Chidambaram is one
of the most ancient and most celebrated of shrines in India. It is of great religious as
well as historic and cultural significance. Chidambaram is associated with Nataraja,
or Shiva in his Ananda Tandava pose (the Cosmic Dance of bliss)
in the cosmic golden hall and the hall of consciousness (Chit
Shiva is also worshipped in the
"formless form" of the Chidambara Rahasyam, while the temple is
known for its Aakasa Lingam, an embodiment of Shiva as formless Space. The word
"Koyil" or temple in the Tamil Saivite
tradition refers to none other than the Chidambaram Nataraja temple.
Chidambaram is one of the Panchabhoota Stalams signifying the 5 elements of
wind (Kalahasti), water (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai),
earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram).
Chidambaram is one of the 5 dance Halls of Shiva (Kanakasabhai).The
other four are Madurai, Tiruvalankadu, Tirunelveli
Also housed in the vast temple complex is the
Vaishnava shrine Tiruchitrakootam dedicated to Govindaraaja
The Chidambaram temple complex reflects a collection
of architectural and sculptural styles
assimilated over several centuries. Of special significance here are the towering gopurams
and the sculptural illustrations of the various poses observed in the Bharata
Natyam Classical Dance form of India. Chjdambaram is also known for its hoary
tradition of grand festivals.
The temple town of Chidambaram is
home to the Annamalai University, and it has several modern lodging
The Tamilnadu Tourist
Development Corporation operates one of its hotels at Chidambaram. Chidambaram is
on the Chennai Tiruchirappalli Main line, between Villuppuram and Thanjavur.
It is well connected with Chennai by a host of train and bus services. By road it is only
235 kilometers South of Chennai.
Thanjavur is only about 100 kilometers away from
Chidambaram. Chidambaram is literally the Northern gateway to the temple trough of
Tamilnadu - the Thanjavur - Tiruvarur - Nagapattinam
districts featuring hundreds and hundreds of ancient temples, which can be easily accessed
from the towns of Mayiladuturai, Kumbhakonam,
Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and