as the Ellora Caves (Maharashtra), the Elephanta Caves, and the Badami Caves (Karnataka), by around the 6th-century.[4][5] Archaeological discoveries have yielded a red Nataraja sandstone statue, from 9th to 10th century from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, now held at the Gwalior Archaeological Museum.[41][42] Similarly, Nataraja artwork has been found in archaeological sites in the Himalayan region such as Kashmir, albeit in with somewhat different dance pose and iconography, such as just two arms or with eight arms.[43] In medieval era artworks and texts on dancing Shiva found in Nepal, Assam and Bengal, he is sometimes shown as dancing on his vahana (animal vehicle) Nandi, the bull; further, he is regionally known as Narteshvara.[44] Nataraja artwork have also been discovered in Gujarat, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.[45]

The oldest three-dimensional stone sculptures of Nataraja were built by Chola queen Sembiyan Mahadevi.[40] Nataraja gained special significance and became a symbol of royalty in Tamil Nadu. The dancing Shiva became a part of Chola era processions and religious festivals, a practice that continued thereafter.[46]

The depiction was informed of cosmic or metaphysical connotations is also argued on the basis of the testimony of the hymns of Tamil saints.[47]

The largest Nataraja statue is in Neyveli, in Tamil Nadu.

In the contemporary Hindu culture of Bali in Indonesia, Siwa (Shiva) Nataraja is the god who created dance.[48] Siwa and his dance as Nataraja was also celebrated in the art of Java Indonesia when Hinduism thrived there, while in Cambodia he was referred to as Nrittesvara.[49]

In 2004, a 2m statue of the dancing Shiva was unveiled at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva. The statue, symbolizing Shiva's cosmic dance of creation and destruction, was given to CERN by the Indian government to celebrate the research center's long association with India.[50] A special plaque next to the Shiva statue explains the significance of the metaphor of Shiva's cosmic dance with quotations from Fritjof Capra:

Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics.[51]

Though named "Nataraja bronzes" in Western literature, the Chola Nataraja artworks are mostly in copper, and a few are in brass, typically cast by the cire-perdue (lost-wax casting) process.[13]

Nataraja is celebrated in 108 poses of Bharatanatyam, with Sanskrit inscriptions from Natya Shastra, at the Nataraja temple in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India.[1][3]


Temple troglodytique dédié à Shiva (Badami, Inde) (14146091479)

6th/7th century Nataraja in Cave 1 of Badami cave temples

Elephanta Island

A damaged 6th-century Nataraja, Elephanta Caves[52]

1 Dancing Shiva, Cave 21 at Ellora

6th-century Nataraja in Cave 21, Ellora Caves[4]

Dancing Shiva at Kailasa temple, Cave 16 Ellora

8th-century Nataraja in Kailasa temple (Cave 16), Ellora Caves

WLA lacma Madhya Pradesh Shiva as the Lord of Dance ca 800

8th-century sandstone Nataraja from Madhya Pradesh

Pattadakal si1479

Sukanasa with Shiva Nataraja in Pattadakal

Shiva Nataraja (BM)
Shiva Nataraja, mid-10th Century AD, British Museum[53]
Madurai Meenakshi temple Nataraja

Shiva-Nataraja in the Thousand-Pillar-Hall of Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Dasabuja rishaba thandava moorthy

In the Shiva temple of Melakadambur is a rare Pala image that shows the ten-armed Nataraja dancing on his bull.

Shiva Nataraja Sculpture DS

Nataraja The Lord of Dance.

In dance and yoga

In modern yoga as exercise, Natarajasana is a posture resembling Nataraja and named for him.[54] A similar pose, derived from the yoga asana, appears in the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam.[55]


