The temple complex is spread over an area of 40 acres in the heart of the city. The main complex dedicated to Shiva Nataraja and the complex contains shrines to deities such as Shivakami Amman, Ganesh, Murugan and Vishnu in the form Govindaraja Perumal. The temple's earliest structures were designed and erected by ancient craftsmen called Perumtaccan.
Pancha Bhoota Stalam refers to the five Shiva temples; each of these temples represents the five elements of nature - land, water, air, sky, fire. Pancha indicates five, Bhoota means elements and stala means place. All these temples are located in South India with four of these temples at Tamil Nadu and one at Andhra Pradesh. The five elements are believed to be enshrined in the five lingams and each of the lingams representing Shiva in the temple has five different names based on the elements they represent. In the Chidambaram Temple, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of sky. The other four manifestations are Prithivi Lingam (representing fire) at Ekambareswarar Temple, Appu Lingam (representing water) at Thiruvanaikaval, Agni Lingam (representing fire) at Annamalaiyar Temple and Vayu Lingam (representing air) at Srikalahasti temple.