As you travel on the famed East Coast Road, simply called ECR in Tamil Nadu ( it starts from Chennai city and hugs the sea coast in some sectors ) you cannot miss the buzz of the Sivaratri celebrations at all local temples.
In the past few years, music and dance concerts have become part of these celebrations. Perhaps one or two concerts, featuring local artistes that start at 9 p.m. and end after midnight.
The flex banners and small posters alongside the highway tell you the stories.
The wellknown Sri Sattanathar Temple in the heritage and temple town of Sirkazhi ( some 16 kms south of Chidambaram) also hosted concerts - though only for Sivaratri night.
We visited this temple the next morning and the lone priest showed us around and told us of the temple's histories and legends.
Lord Shiva is also called Thoniappar here. And there are different versions of legends of this avatar.
Up on the massive gopurams, only on two of the four here we spotted the stucco sculpture of the lord and his consort in a large boat amongst many other figures ( seen in the photo below) .
The Natyanjali provides for visitors to look closely at the temples - but you need to give time for this.