The Thillai Natarajar Temple is the principal attraction of Chidambaram. Being one of the most important centers of worship for Shaivites, it draws visitors from all over the country. Many are the saints who have sung its praise. It was constructed almost 2 millennia ago and has influenced architecture, dance and other art forms of Tamil Nadu since then.
The temple as it is today has been rebuilt and renovated by various dynasties along the course of the ages, and their stylistic influences can be seen in the architecture of the temple. The temple has seen the rise and fall of several dynasties, every one of which has left its mark on it. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Thillai Koothan here, and the chief idol is of the Nataraja, or “the cosmic dancer”. It is one of the five Pancha Bootha Sthalams spread around Tamil Nadu.