Tourist attractions in Chidambaram
Chidambaram also called as Thillai, is an important town situated in the central part of Tamil Nadu. The exact location of Chidambaram is the Coleroon River Valley which is situated on the Madras-Thanjavur road.
Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram
The Nataraja Temple is one of the important tourist attraction and sightseeing place of Chidambaram. The nearby towns are Cuddalore and Neyveli. The temple spreads an area of 40 acres of land and is located in the central part of Chidambaram. The sanctum sanctorum roof of this ancient temple roof is covered with gold plates. The main deity of this Chidambaram temple is Lord Shiva called as Nataraja and he is called as the Cosmic Dancer.
This temple has five halls which are as follows:
Kanaka Sabha: This hall has gold plated roofs and the main deity is present here in this Sabha.
Chit Sabha: This gold plated roof hall contains tha Akasa lingam.
• most beautiful of all the halls
• Contains 56 pillars
• 108 poses of Bharat Natyam are depicted
• Built in the form of a chariot
Deva Sabha: This hall is allotted for conducting temple festivals.
Raja Sabha: This was the hall in which the Pandyas and Cholas celebrated their victories. The important feature of the Raja Sabha is the thousand-pillared pavilion.
Other important features of Chidambaram temple
Shrine of Lord Vishnu (Govindaraja).
Shrine of Lord Subramaniya
Shrine of Lord Vinayaka.
Sacred tank called as Sivaganga.
Thillaikaliamman Temple in Chidambaram
The Thillaikaliamman Temple is situated on the north side of Chidambaram. This temple was built between 1229 and 1278 AD by Kopperunjingan. The main deity of the is Goddess Kali. The temple stands as a remarkable example of architecture and thus is an important tourist attraction in Chidambaram.
Other shrines present in this temple are Shivakama Sundari, Pandya Nayakam of Shanmuga, Karpaga Vinayaka, Navagraha Linga, Meenakshi Sundaresar, and Kumarakotta Murgan.
Tourist attactions around Chidambaram
Pichavaram is situated around 16 km from Chidambaram and is a wonderful scenic spot which attracts tourists from all over the world. It contains a number of islands, mangrove forests and backwaters which acts as a tourism resource. Rare species like Avicennia and Rhizophora attracts the botanists from all over the world.
Sirkazhi is just 20 km from Chidambaram. The Sirkazhi temple has the shrines of Sri Brahmapureeswarar, Gnanasambandar. Sattanathar, Thoniappar and the Goddess Tirunilai Nayaki.
Vaitheeswaran Koil is a famous temple for Lord Shiva which is situated about 24 km from Chidambaram. Lord Shiva is known as Vaidyanatheswarar in this temple and is believed to be the healer of all diseases. The devotees bath in the Siddhamirtham tank within the temple complex which is believed to cure all diseases.
Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a city which was found by Rajendra Chola I and is situated 42 km from Chidambaram. The city also contains a temple for Lord Shiva with excellent carved sculptures.
Poompuhar is a city famous for the art gallery developed by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1973 and is situated 40 km from Chidambaram. The place has got a historical significance in the ancient times.
Fairs & Festivals celebrated in Chidambaram
Icons of God Nataraja and Goddess Shivakama Sundari are decorated with flowers and are taken through the streets of Chidambaram with the music of nadaswaram. The streets in which the procession is taken is well-decorated with rangoli.
The venue of this festival is the thousand pillared Raja Sabha of the Nataraja temple. This five-day festival is held in the month of February. Dancers from all places come here to show their performance. This festival attracts crowds of tourists from all parts of the world.
Other festivals are Brahmotsavam, Ani Thirumanjanam, Thai Poosam, and Arudra Dharshan which attract large crowds from all places.
Modes of transport to reach Chidambaram
How to Reach Chidambaram by Air: The nearest airports to Chidambaram are Tiruchirapalli (195 km) and Chennai (245 km). Chennai is well-connected and has got regular flights to all the major cities in India and abroad.
How to Reach Chidambaram by train: Chidambaram is located between Chennai and Tiruchirapalli main line of the Southern Railway. There are a number of trains connected with Tiruchirapalli, Madras, Madurai, Rameswaram, Bangalore and Tirupati to Chidambaram.
How to Reach Chidambaram by Road: Chidambaram is well-connected by road to various places in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Pondicherry and frequent bus services too are available.