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Chidambaram is one of the foremost Saivite shrines. The very name Kovil refers to Chidambaram, where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Nataraja and is enshrined in the Chit Sabha or the Hall of Consciousness, in the Ananda Tandavam (Dance of Bliss) pose.  Chidambaram is one of the five places of Panchabhoota signifying the 5 elements-wind (Kalahasti), water (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram). Several literary works praise the glory of Chidambaram. Chidambaram is one of the 5 dance Halls of Shiva. The other four dance halls are Madurai, Tiruvalankadu, Tirunelveli and Kutralam.

Chidambara Rahasya: This temple is known for a Rahasya or secret (Chidambara Rahasya). Lord Siva makes his presence here in the form of space or nothingness (aroopam).   Worshipping Lord Siva here appears to be more of imaginative since one can never see an idol being worshipped. Still, it is not imaginative since Lord Siva in the form of Space is worshipped here. This itself is the Rahasya. 

Lord Siva is said to have revealed a vision of his cosmic dance to Patanjali, Vyagrapadar and to all Devas here.  Chidambaram is one of the major cultural  and traditional centres in terms of its antiquity, richness in terms of worship & festival traditions, in architectural & sculptural splendour, in its association with music & dance.

The Tevaram hymns were rediscovered here after a long gap, under the initiative of the king Raja Raja Chola.  The
Chidambaram temple predates the Tevaram hymns. The Imperial Cholas considered Nataraja to be their tutelary deitiy and heaped patronage on this temple, and the Pandyas and the Vijayanagar Kings continued their tradition.

Towering gopurams with thousands of figurines, mandapams with sculptured pillars, lend special interest to this vast temple complex. Govindaraja Temple is present within this complex. There are several other features of interest in Chidambaram.

A whole range of worship services are offered to Nataraja and to  Tirumoolattaanar here on a daily basis. Margazhi Tiruvadirai and Ani Tirumanjanam provide a climactic finish to the 2 annual festivals celebrated with grandeur here.

How to reach: One can reach the place from Chennai directly. Any mode of road transport including a bus or a four-wheeler can be preferred to reach the place. There is no problem with the frequency of buses.


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