The famous Nataraja temple is situated at Chidambaram, which is on the main railway line
from Madras to Tanjore at a distance of 132 miles from Madras. This temple is also known
as Ponnambalam and Tillai. It is also called Puliyur, Vyaghrapuram,
Perumbarapuliyur, Chitrambalam, Pundareekapuram and Hridayakamalam. Another name is simply
Koil, the House of God.
In this temple, Siva is seen in the dancing posture of Ananda Tandavam. The story goes
that once in Darukavanam, Siva wished to teach a lesson to the rishis who were proud of
their learning. Siva took the form of a mendicant with a begging bowl in hand, accompanied
by Vishnu disguised as Mohini. The rishipatnis (wives of the rishis) were attracted by the
sight of the beautiful pair.