Chidambaram, Information about Chidambaram, Chidambaram Tour


Information about Chidambaram

Chidambaram is located about sixty km. from Pondicherry towards Thanjavur along the coast. Chidambaram was the capital of the Cholas from 10th to 14th century. Chidambaram is the famous temple town of Tamil Nadu. Chidambaram covers an area of 5 square kms and situated at an altitude of 5.97 meters above sea level. Chidambaram is known for the magnificent 9th century temple of Natraja. In Tamil, the word "Temple" refers only to the Nataraja Temple. This temple is dedicated to Natraja or the Lord Shiva, the Cosmic Dancer. This is one of the few temples where Siva and Vishnu are enshrined under one roof. Besides this temple, Chidambaram is also known for the Annamalai University. The climate is tropical and can be visited throughout the year. Tamil and English are the main languages which are spoken in Chidambaram.

Tourist Attractions in Chidambaram

The main tourist attraction in Chidambaram is the Natraja Temple. The Natraja Temple is one of the oldest and the famous temple in Chidambaram. Besides this temple, the various other tourist attractions in Chidambaram are Poombuhar, Pichavaram, Gingee, Gangaikondacholapuram, Srimushnam and Vaitheeswaran Koil.

Nataraja Temple
The Nataraja temple was built during the rule of Vir Chola Raja (927 to 997 AD) in Chidambaram. The Nataraja temple is dedicated to Nataraja or the Lord Shiva and sprawls over an area of 40 acres of flat land between two rivers. The Nataraja temple is one of the oldest and ancient temple in Tamil Nadu. The various features of this temple are the thousand pillared Hall, the Sivakamiamman temple, the Sivaganga tank, Nritya Sabha Court, carved out like a giant chariot and the image of Nataraja in the central temple. The roof of the central temple is covered with gold plates. The presiding deity of the temple is represented by air, one of the five elements of the universe and is known as Akasa Lingam. There are four gopurams in the temple.  

Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram

The northern and southern gopurams rises to a height of over 49 metres in the sky. The Eastern tower rises to a height of 40.8 metres. The western and eastern gopurams are carved with 108 classical poses of Shiva or Nataraja, the Cosmic dancer. There are other smaller temples in the complex devoted to other gods.

Poombuhar (about 40 kms.)
Poombuhar was once the biggest port on the east coast under the rule of the Chola Kings. This place was known as Puhar as the Kaveri river merge with the bellowing sea but due to the exquisite beauty of the port town, it came to be known as Poombuhar. Poombuhar was also known as Kaveripoompattinam. The greatness of the city can be seen in some of the poems in Sangam literature and in the epics of Silappathikaram and Manimekalai. Silappathikaram, the Tamil classic was recreated at Poompuhar to the immense pleasure of the Tamils. In order to describe the decorative ornamental scenic beauty of Poombuhar, the whole art gallery is made to present the environment and atmosphere of the 2nd century A.D. by the llanji Mandram, Paval Mandram, the Buddhist School, Arugan Kottam, Tirumal Kottam and Murugu Kottam, etc.

Cuddalore (about 44 kms.)
It was an important river port and trading centre of East India Company in 1684. The relics of historical Fort St. David to the north of Gadilam river is the main landmark of the town. The Marine Biology Research Centre here is ranked among the finest research institutes of the country. Tiruppapuliyur, the Cuddalore New Town is known for an ancient Shiva temple. the Brahmotsavam festival held at the shrine is attended by a large number of devotees.

Pichavaram, Chidambaram

Pichavaram (about 16 kms.)
The Pichavaram is the most exquisite scenic spot with abundant and varied tourism resources. The backwaters which are interconnected by the Vallar and Coleroon system offer abundant scope for water sports like rowing, kayak and canoeing and backwater cruises. The mangrove trees permanently rooted in a few feet of water are also there in the Pichavaram forests. The Pichavarm mangroves are considered among the healthiest mangrove occurrence in the world. There  are

various islands in Pichavaram which are interspersed with a vast expanse of water and covered with green trees. The area is about 2800 acres and is separated from the sea by a sand bar which is a patch of extraordinary loveliness. The various rare species of plants like Avicennia and Rhizophora and birds like Water snipes, Cormorants, Egrets, Storks, Herons, Spoonbills and Pelicans are of great interest in Pichavaram.


Vadalur (about 37 kms.)
The Satyagnana Sabha or temple was built here by Sri Ramalinga Swamigal, popularly known as Adigalar. The sanctum of the shrine is separated from the main hall by seven screens, of which only three are removed on oridinary days. But drign the auspicious occasion of ‘Thai Poosam’ (Dec. – Jan.) all the screens are removed and devotees can enjoy full darshan of the ‘Jyothi’ or the eternal flame. The four great towers of the Chidambaram temple can also be seen from this octagon shaped building.


Vaitheeswaran Koil (about 24 kms.)
The Vaitheeswaran Koil is famous for the Shiva Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vidyanatheeswarar, the healer of all diseases and his consort Thaiyalnayaki. It is believed that a bath in the holy waters of the Siddhamirtham tank within the temple complex will cure all diseases.

Srimushnam (about 45 kms.)
The famous temple of Vishnu as Bhuvaraha is located in Srimushnam. The front Mandapa known as the Purushasukta Mandapam was built by the Nayaks in the 17th century and is known for its architectural treasures. The temple is in the shape of chariot and replete with carvings of figures of warriors mounted on horses and elephants. On the pillars in the centre of the hall are carved royal portraits of the Nayak family who were responsible for the building of the temple.

How to get here

By Air:
The nearest airport is located in Trichy, about 168 km from Chidambaram.

By Rail: 
Chidambaram is connected by rail with Trichy, Madurai and Chennai. It is on the railway main line. 

By Road:
Chidambaram is well connected with all major towns and places in Tamil Nadu.

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