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Chidambaram Travel Guide
Chidambaram is a huge town in cuddalore district of Tamilnadu. Chidambaram is the most historic town and is rich in religion and culture. The pilgrims flocking to this place, which is situated 240km south of Chennai, travel there by train and are drawn by the beautiful temples which house the Akasha Linga of the Lord Shiva.
This place is especially famous for the Chidambaram Temple dedicated to the Lord Nataraja (dancer) form of the Lord Shiva. The temple is adorned by gardens spanning a huge area covering up to 40 acres and is in the centre of the city. The very meaning of temple in Tamil translates to Koyil which refers to this Nataraja Temple. The temple containing the idol of Lord Govindaraja Perumal gets its fair amount of exposure. Here the Shaivite and Vaishnavite followers are drawn alike.
The origins of this ancient temple are buried in the past. It is one of the few examples of Dravidian architectural and sculptural styles built up over the centuries including that built by the Cholas.
The saints Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar, and Manikkavachakar representing the directions West, North, South and East respectively are said to have worshipped at the holy town of Chidambaram. Hence as gratitude towards them, their idols have been built at the entrances of the well known Chidambaram temple.
One of the small town businesses of the people of Chidambaram is the art of ornament making in gold and silver including precious stones, which are in demand worldwide. The skill of ornament making has been passed on from generations and the ornaments are very rich in quality and design. Most of the pieces are handmade and hence quite unique.
Places of Interest
How to get there
- The Nataraja Temple: This temple has already been spoken about, but to justify its historic presence we have a few more words to add. Being present in the centre of the city it is teeming with antiquity and traditions, not to mention the architectural and sculptural grandeur.
The roof of the sanctum sanctorum is mainly made of gold. The deity in the Chidambaram temple symbolizes air, which is one of the five elements of the Universe. The eastern tower is a jaw dropping 40.8 meters. 108 creative Bharathanatyam dance gestures are painstakingly sculpted on both the eastern and western towers. The Northern tower races the Eastern tower and rises to 42.4metres.
The deity Lord Shiva has taken the form of a cosmic dance, to the benefit of Patanjali, Vyagrapadar and other god idols here.
The Chidambaram temple car is one of the most beautiful examples available in Tamilnadu. This car, on which Lord Nataraja descends twice a year, is drawn by several thousands of devotees during the festivals.
- Kali Temple: The Thillaikaliamman temple is located at the north of Chidambaram. Kopperunjingan, who ruled between 1229 A.D. and 1278 A.D. is said to have undertaken the construction of this beautiful temple.
- Annamalai University: This is a World Famous residential university present to the east of Chidambaram which was founded by Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar. The various genres of learning include Carnatic music, Tamil learning and various branches in medicine, engineering are offered here.
- Pichavaram: At a distance of about 16 km from Chidambaram, Pichavaram is ranked among the loveliest scenic spots with abundant and varied tourist interest spots. The backwaters which are interrelated by the Vellar and Coleroon system offer a delight to enthusiasts interested in water sports like rowing, kayak and canoeing. The Pichavaram forest also offers waterscape and backwater cruises.
Nearest Airport: The Nearest Airport is at Trichy which is 168 km from Chidambaram.
Nearest Railhead: Chidambaram is well connected by rail with Madurai, Trichy and Chennai which in turn is a metro and hence is well connected with other states.
Road: The city does not lack anything when it comes to link with other cities by road. It has good roads and broad highways/ freeways with all other states.
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