The Pandya Nayaka shrine is the temple for Shiva’s second son Murugan or Subrahmanya within the Chidambaram temple
complex. It is situated in the north-west corner of the complex, as one of the secondary shrines of the 4th prakara. It is called Pandya Nayaka because according to the tradition it was build by king Sundara Pandya of the (so called ‘later’) Pandya dynasty from Madurai.


The Pandya Nayaka temple in the Nataraja temple complex of Chidambaram
Around 1252 this king marched against the Cholas and conquered all their land. He worshipped in Chidambaram and performed several royal rituals there.

In the photo the temple is much damaged, but it has since been renovated. It is of interest that in the 18th century this same shrine was renovated partly with contributions from Dutch merchants stationed in Porto Novo. Porto Novo is a village near Chidambaram
on the coast which was in the 17th and 18th century a trading post for the Dutch VOC.

The authors would like to thank the Digital South Asian Library for its kind permission to reproduce the six photos of the Shri Shiva Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. All other photos by the authors.