illustrated by the history of the temple city of Chidambaram in Tamil
  Nadu. Chidambaram is identified with the cult of Siva as the ‘King of
  Dancers’ (Nataraja). The origin of the cult seems to have been the worship
  of a stone at a local pond. The stone was later identified as the Siva lingam
  and was worshipped as mlliasthana (place of origin). The identification of
  the local dancing god with Siva seems to have been done by the sixth
  century AD.
  In a similar fashion other local deities emerged as major figures of the
  Hindu pantheon. The incorporation of Minakshi, the ‘fish-eyed’ goddess
  of the Pandyas of Madurai, into the patriarchal Sanskrit tradition was
  achieved by identifying her with Siva’s wife, Parvati, and making the
  marriage of Siva and Parvati the central feature of the Minakshi cult.
  In south India, Vishnu, the other great god, has his major centres at
  Tirupati and Srirangam where he is worshipped as Lord Venkatesvara and
  Lord Ranganatha respectively. In the Deccan, the cult of Vithoba of
  Pandharpur is similarly associated with Vishnu, and attracts several
  pilgrims. In eastern India, Jagannatha of Puri is a striking example of the
  transformation of a tribal god into a respectable member of the Hindu
  pantheon. He has been identified with Vishnu and as such attracts pilgrims
  from all over India.
     The gods of the bhakti cult often also had a ‘territory’, a region in which
their influence was particularly strong and with whose traditions they were
intimately related. As incarnations of great gods, they were part and parcel of
the ‘great tradition’. In their particular manifestation, however, their power
(sakti) and sanctity (mahatmya) radiate only within certain limits. This power
was most concentrated at their site (kshetra) or seat and the devotees could
feel it almost as a physical sensation. Towards the periphery of the territory
their power diminished and the power of neighbouring gods took over. This
territorial radiation of regional gods can be compared with the territorial way
of the early medieval kings of India. The latter were celebrated as
chakravartins (conquerors of the whole world), but their actual power was
limited; it was only near a realm’s border that the influence of the
neighbouring chakravartin made itself felt.