Nataraja pose in Bharatanatyam classical Indian dance


  1. ^ a b c Archana Verma (2011). Performance and Culture: Narrative, Image and Enactment in India. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 19–26. ISBN 978-1-4438-2832-1.
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  3. ^ a b T. A. Gopinatha Rao (1997). Elements of Hindu Iconography. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 223–224. ISBN 978-81-208-0877-5.
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  9. ^ Banerjee, P. (1969). "A Siva Icon from Piandjikent". Artibus Asiae. 31 (1): 73–80. doi:10.2307/3249451.
  10. ^ Mahadev Chakravarti (1986). The Concept of Rudra-Śiva Through the Ages. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 178 with footnotes. ISBN 978-81-208-0053-3.
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  12. ^ Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja), Chola period, c. 10th/11th century The Art Institute of Chicago, United States
  13. ^ a b Ananda Coomaraswamy (1922), Saiva Sculptures: Recent Acquisitions, Museum of Fine Arts Bulletin, Vol. 20, No. 118 (Apr., 1922), pages 18-19
  14. ^ Gomathi Narayanan (1986), SHIVA NATARAJA AS A SYMBOL OF PARADOX, Journal of South Asian Literature, Vol. 21, No. 2, page 215
  15. ^ a b c d e The Dance of Shiva, Ananda Coomaraswamy
  16. ^ a b Gomathi Narayanan (1986), SHIVA NATARAJA AS A SYMBOL OF PARADOX, Journal of South Asian Literature, Vol. 21, No. 2, pages 208-216
  17. ^ Anna Libera Dallapiccola (2007). Indian Art in Detail. Harvard University Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-674-02691-9.
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  19. ^ Frank Burch Brown (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts. Oxford University Press. pp. 489–490. ISBN 978-0-19-517667-4.
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  23. ^ Brunner-Lachaux, Hélène; Goodall, Dominic; Padoux, André (2007). Mélanges Tantriques À la Mémoire D'Hélène Brunner. Institut français de Pondichéry. p. 245. ISBN 978-2-85539-666-8.
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  41. ^ C Yamamoto (1971), Catalogue of Antiquities from East Asia, Vol. 1971, No. 96, pages L74-L92
  42. ^ James C. Harle (1994). The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent. Yale University Press. pp. 156–157. ISBN 978-0-300-06217-5.
  43. ^ Anne-Marie Gaston (1982). Śiva in dance, myth, and iconography. Oxford University Press. pp. 56, 47, 101.
  44. ^ Anne-Marie Gaston (1982). Śiva in dance, myth, and iconography. Oxford University Press. pp. 130, 57.
  45. ^ Anne-Marie Gaston (1982). Śiva in dance, myth, and iconography. Oxford University Press. pp. 48–50.
  46. ^ Aghoraśivācārya; Richard H. Davis (2010). A Priest's Guide for the Great Festival. Oxford University Press. pp. 15–20, 24–25. ISBN 978-0-19-537852-8.
  47. ^ Sharada Srinivasan, "Shiva as 'cosmic dancer': on Pallava origins for the Nataraja bronze", World Archaeology (2004) 36(3), pages 432–450.
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  49. ^ Alessandra Iyer (1998). Prambanan: Sculpture and Dance in Ancient Java : a Study in Dance Iconography. White Lotus. pp. 69–70. ISBN 978-974-8434-12-4.
  50. ^ "Faces and Places (page 3)". CERN Courier. Archived from the original on 6 June 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  51. ^ "Shiva's Cosmic Dance at CERN | Fritjof Capra". Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  52. ^ James C. Harle (1994). The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent. Yale University Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-300-06217-5.
  53. ^ British Museum Collection
  54. ^ * Iyengar, B. K. S. (1979) [1966]. Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika. Thorsons. pp. 419–422. ISBN 978-1855381667.
  55. ^ Bhavanani, Ananda Balayogi; Bhavanani, Devasena (2001). "BHARATANATYAM AND YOGA". Archived from the original on 23 October 2006. He also points out that these [Bharatanatyam dance] stances are very similar to Yoga Asanas, and in the Gopuram walls at Chidambaram, at least twenty different classical Yoga Asanas are depicted by the dancers, including Dhanurasana, Chakrasana, Vrikshasana, Natarajasana, Trivikramasana, Ananda Tandavasana, Padmasana, Siddhasana, Kaka Asana, Vrishchikasana and others.

Further reading

External links


Alapakkam is a neighbourhood in western Chennai. It is surrounded by Porur, Valasaravakkam and Maduravoyal. It is part of Chennai corporation under zone 11. Entry in to Alapakkam is through two main roads, that is, Arcot Road and Poovirundhavalli High Road.

Areas in Alapakkam:

Perumal Koil Street

Metro Nagar

Ayyavu Naicker Street

Govindappa Naicker Street

Ponniyamman Kovil Street

Karpaga Vinayagar Colony


Krishna Nagar

Ashtalakshmi Nagar

Sundar Nagar

Ganapathy NagarAlapakkam has many Schools and Educational institutions.

