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The Hindu Temple in Citaparam Essay examples

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The Hindu temple in Citamparam was not only a place of worship, but also a tool for the exercise of political and military power. Paul Younger, author of The Home of Dancing Sivan, discusses this idea, as well as the traditions and components of Citamparam, in his book. Younger discusses priests, daily rituals, worshipers, and celebrations to begin with; then moves onto building, donors, and the donor’s political connections. Lastly he explores legend books and local traditions, as well as the hymns of saints and Saiva schools. It is not known when exactly the temple complex in Citamparam was constructed, but the initial parts have been around for at least one thousand years. The temple is home of the famous “Sivan as Natarajan,” an icon of Siva as the Lord of Dance, and “is one of the truly great Hindu temples” (Younger 3). Numerous donors, many of which were in strong political positions, contributed to the Citamparam temple throughout its existence. There were three primary donors in the first few centuries of the temple: Hiranyavarman, the Kalabhras, and Manikkavacakar. Ruler, an “uncivilized” (Younger 127) people, and saint, respectively, they all made different contributions to the Citamparam temple. The next group of donors later on consisted of Mahendravarman, a Pallava ruler, and Koccenkanan, the Cola progenitor who was born with red eyes and skin. The Citamparam temple became associated with the Cola and prospered under them, benefiting from Atitya’s religious policy and becoming a cultural hub. The Pallava and Pantya initiatives were the last large political interactions with Citamparam temple before a decline in political involvement, and before priests started to become wary of donors. Citamparam temple experienced a ...


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...ations, from setting up grand temples within the complex to healing members of royal families. Donations were not confined to money or gold, but also services and other supplies, such as rice. The Cola Empire maintained a strong influence of the Citamparam temple complex, making it the cultural hub of the Empire, placing the capital within the temple, and also undertaking vast construction efforts. After the reign of the Cola Empire, the last big political interactions with the temple were the Pallava and Pantya initiatives, which helped to revitalize the relevance of Citamparam. There was a strong decline of political involvement after the initiatives, and then priests began to develop a level of wariness. Throughout its long existence, the Citamparam temple complex has melded church and state, often becoming heavily entwined with politics and military of the time.



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