Chidambaram is a famous pilgrim centre and it is the seat of the cosmic dancer Nataraja. The Lord Siva is in the pose of Ananda Thandava. Siva is worshiped here in the form of Akasha Lingam. It is one of the Panja Bhuta Sthalas. Chidambaram is a Akasha Sthalam(space). The temple’s gopuram is carved with 108 classical postures of Lord Nataraja. The thousand pillared hall is very worth full to visit. Chidambaram is leading as a centre of Tamil Scholarship traditionally. The famous Annamalai University is situated here. It is about 2km from Chidambaram.
Chidambaram is one of the ancient temples in Tamil Nadu. The glory of this temple begins to become a record after the visit of Hiranya Chakravarthi of Kashmir. The king is said to have been cured from his leprosy with a single dip of this temple tank Sivaganga Thirtham, during the period of 500AD.
Chidambaram temple is built of granite stones. It is the heart of the city and it consists of 39 acres of land. This temple is surrounded by massive walls with four big and tall gopurams. These gopurams are in four directions and it has a big tank called Sivagangai tank. The measuring of this tank was about 175*100 feet. The North and South gopurams are 160 feet high. The 108 dance postures are seen in the Natya sastra; which are sculptured in these towers. This tower has five principal sabhas known as Kanakasabha, Chitsabha , Nrityasabha, Devasabha and Rajasabha.
This idol of Nataraja is enshrining in the Chitsabha. There is a black screen, which is behind the idol to cover the Akasa Lingam. There is no lingam, but we are made to believe that there is an invisible, with lot of golden Vilva garlands (ie) stressing the belief that there is everything in nothing. There are five silver plated steps to reach the chitsabha. It represents the Panchaksharamantram Nama Sivaya.
The Sanctum of Goddess Sivakama Sundari lies to the left of Natarajar Sannidhi. The Rubial images of Ratna Sabhapathi (Nataraja of Ruby), the spadika Lingam of Chandramauleeswara, Swarnakarshana Bhairavar, Mukhalingam are also found in the Chitsabha.
The Kanaka Sabha which is called as the golden hall is lying adjacent to the Chitsabha. Poojas are offered here. The ceilings of these two Sabhas were gold plated.
The Raja Sabha, which measures 103 metres by 58 metres. It is housed in a 1000 pillared hall in the outermost Prakaram. It is a legend that Sekhizhar located the Periapuranam here (ie) traditionally.
The Aani Thirumanjanam and Arudra Darshanam are the main festivals of Chidambaram. These two major festivals attract thousands of devotees.
Some important places of Chidambaram are Pichavaram it is around 20km, a find picnic spot, and Poompuhar (40km). An ancient port of the Cholas is also located at the estuary of the river Cauvery.
Vaithesswaran Temple is about 24km from Chidambaram. This ancient temple is famous for Lord Siva who was considered as a Vaidyanatheeswarar. He was the healer of all diseases and his Goddess Thailyalnayaki. The people of this area believed that if they took bath in the holy waters of the siddhamirtham tank, within the complex of the temple the god will cure all the diseases. Nadijothidam is a traditional skill which was very popular here.
How to reach
Trichy airport is located about 168km from Chidambaram.
Chidambaram is connected with Trichy, Thanjavur and Chennai.
The road is well connected to all the major towns of Tamil Naud.