Government Higher secondary school

Chennai Corporation school

Velammal Vidyalaya School

Sree Adithya Matriculation School

Meenakshi Dental College

Seven Hills Polytechnic

Muthukumaran Engineering college

Acharya Shiksha Mandir (Ashtalakshmi Nagar)

Devi Academy SchoolMini Bus routes

S25 - Maduravoyal to Valasaravakkam [Route: Maduravoyal Earikarai-Aalapakkam Main Road-Meenakshi Dental College-Govt High School-Alapakkam-Arcot Road]

S38 - CMBT Metro to Valasaravakkam [Route: via Ashtalakshmi Nagar, MGR Road]

M49G - Thiruverkadu to T Nagar.

Atmopadesa Śatakam

"Atmopadesa Śatakam" is a Malayalam spiritual work by Narayana Guru in the form of a poem. It is considered as the classic work of Narayana Guru, who was a social reformer and spiritual leader of Kerala, India. The literal translation of the title means "One Hundred Verses of Self Instruction". "Atmopadesa Śatakam" contained 100 verses or stanzas, each of which describing a set of actions performed by the self on itself, affecting and recognising moments of transformation into an absolute value.Narayana's principal disciple, Nataraja Guru, translated this work into English, titled as "Centiloquy of the self". Nitya Chaitanya Yati, famous disciple of Nataraja Guru, also made a commentary on it as "That Alone, the Core of Wisdom: A Commentary on Atmopadesa Śatakam, the One Hundred Verses of Self-Instruction of Narayana Guru". Nithya Chaithanya Yathis says: "With this verse you are entering into an intense spiritual discipline. There is no need to learn each verse and then rationally apply it in everyday life. You can even hear it and forget it. Forgetting means it only goes deeper into you. Once you have heard it, it will go and work its way by itself. The effect will be very subtle. It comes almost without you knowing that it is something which you heard that is enabling you to see things in a new light or make resolutions in a certain more helpful way.""Atmopadesa Śatakam" was initially published as "Atmabodham" and is believed to have reached its present form by 1897. This work is presented before a group of people at Aruvippuram, as a practice text written into form of advice who followed Narayana Guru. Though he wrote in Sanskrit and Tamil, this work is in Malayalam. Most of his earlier works contained adoration of Hindu deities with an underlying context of Advaitha Vedantha. But in this work, he directly describes the ways of attaining self-realisation with a philosophical context and stresses seeking the absolute value called "Self" or "the Atman" and not any God to adore as hitherto.

C. Sivaramamurti

Calambur Sivaramamurti, (1909–1983) was an Indian museologist, art historian and epigraphist who is primarily known for his work as curator in the Government Museum, Chennai. and Sanskrit scholar. His entire life has been devoted to the study and exposition of various aspects of Indian art. Apart from authoring several monographs, guide books on Indian art, he also wrote a seminal work on South Indian epigraphy.


Chidambaram is a town and municipality in Cuddalore district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of the Chidambaram taluk. The town is believed to be of significant antiquity and has been ruled, at different times, by the Pallavas until 9th century, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Later Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Marathas and the British. The town is known for the Thillai Nataraja Temple, and the annual chariot festival held in the months of December–January (In the Tamil month of Marghazhi known as "Margazhi Urchavam") and June to July (In the Tamil month of Aani known as "Aani Thirumanjanam")

Chidambaram covers an area of 4.8 km2 (1.9 sq mi) and had a population of 62,153 as of 2011. It is administered by a Selective grade municipality . Teritiary sector involving tourism is the major occupation. Roadways are the major means of transportation with a total of 64.12 km (39.84 mi) of district roads including one national highway passing through the town. As of 2011, there were eleven government schools: six primary schools, three middle schools and two higher secondary schools in Chidambaram. Annamalai University, established in 1929 in Chidambaram, is one of the oldest and most prominent universities in the state.

Keechaka Vadham

Keechaka Vadham (transl. The Extermination of Keechaka) is an Indian silent film produced, directed, filmed and edited by R. Nataraja Mudaliar. The first film to have been made in South India, it was shot in five weeks at Nataraja Mudaliar's production house, India Film Company. As the members of the cast were Tamils, Keechaka Vadham is considered to be the first Tamil film. No print of it is known to have survived, making it a lost film.

The screenplay, written by C. Rangavadivelu, is based on an episode from the Virata Parva segment of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, focusing on Keechaka's attempts to woo Draupadi. The film stars Raju Mudaliar and Jeevarathnam as the central characters.

