Weather :

Timings : 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM - 8.30 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Natraj Mandir, Satara Overview

Natraj Mandir of Satara is located in the state of Maharashtra. As it is a replica of Chidambaram temple in Tamil Nadu (also referred to as Sri Natraj Temple), it is also known by the name Uttara Chidambaram Temple. Natraj, a depiction of Lord Shiva as a divine dancer, is the deity of this site. The temple is located along the national highway 4, which connects the towns of Solapur and Satara, and is one of the most famous religious sites of attraction in the area. The Natraj Mandir was situated way back in the year of 1985 and continues to attract tourists from around the country till date due to its remarkable architecture, and the serene ambience it provides. Renowned sculptor and architect M. S. Ganapathi Sthapthi is credited for the architectural beauty of this temple.

The temple is open on all days between 7:00 AM and 12 noon, and then from 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM. However, the timings are changed during special festivals, during which time the temple is usually kept open for the public for longer hours. Being a place of great religious significance, this temple is open to all its visitors for free. The temple committee often organises cultural programmes, which attracts classical dancers from across the country to perform at.

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History and Architecture

On the 27th of July, 1980, the annual Vyasa Puja was conducted in Satara. During this time. Pujyasri Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Mahaswamiji, who was staying in the town, longed for the construction of a Natraj temple- a replica of the ancient temple at Chidambaram- in Satara. Following this, a great devotee of Mahaswamiji named Samanna gifted him a generous plot of land to materialise his dream of establishing the temple. This is where the foundation stone of the temple was laid in 1981. The construction was funded by the state governments of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh; whereas the government of Kerala supplied the timer required for the complete construction.

Although Natraj, a manifestation of Lord Shiva while performing Tandava (a form of dance), is the main deity of the temple, the temple complex also includes several shrines dedicated to other deities, such as the Adi Shankaracharya Mandir, the Ayyappa Swami Mandir, the Hanuman Mandir, the Radha-Krishna Mandir, the Navgraha Mandir, the Shivling Mandir, and the Ganapathi Mandir.

The Dravidian style of architecture (since it is a replica of a temple in Tamil Nadu) sets this temple apart from other nearby religious constructions. This also ensures that in spite of being smaller in size, this becomes a popular spot of attraction in Maharashtra, owing to its unique built. The temple has a total of 180 sculptures, each depicting a different mudra (or pose) of the Bharatnatyam dance form. It is set on four main towers- named Andhra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra- which represent the unity of the Indian state.

Places to Visit Nearby

There are several places to visit around the Natraj Mandir. Some of these include the Ajinkyatara Fort (located at a distance of 4 km. from the temple), the Fort of Good People in Sajjangarh (located around 16 km. from the temple), the Thosegarh Waterfalls (located around 26 km. from the temple), and the Kaas Lake (located approximately 28 km from the temple). Some other interesting tourist attractions located a little farther away from the temple are Panchgani (situated at 45 km away from Satara), Mahabaleshwar (Situated at 56 km away from Satara), and several other cities like Lonavala, Pune, and Kolhapur- all of which are situated at a distance of 100 to 120 km from the spot.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Natraj Mandir is during the pre-monsoon months (late July to late August) and the winter season (between November and February). Since the temperature rises to above 40 degrees Celsius during the summer season (from March to the June), it is suggested to avoid those months for vacationing in Satara. The pre-monsoon months experience drizzles and pleasant winds, thus making the weather quite pleasant. In the winter season, the temperature drops to around 13 to 15 degrees Celsius and therefore the weather is pleasant, and any possibilities of precipitation can be avoided for outdoor activities.

How To Reach Natraj Mandir

If one has to visit the temple via train, the nearest railway stations are the Jarandeshwar railway station located 12 km away from the temple, and the Koregaon railway station located around 14 km away from the temple. However, the better idea is to take the bus, as the temple is situated only 3 km away from the Satara bus station and therefore it becomes very convenient to take a bus to Satara from any other city of Maharashtra. Adequate auto and cab services are available around this tourist destination, making commuting easy for the tourists. While travelling by road, one has to drive on the NH4 towards the direction of Pune. On reaching Satara, one has to take a right turn towards the Pandharpur road, from where it takes approximately five minutes to arrive at the temple complex.

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