The temple has a very big complex and a very big tank named Shiva ganga. Before starting the trip, we felt like taking a dip in the holy water, but time didn't permit us. Anyways, this time we were satisfied with the sprinkling of water on the head.
There are many Upa-alayams in the very huge temple complex. We see few of them adorned with golden dome. That sanctum houses the Natraja Murthy, Amman and Chidambara rahasya sthanam. One can take ticket and go to the top stair to see the Lord from a lesser distance. There is Sphatika Lingam also receiving worship here which is believed to be brought by Adi Shankaracharya from Kailasam directly presented by Lord Shiva. The other Lingas brought along with this were placed and being worshipped at other temples.
There are particular times of the day when they perform Aarathi to the Nataraja murthy. At the same times, they open the veil to bless with the Darshan of Aakasa Lingam. We find jut a Vilva mala hanging on the wall, which is also not clearly seen through the holes of the door. Legends say that as there is no limit to the sky, we can't limit the form of God thus indicating the Aakasa Tatwam of the Lord Shiva. Thus this is the one among the Pancha Bhoota Lingams. If a person is knowledged enough to witness the God in such a way spread all over the universe, then that is the correct way of living and that is believed to be the state of Moksha referred in the sloka which states "Darshanat Abhra Sadasi".
We were lucky to be present in the temple close to the time when the curtain was opened. Though we are not capable or eligible to understand the concept and pursue Darshan in that way, we just offered Pranam and proceeded further to cover the remaining part of the temple.
The idol of Govinda Raja Swamy in the same complex tries to teach the devotees the oneness of Shiva and Kesava for the Sadhakas. If we stand at one point, we can see both Nataraja and Govinda raja at a time. This was explained to us by an elderly person in the temple, who patiently explained us a lot about the temple and it's history. We were lucky that he could speak English.
The back side of the sanctum of Nataraja hosts the actual Moolasthana lingam which is Swamyambhu. The 2 great devotees related to the sthala purnam of Chidambaram Patanjali and Vyaghra pada did penance here at Moolasthana linga to receive the grace of the Lord. Many divine souls did penance here at this place as per the directions of the almighty in their sadhana. If we request the Pujaris of the temple, they can take us to the top floor to have Darshan of Sthoola Aakasa Lingam. The Aagama Sastra of this temple is totally different from the other Shiva temples. So, the management of the temple is also separate and maintained by an individual trust. So the Pujaris keep asking us to subscribe for some sevas.
There is a separate complex for Siva Kama Sundari and a very huge Vinayaka. There are many other prakaras hosting all the swaroopas that appear in the story behind this temple, like Thiru Jnana Sambandhar, Appar, Lord Subrahmanya and many more. There are actually 5 Sabhas mentioned in the puranam. If you are lucky to be a Telugu person, please do listen to Sri Samaedam Shanmuhkha Sarma garu's discourse before you visit this temple. That really keeps us on a truly happy and satisfactory note.
The temple of the Tillai Kali Amman is located in the outskirts of the village where the are 2 forms of the Goddess, one shanta murthy and the other being the roudra Murthy.
We have to stay a longer time to actually get the total contended Darshan in Chidambaram. May god bless us to progress in sadhana to make Darshanam in the proper way in the Abhra sabha.