Released in the late 1910s, Keechaka Vadham was commercially successful and received positive critical feedback. The film's success prompted Nataraja Mudaliar to make a series of similar historical films, which laid the foundation for the South Indian cinema industry and led to his being recognised as the father of Tamil cinema. Nataraja Mudaliar's works were an inspiration to other filmmakers including Raghupathi Surya Prakasa and J. C. Daniel.

List of educational institutions in Namakkal district

This is a list of the schools and colleges in Namakkal district.

List of silent films from South India

A list of South Indian silent films made between 1916–1932 in Madras Presidency , British Raj.


Nandanar (also spelt as Nantanar), also known as Tirunalaippovar (Thirunaallaippovaar) and Tiru Nalai Povar Nayanar, was a Nayanar saint, who is venerated in the Hindu sect of Shaivism. He is the only Dalit ("untouchable") saint in the Nayanars. He is generally counted as the eighteenth in the list of 63 Nayanars. Like the other Nayanars, he was a devout devotee of the god Shiva.

The tale of Nandanar is retold numerous times in folk tales, folk music, plays, films and literature in Tamil society. While Nandanar is included in Nayanar list since the 8th century CE, the 12th century CE Periya Puranam gives a full hagiographical account of his life. The tale focuses on two miracles attributed to him. In Sivalokanathar Temple, Tirupunkur; his prayers are said to have moved a giant stone bull, which still appears in the moved position in the temple. Nandanar is said to have ritually purified himself by fire at Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram. Nandar's tale features in temple lore and religious literature related to both these temples. Gopalakrishna Bharati's 19th century retelling of the saint's life remains the basis of many later retellings. It expands the original narrative adding elements of oppression of the Dalit saint by higher castes. While higher caste retellings of the tale focus on the saint's observance of caste norms, Dalits emphasize his exploitation and superior religiosity.

Apart from collective worship Nandanar enjoys being part of the Nayanars in Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, shrines depicted to Nandanar exist in both the sites of his miracles. The saint also became an icon of protest in Dalit rights movements.

Nataraja Guru

Nataraja Guru (born P. Natarajan, 18 February 1895 – 19 March 1973) was a disciple of Narayana Guru and himself an Indian social reformer.

Nataraja Ramakrishna

Nataraja Ramakrishna (21 March 1923 – 7 June 2011) was a dance guru from Telangana, India. He was the chairman of Andhra Pradesh Sangeeta Nataka Academy. He was also a scholar and musicologist who promoted classical dance in Andhra Pradesh and worldwide.

Nataraja Service

Nataraja Service (Kannada: ನಟರಾಜ ಸರ್ವಿಸ್) is a 2016 Indian Kannada language romantic emotional comedy film directed by Pavan Wadeyar, produced by N.S. Rajkumar and presented by Puneeth Rajkumar. It stars Sharan and Mayuri Kyatari. The music was composed by Anoop Seelin whilst the cinematography was by Arul K. Somasundaram.

P Ravi Shankar makes a special appearance in the song "Allah Allah Nataraja Bartonella" which was rendered by music director Anoop Seelin.

Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram

Nataraja Temple, also referred to as the Chidambaram Nataraja temple or Thillai Nataraja temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Nataraja – Shiva as the lord of dance – in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple has mythical roots and a Shiva shrine existed at the site when the town was known as Thillai. Chidambaram, the name of the city and the temple literally means "atmosphere of wisdom" or "clothed in thought", the temple architecture symbolizes the connection between the arts and spirituality, creative activity and the divine. The temple wall carvings display all the 108 karanas from the Natya Shastra by Bharata Muni, and these postures form a foundation of Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance.The present temple was built in the 10th century when Chidambaram was the capital of the Chola dynasty, making it one of the oldest surviving active temple complexes in South India. After its 10th-century consecration by the Cholas who considered Nataraja as their family deity, the temple has been damaged, repaired, renovated and expanded through the 2nd millennium. Most of the temple's surviving plan, architecture and structure is from the late 12th and early 13th centuries, with later additions in similar style. While Shiva as Nataraja is the primary deity of the temple, it reverentially presents major themes from Shaktism, Vaishnavism, and other traditions of Hinduism. The Chidambaram temple complex, for example, has the earliest known Amman or Devi temple in South India, a pre-13th century Surya shrine with chariot, shrines for Ganesha, Murugan and Vishnu, one of the earliest known Shiva Ganga sacred pool, large mandapas for the convenience of pilgrims (choultry, ambalam or sabha) and other monuments. Shiva himself is presented as the Nataraja performing the Ananda Tandava ("Dance of Delight") in the golden hall of the shrine Pon Ambalam.The temple is one of the five elemental lingas in the Shaivism pilgrimage tradition, and considered the subtlest of all Shiva temples (Kovil) in Hinduism. It is also a site for performance arts, including the annual Natyanjali dance festival on Maha Shivaratri.


