(Last Updated on : 28/03/2013)
The Natyanjali festival is a five day dance festival dedicated to Lord Shiva
. It is also known as Shivratri
Natyanjali Utsav. It is held every year for five days in the premises of the temple. It begins on the occasion of Shivaratri. During this time chief dancers from different parts of India assemble and dance in the temple as an offering to Nataraja. This festival is organised by The Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu
, The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
and The Natyanjali Trust, Chidambaram. It is celbrated to promote a universal message of 'Unity in Diversity'.
The Natyanjali festival is celebrated every year during February-March. Lord Nataraja
, according to Hindu mythology is the cosmic dancer and he is also called "the Lord of Dances". It is performed at the 'Prakara' of the temple and the dancers with their evocative abhinaya, offer their dance to Lord Nataraja.
The festival was started in 1981 by Kapila Vatsyayana
who was a scholar, Nagaswamy- a historian along with few other important citizens of the town of Chidambaram. It was started with aim of expressing the devotion of the dancers to the great divinity through their dances. Dance is performed in front of the sanctum sanctorum only during the festival days.
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