We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

The Home of Dancing Sivan

The Traditions of the Hindu Temple in Citamparam

Paul Younger

Publication Date - 28 December 1995

ISBN: 9780195095333

272 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


The Home of Dancing Sivan is an inquiry into the traditions of the Citamparam temple in South India, the only Hindu temple where the image of Sivan as Natarajan, the dancer, is the central focus of worship. Younger begins with the living traditions, describing the community of Ditcitars, the two hundred priests of the temple who carry on an ancient tradition involving six worship periods each day, and discusses in detail the elaborate temple festivals, which attract up to 200,000 people. He analyzes the three hundred inscriptions on the temple walls, and seeks to determine from them, and from the evidence of art history, when the many components of the temple were constructed and what innovations in the worship tradition they made possible. Using the inscriptions and the abundant literature about the temple, he also addresses the complex historical questions regarding roles played by famous kings and saints of the region in the life of the temple.
The traditions of the Citamparam temple reflect the worship style of all important Hindu temples, and its history is central to all history, literature, and thought of South India. This unique study acknowledges the centrality of the temple in Indian life and society, and provides a vivid and engaging portrait of South India's living religion for students of religious studies, Asian studies, and Indian civilization.

Table of Contents

    Part I: Worship
    1. The Priests and the Daily Ritual
    2. The Worshippers and the Festival Celebrations
    Part II: Wood and Stone
    3. The Builders and the Building
    4. The Donors and their Political Connections
    Part III: Writings
    5. The Legend-books and the Local Traditions
    6. The Hymns of the Saints and the Saiva Schools

Related Titles