Natarajasana (Sanskrit: नटराजासन; IAST: Naṭarājāsana), Lord of the Dance Pose or Dancer Pose is a standing, balancing, back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. It is derived from a pose in the classical Indian dance form Bharatnatyam, which is depicted in temple statues in the Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram.

Pancha Sabhai

Pancha Sabhai Sthalangal refers to the temples of Lord Nataraja, a form of Lord Shiva where he performed the Cosmic Dance. Pancha indicates Five, Sabhai means hall and Stala means place. All these temples are located in Tamil Nadu, India.

Perini Shivatandavam

Perini Shivatandavam (Perini Śivatandavam) or Perini Thandavam is an ancient dance form, from Telangana, which has been revived in recent times. It originated and prospered in Telangana, during the Kakatiya dynasty.

Perini is performed in honour of Lord Shiva, the hindu god of destruction and it is believed that in ancient times this was performed before the soldiers set to war. Nataraja Ramakrishna was the person who revived this art form recently.

Punjai Siva Temple

The Punjai Siva Temple, or Naltunai Ishvaram Temple, is a Hindu temple located at Punjai near Semponnarkoil. The principal deity is Nataraja, a form of the Hindu god Shiva.

R. Nataraja Mudaliar

Rangaswamy Nataraja Mudaliar (1885–1972), popularly known as the father of Tamil cinema, was a pioneer in the production of silent films. Starting his career as an automobile spare parts merchant, he started the "Indian Film Company Limited" in Madras. In 1917, Mudaliar made Keechaka Vadham, South India's first silent film. Upon critical success of the film, he went on to produce films like Draupadhi Vastrapaharanam (1918), Lava Kusa (1919), Rukmini Satyabhama and Mayil Ravana. After the death of his son in a fire accident in 1923, Mudaliar retired from films.


Ranganāthar, also known as Sri Ranganatha, Aranganathar, Ranga and Thenarangathan, is a Hindu deity, more well known in South India, and the chief deity of the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam. The deity is a resting form of Lord Vishnu, recumbent on the great form of the serpent god Adisesha, one of the foremost of Hindu gods. His consort is Goddess Lakshmi, also known as Ranganayaki. His two other consorts seen next to his recumbent figure are Bhudevi and Nila Devi. Most of the deities portray a 'smiling' lord in a sleeping or reclining position over the celestial serpent Adisesha in the sea of cosmic dissolution (pralaya). This is the form in which he is open to listening to all of his devotees' woes, and blesses them. Apart from being worshipped by all Hindus, this form is of particular importance to the Sri Vaishnava community. His name in Tamil means "leader of the place of assembly", coined from two Tamil words arangam and nathan. Though the presiding deity in the form of reclining Vishnu is not part of the Dashavatara, this temple is of particular interest for scholars in the south because of the vast history attached to it in shaping the religion in the south.

Symbolic representation of Ranganatha and Nataraja has been compared as the meaning of both is the same except for their locations. In Ranganatha, ranga means "stage" and which in the broadest sense refers to "the world, the cosmos or better still of the body and the senses". Nataraja also means the "Lord of the Stage" and in this case his stage is in ‘Chidambaram’ meaning the "sphere of wisdom", while Ranganatha rests on the milkyway, which is a metaphysical or esoteric concept which is not easy to interpret as it is perceived in different ways by different people. The name "Nataraja" is more usually taken to mean Lord of the Dance in reference to the dance of destruction, or pralaya, or alternatively the dance of illusion by which the material sphere is manifested, and is therefore a name for Lord Shiva, as distinct from Lord Vishnu.


Kutralam is a popular tourist resort in Southern Tamil Nadu known for its waterfalls, amidst picturesque surroundings - and is a source of inspiration of many a literary work. Thousands visit this town when the waterfalls are in season. Kutralam represents one of the 5 Pancha Sabhas of Nataraja - Chitra Sabhai. The five dance halls of Shiva are Chidambaram, Madurai, Tiruvalankadu, Tirunelveli and Kutralam. Kutralam is also known as Trikootaachalam.

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