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Sunday 14th of August 2022

Pancha Sabhai Temples History (Five Sabhas of Lord Shiva)


Read Pancha Sabhai of Lord Shiva in Tamil

Pancha Sabhai

Lord Shiva is considered as one of the most important deities of Hinduism and he is the foremost among the holy trinity – Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Lord Shiva is considered as the God of Dance. Lord Shiva and his dance moves have greater significance in the Hindu Mythology. His dances are called as Ananda Thandava and Rudra Thandava which symbolizes the cycles of creation and destruction respectively.

The Dancing Lord Shiva is called as “Nataraja”. Nataraja, the Lord of Dance has four arms and each has a specific representation. The upper right form holds the drum representing the creation, lower right hand is raised for blessing while the lower hand is bent downwards at the wrist representing the liberation for the refugees and the upper left hand holds a flame representing the destruction. Here, we are going to learn the history behind the Five Sabai (Dancing Councils) of Lord Shiva.

Five Dancing Councils / Five Sabhas of Lord Shiva

The dancing councils/ five sabhas of Lord Shiva include:

  • Por Sabha
  • Rajitha Sabha or Velli Sabha
  • Ratna Sabha
  • Thamira Sabha and
  • Chithra Sabha

These shrines are located in Chidambaram, Madurai, Thiruvalankadu, Thirunelveli and Courtalam.

Por Sabha

Por Sabha is located in Thillai Natarajar Temple in Chidambaram, Cuddalore District. It is also called as Ponambalam, KanagaSabha, Pon Mandram, etc. This temple is the place where Lord Shiva blessed the Sages Patanjali and Vyakrapathar through his Dance. As this dance is a form of blessing the sages, this dance of Lord Shiva is called as Ananda Thandavam.

Por Sabha

Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar Temple Timings

Morning: 06:00 am to 12:30 pm
Evening: 04.30 pm to 10:00 pm

Chithira Sabha

Chithira Sabha is located in Courtrallanathar Temple in Courtallam, Tirunelveli District. The Lord Shiva destroyed Yama, the God of death to save his devotee Markandeya and appeared along with his wife Goddess Parvatito bless Markandeya. The Lord Shiva of this temple Courtrallanathar appears in the artistic form of Painting.

It is said that the Lord Brahma astonished on seeing the dance moves of Lord Shiva and he himself painted the dance moves of Lord Shiva. The dance of Lord Shiva here is called as Thiripura Thandavam.

The Chithira Sabha is also called as Chithira Ambalam and Chithira Mandram.

Chithira Sabha

Courtrallanathar Temple Timings

Morning : 6 AM to 12 PM
Evening : 4.30 PM to 8 PM

Rathna Sabha

Rathna Sabha is located in Thiruvalankadu, Thiruvallur District. It is said that Lord Shiva defeated the Goddess Kali here with his dance. The place is popularly known as Ratna Ambalam, Ratna Sabha and Mani Mandram.

The Lord here has 8 arms and appears as that he is standing on this right leg and wearing his earrings with the help of left leg. Lord Shiva during the dance took the earring that fell from his ear with his left foot and wore it in the left ear and defeated Kali.

Karaikal Ammaiyar walked with her head down to worship the Lord Shiva of this temple and got the privilege of watching his dance every day. Here the Lord’s dance is worshiped as Urdhuva Thandavam.

Rathna Sabha

Thiruvalankadu Temple Timings

Morning 8 AM to Evening 8 PM

Velli Sabha / Rajitha Sabha

The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai is revered as the Velli Sabha or Rajitha Sabha. It is also known as Velliyambalam and VelliManram.

Same as in Thillai Natarajar Temple in Chidambaram, here in Velli Sabha the Lord Shiva blessed the Sages Patanjali and Vyakrapathar through his Dance in first place.

The Lord Shiva of this temple danced here upon the request of his devotee, the Pandya King. The dance of the Lord here is known as Sandhya Thandavam.

Velli Sabha

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple Timings

Morning : 5 AM to 12.30 PM
Evening : 4 PM to 9.30 PM

Thamira Sabha

The Nellaiappar Temple in Thirunelveli is revered as the Thamira Sabha (the Copper Council). Here, the Lord Shiva performed his dance on the stage made of Copper and hence the name Copper Council. It is also called as Thamira Ambalam and Thamira Mandram.

The Lord here is called as Chandana Sabapathy and his dance is called as Thiru Thandavam.

Thamira Sabha

Nellaiappar Temple Timings

Morning : 6 AM to 12 PM
Evening : 4 PM to 8 PM


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