Lord Shiva, in his incarnation of Nataraja, is believed to have been born on full moon day in the constellation of Ardra, the sixth lunar mansion.
Chidambaram is one of the Panchabootha Sthalams, where the Lord is worshipped in his manifestation as five boothas (elements): earth (Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram), water (Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval), fire (Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai), wind (Kalahasti Temple, Srikalahasthi) and space (Sri Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram).
At Chidambaram, where the Principal Deity is Lord Nataraja, Lord Shiva is bathed only 6 times a year. At that place year six anointing ceremonies (mahabhishekams) are performed for Lord Nataraja.
|Lord Nataraja Alankaram, Arunachaleswarar Temple|
|Lord Nataraja Chittirai Thiruvonam|
Chittirai Thiruvonam in April-May performed here at Arunachaleswarar Temple indicates the third pooja of these six anointing ceremonies.
First Pooja Marghazhi Thiruvaadhirai (December - January )
Second Pooja fourteenth day after the new moon (chaturdasi) of Masi (February - March)
Third Pooja (or uchivkalam) is Chittirai Thiruvonam (April- May)
Fourth Pooja Uthiram of Aani (June–July) also called the Aani Thirumanjanam
Fifth Pooja chaturdasi of Aavani (August-September)
Sixth Pooja (Arthajama) month of Puratasi (October-November)
|Goddess Sri Sivakami Ambal|
|Devotees outside Sri Nataraja Shrine, Arunachaleswarar Temple|
The six Mahabhishekams of Sri Nataraja 2016-2017
29.04.2016 Friday Chithirai Onam
10.07.2016 Sunday Aanithirumanjanam
15.09.2016 Thursday Aavani Chathurdhasi
14.10.2016 Friday Purattasi Chathurdhasi
11.01.2017 Wednesday Aarudhraa Abhishekam
11.03.2017 Saturday, Maasi Chathurdhasi
|Deepa Aaradhanai, Sri Nataraja Shrine, 2nd Prakaram, Arunachaleswarar Temple|
|Tamarind Rice Prasad at 2nd Prakaram, Big Temple|