Arudra Darisanam 2014 in Thiruvannamalai
Arudra Darisanam is a festival which is celebrated in South India. Tamilnadu is a southern state where Arudra Darisanam is most celebrated. Arudra Darisanam is celebrated in the month of Margazhi (December- January) according to the Tamil calendar. Arudra Darisanam is observed by the lord Shiva followers. Lord Shiva is the ultimate Dancer and the whole cosmos joins in the rhythm of Shiva’s dance. This avatar of lord Shiva in his influential dancing posture is commonly known as Nataraja.
Shiva is also the Creator and the Destroyer who performs these tasks by the means of his cosmic dance moves, in a rhythm and a cycle. Thus, this dance of Shiva exhibits five elements of creation, protection, destruction, embodiment and release. Arudra Darisanam is the celebration of this cycle of dance which controls the whole universe with its power.
On the night of the full moon of this Margazhi, Tamil month, the temples in Tamil Nadu are lighted up and adorned with uncountable diyas and scented flowers. The temples echo with Sanskrit and Tamil hymns and shlokas. Women keep fasts, avoiding rice and they cook sumptuous prasadam.
Natraj temple at Chidambaram hosts the grandest celebration of this festival for ten days. The 1st day commences with the hoisting of the temple flag. A procession is carried out with the images of the deities. Abhishekam is an important ritual performed lavishly with great respect and fervor.
On the full moon night which is also the longest night of the year, talented artisans display their talent of folk and classical dance. These celebrations of music and dance continue till dawn. The spirit of festivity is unmatched. The ringing of temple bells, the chanting of hymns and the smell of the incense sticks create a spiritual ambiance which is simply divine and magnificent.