5. Akasha Linga
Kshetra – Chidambaram
The confluence of great art, vibrant religion and esoteric philosophy; the meeting point of great artists, poets, sages and the Gods; Chidambaram is the only place on earth that can boast of all this and more. It is one of the very rare shrines where Shiva can be worshipped in human form in the inner sanctum itself and where the moola moorti itself is the utsava moorti too. In all other shrines, Shiva is represented only by the Linga.
The panchaloha idol of Lord Nataraja is a beautifully sculpted piece and is the zenith of art. It reveals the power of the Lord as marvelously as it projects His joyous Ananda Tandava. The symmetry of the arms, legs and body, dancing with perfect rhythm, coupled with the expression of joy, confidence, valour, peace, sublimity and infinite compassion on the face, present a picture of the Greatest Artist and the Supreme Dancer. The Chitsabha which is graced by the dancing Nataraja idol is the inmost sanctum of the temple and the Kanakasabha is a mantapa situated just in front of the Chitsabha.