Corabel Dumont

Written by Corabel Dumont

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Chidambaram Temple is a magnificent landmark that holds a wealth of cultural and historical significance. Located in the town of Chidambaram in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered one of the most important spiritual destinations in the country. The sheer grandeur of its architecture, intricate carvings, and spiritual energy make it a must-visit for devotees, art enthusiasts, and history buffs alike.

But that’s not all – the Chidambaram Temple is also shrouded in mystery and surrounded by fascinating legends. In this article, we will uncover 12 unbelievable facts about this ancient temple that will leave you in awe of its greatness. From its unique portrayal of Lord Shiva to its mind-boggling architectural design, get ready to embark on a journey of discovery and exploration of the extraordinary Chidambaram Temple.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Chidambaram Temple in India is dedicated to Lord Nataraja and features a mesmerizing gold idol, a celestial dance hall, and an ancient healing tree, making it a must-visit for spiritual seekers and art enthusiasts.
  • The temple’s architecture represents the cosmos, and it holds the final resting places of two renowned saints, making it a place of historical, cultural, and spiritual significance for visitors from around the world.
Table of Contents

The Temple is Dedicated to Lord Nataraja

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Chidambaram Temple is that it is dedicated to Lord Nataraja, the cosmic dancer form of Lord Shiva. The presiding deity of the temple is represented in a magnificent gold idol of Nataraja, beautifully adorned with jewelry and surrounded by devotees.

It Has an Akasha Lingam

The Chidambaram Temple boasts an Akasha Lingam, which is a representation of Lord Shiva in the formless space element. Unlike traditional lingams made of stone, the Akasha Lingam is an ethereal and intangible manifestation of Lord Shiva’s divine presence.

The Temple Architecture Represents the Cosmos

The architecture of the Chidambaram Temple is truly awe-inspiring. It is designed in such a way that every aspect represents the various elements of the cosmos. The layout of the temple symbolizes the five natural elements – earth, water, fire, air, and ether.

The Roof is Adorned with Gold Plates

One of the most striking features of the Chidambaram Temple is its gilded roof, which is covered with gold plates. These plates create a mesmerizing visual effect when sunlight falls on them, adding to the grandeur of the temple.

The Dance of the Deities in the Cosmic Hall

The temple has a unique Cosmic Hall known as the Chit Sabha, where dance rituals are performed to honor Lord Nataraja. It is believed that during the annual Natyanjali Dance Festival, the deities come alive and dance in this celestial hall.

The Temple Enshrines Two Famous Saints

The Chidambaram Temple is not only a place of worship, but it also holds a special place in the hearts of devotees as it enshrines the samadhis (final resting places) of two renowned saints, Patanjali and Thirumoolar. These saints have made significant contributions to the field of yoga and spirituality.

The Temple Complex Houses a Massive Temple Tank

The Chidambaram Temple complex features a colossal temple tank known as Sivaganga. This sacred tank is believed to be filled with holy water sourced from various revered rivers across India.

It is Associated with the 108 Bharatanatyam Dance Poses

The Chidambaram Temple has a close connection with the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam. It is believed that the temple is associated with the 108 karanas or traditional poses of Bharatanatyam, making it a significant pilgrimage site for dancers.

The Temple Has an Ancient Tree with Healing Properties

Within the temple complex, there is an ancient tree known as the Kalpavriksha. It is believed that this tree has healing properties, and devotees tie small pieces of cloth, representing their ailments, on its branches, seeking relief from their afflictions.

Vedic Chants Echo Through the Temple

The Chidambaram Temple is renowned for its Vedic chants, which create a spiritually charged atmosphere. The priests perform elaborate rituals and recite sacred hymns from the Vedas, invoking divine blessings and positive energy within the temple premises.

It Has a Hall of 1000 Pillars

One of the architectural wonders of the Chidambaram Temple is its Hall of 1000 Pillars. This majestic hall boasts intricately carved pillars, adorned with vibrant sculptures depicting various mythical figures and deities.

