Nataraja Temple is an ancient temple situated at Chidambaram
in Cuddalore District
of Tamil Nadu
. Chidambaram is about 60 km south of Pondicherry
This beautiful temple is believed to have been built in the 10th century by Chola Kings. It is surrounded by huge walls with four big tall shikharas in four directions, and a big tank called Sivagangal tank. The 108 dance postures as seen in the Natya Shastra are carved in these towers.
The temple has five principal sabhas known as Kanaka sabha, Chit sabha, Nritya sabha, Deva sabha and Raja sabha. The idol of Nataraja (Lord Shiva) is enshrined in the Chit sabha. There is a black screen behind this idol, which is considered to cover the Akasa Lingam (one of the five elements of the universe). To the left of Natarajar Sannidhi, is the sanctum of Sivakama Sundari. The Kanaka sabha (golden hall), which lies near the Chit Sabha, is the place where pujas are offered.
Two annual fairs are celebrated in the temple. One is held in the month of Margazhi, during Arudra Darisanam festival and the second in the month of Aani. They are concluded with Aani Tirumanjanam, when the deities are taken out in procession.