The Temple has far more ancient history and a Shiva shrine existed at the site when the town Chidambaram was known as Thillai. Chidambaram, the name of the city and the temple literally means “atmosphere of wisdom” or “clothed in thought”, the temple architecture symbolizes the connection between the arts and spirituality, creative activity and the divine within human. The temple itself resembles the human body and the sanctum sanctorum is at the head while the main deity can’t be seen and yet it is there where it is called ‘Chidambara Rahasyam’.
It is one of the nine Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu visited by Sage Patanjali and Vyagrapada. The current temple complex was constructed in the 10th century during the rule of Chola dynasty following major destruction of the temple. The temple has undergone many attacks by the invaders and got renovated in 14th century by Vijayanagara rulers.
The temple is an epicentre of fine arts; has 108 classical dance forms engraved on the walls. A silver Nataraja, not Shivalinga, is the principal icon in this temple. Shiva – The cosmic dancer inspired the scientists to create the particle collider at Cern where the idol of stands in its premises.
– Venkat Dasari