Rich in Historical and Cultural Significance

Beyond its religious significance, the Chidambaram Temple holds immense historical and cultural value. It has been visited and revered by numerous saints, poets, and scholars throughout history, contributing to its prominence as a center of art, literature, and spirituality.

These 12 unbelievable facts about Chidambaram Temple only scratch the surface of the rich heritage and mystique that surrounds this sacred place. Pay a visit to Chidambaram Temple and immerse yourself in its divine aura and cultural splendor!


In conclusion, the Chidambaram Temple is a true marvel that captivates visitors with its rich history, architectural grandeur, and religious significance. The temple’s unique features, such as the golden roof, the cosmic dance of Lord Nataraja, and the intricate carvings depicting various mythological tales, make it a must-visit landmark in India. The 12 unbelievable facts mentioned above shed light on the temple’s magnificence and the deep-rooted spiritual beliefs associated with it. Whether you are a religious devotee, a history enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, a visit to the Chidambaram Temple is an experience that will leave you in awe and wonder.


1. What is the history behind the Chidambaram Temple?

The Chidambaram Temple has a rich history that dates back over a millennium. It is believed to have been built during the 9th century and has since undergone several expansions and renovations.

2. Can anyone enter the temple premises?

Yes, the Chidambaram Temple is open to all visitors regardless of their religious beliefs or backgrounds. However, certain areas within the temple may have restricted access during specific rituals or ceremonies.

3. What is the significance of Lord Nataraja in the temple?

Lord Nataraja, the deity worshipped at the Chidambaram Temple, is believed to be the cosmic dancer who represents the creation and destruction of the universe. His dance, known as the Tandava, symbolizes the eternal rhythm of life.

4. Is photography allowed inside the temple?

Photography is generally not allowed inside the Chidambaram Temple, as it is considered a sacred space. Visitors are expected to respect the religious sanctity of the temple and refrain from taking photographs.

5. Are there any festivals celebrated at the Chidambaram Temple?

Yes, the Chidambaram Temple hosts several festivals throughout the year, with the most prominent one being the Natyanjali Dance Festival, dedicated to Lord Nataraja. This festival attracts dancers and artists from all over the country who showcase their talent and pay homage to the divine dancer.

6. Can I participate in the temple rituals?

While most of the temple rituals are performed by the temple priests, visitors have the opportunity to witness and experience the spiritual ambiance during the daily rituals. Offering prayers and seeking blessings are common practices for visitors.

7. Is there any dress code to be followed while visiting the temple?

Yes, visitors are required to dress modestly and respectfully while visiting the Chidambaram Temple. It is advisable to wear traditional attire and avoid wearing revealing or inappropriate clothing.

8. How can I reach the Chidambaram Temple?

The Chidambaram Temple is located in the town of Chidambaram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is well-connected by road and rail networks, and the nearest airport is in Puducherry, approximately 68 kilometers away.

9. Are there any nearby attractions to visit along with the temple?

Yes, there are several other attractions near the Chidambaram Temple that visitors can explore. The Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, the Thillai Kali Amman Temple, and the Annamalai University are some popular places to visit in the vicinity.

10. Is there any accommodation available near the Chidambaram Temple?

Yes, there are various hotels and guesthouses available in Chidambaram, offering comfortable accommodation options for visitors. It is advisable to book in advance, especially during festival seasons and weekends.

Chidambaram Temple's unbelievable facts are just the beginning of your journey through India's rich cultural heritage. Discover more fascinating Hindu temples like Eklingji Temple, where ancient architecture and spiritual significance intertwine. Immerse yourself in the vibrant history and traditions of Tamil Nadu, a state renowned for its stunning temples and diverse landscapes. Don't miss out on the unique opportunity to explore the Mountain Heritage Festival, a celebration of the region's cultural heritage through music, dance, and art. Which incredible destination will you explore next?

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