The Nataraja shrine located in the north east corner
of the outer circumambulatory path in the Kalikambal temple housing impressive bronze
images of Nataraja and Sivakami is a scene of festivity twice a year.
The 10th day of the annual Bhramotsavam in the month
of Vaikasi, normally coinciding with Vaikasi Vishakam witnesses the
procession of Natarajar.
Arudra Darisanam is celebrated for a
10 day period in the month of Margazhi, when the image of Manikkavacakar
is taken out in procession each day in the early hours of the morning.
The night before Arudra Darisanam
(Tiruvadirai asterism - coinciding with the full moon in the tamil month of Margazhi) is
celebrated with an abhishekam or a ritual ablution to Natarajar and Sivakami (as in all
Saivite temples throughout the state).
Arudra Darisanam is celebrated in the early
hours of the following morning, when after the traditional lamp waving deepa
aradhanai festivities, the cosmic dance of Shiva is re-enacted.
After a procession through the surrounding
neighborhood, a mock quarrel between Nataraja and Sivakami is enacted (in a manner similar
to the Tiruvoodal festival at Tiruvannamalai), when the
image of Sivakami following Nataraja throughout the procession, overtakes him and enters
the temple premises slamming the doors, disallowing Nataraja's entry. After peace is
wrought between the divine couple, the image of Nataraja enters the temple, and is taken
back to the original shrine, to be taken out again only after five months on the 10th day
of the annual Bhramotsavam.