Posted on: 7 November 2012

View of the Pagoda of Chidambaram - 1762

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.

Copyright The British Library Board


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The Inner GARBH Graha of This Temple is Thousands of Years Old. but they do carbon dating of the fence (

Hello, This magnificent temple played a highly significant role in the year years of the East India Company on the Coromandel Coast. It was one of four such temples that acted as landmarks for coastal shipping as they struggled to work out where they were making landfall along this flat and otherwise featureless coastline. The earliest English sailors looking at the silhouettes of these four great temples from several miles out to sea thought they looked like English Elm trees. You can read more about it here http://cuddalore-history.blogspot.co.uk/2006/11/first-english-arrive-at-cuddalore.html Later on, the temple was fought over several times during the wars that Clive took part in. Regards Nick Balmer

Yes, the inner sanctum sanctorum of the temple is absolutely spectacular.The carvings on the pillars are so exquisite and beautiful , one has to see it to experience it. Especially on a sunny summer day, when you enter the garbha griha, it is absolutely cool inside .

Would Mr Nijhawan know Satinder Nijhawan by chance. I am looking forward to contact him.