Our sacred shrines are the living symbols of the growth and preservation of our traditional culture. These sacred shrines date from very early times, and the legends associated with their origin are considered valuable traditions by the Hindus. Thus the Chidambaram temple occupies a unique place among the South Indian shrines. “Koil” is the exalted name for this sthala, where Nataraja performs his eternal dance. The term ‘Koil’ is the name common to all temples. But when this term is used to signify a specific shrine, it clearly denotes its exalted state. The term “Koil” specially denotes “Chidambaram” for Saivites. Chidambaram is the home of Nataraja, the Lord of the Cosmic Dance.
In this book, we are going to have a look at the all-around rituals, architecture, festivals, devotees (i.e., Nayanmars), etc. of the temple. Writing about the infinite glory of this shrine and its presiding deity is impossible. But I’ve tried to conjure up the important details of the temple from a layman’s point of view so that one is able to grasp the grandeur of this magnificent temple in Chidambaram. Along with the description are beautiful pictures complementing slot each other, so that one is able to actually witness the greatness of this ancient architectural beauty.
Despite being a wonderful pilgrimage destination, Chidambaram is best known for its famous and mystical “Chidambara Rahasyam.” When one reads this book, he will be able to understand the basic concept of Chidambara Rahasyam of this Akasha Kshetra, not in terms of its exalted, enlightening meaning, but in terms of a common human being.