Nataraja Painting, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
You will find Chola frescoes covering floor to ceiling on the sanctum walls along the pradakshina path pathway at the Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur. The Chola frescoes narrate hindu myths predominantly focussed on Shiva - and were painted using natural pigments which were infused into the wet limestone layer whilst it was setting in. Apart from Shaivite themes - some frescoes depict Vishnu, Durga and scenes of majestic Chola rule and day to day life. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?
This dance posture or karana of Nataraja is termed as urdhvatāṇḍava.
As per legend Shiva and Kali had a dance duel which was judged by Vishnu. Both of them being competitive kept on out-performing each other. Than Shiva performed a difficult dance step where he lifted his left foot towards the sky in the Urdhva Tandava posture, this being a male gesture - and in accordance with the decorum of the natya sabha - Kali being a female couldn't display the same. This legend is also depicted in the Nritya Sabha, of the Chidambaram temple
The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).