Chidambaram is one of those temples where you will find Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu enshrined under one roof. This temple is also known as Thillai Nataraja Temple and Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar Koothan Kovil. Chidambaram Temple is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva but it is religiously important for both, the Shaivites and the Vishnavites.
The main deity Shiva presides here in Chidambaram Nataraja Temple form or the Cosmic Dancer form. The consort deity here is Sivakami Amman. This temple is also one of the famous Five "Pancha Mahabhoot Sthalam" temples which represent the five classic elements in which Chidambaram Temple represents the element "Akash" or Sky According to Hindu mythology, once Shiva was strolling in the forest of Thillai with Vishnu as his consort in the form of Mohini. In the same forests resided a group of sages who got enraged when they saw their wives getting enchanted with the beauty of this couple. They evoked snakes, tigers and demons but to no use as Shiva made snakes his ornaments and used the skin of tiger as his wardrobe. He immobilized the demon and started doing Anand Tandava dance on his back. Seeing all this, the sages surrendered and realized the truth of Shiva. Shiva is also known as Kothan here which means "The Lord of Dance."
This temple also enshrines other deities like Lord Vishnu in the form of Govindraja Perumal, Murugan Swami, Ganesh and Shivakami Amman. Spread over an area of 40 acres Chidambaram Temple is also known for its architectural importance apart from its religious value. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has Lord Shiva in three forms , one is anthropomorphic form as Nataraja, second is "semi form" which is Crystal Shiva Lingam, and the third one is "formless" as Chidambaram Nataraja Temple Rahasyam, symbolized by an empty space within the sanctum sanctorum. Chidambaram Temple has seven story high nine Gopurams and five Sabhas, and also houses several water bodies.
How to reach there ?
By Air - Tiruchirappally Airport which is a domestic airport is the nearest airport to Chidambaram city and it is located at a distance of 170 km. Chennai International Airport which is located at a distance of 230 Km is the nearest international airport.
By Train - Chidambaram city lies on the route which connects Tiruchirapally (Trichy) and Chennai, so it is well connected by railways as well.
By Road - Chidambaram city is well connected with all the other cities by mean of bus services. You can easily get private and public buses to reach Chidambaram city.
Best time to Visit Chidambaram Temple - From the month of October to the month of May.