The erstwhile capital of the Cholas, Chidambaram is also known as Thillai, since the place was originally a forest of the thillai. It is an important pilgrim centre and a holy place for Saivites as the famous Nataraja Temple is located here. In terms of its antiquity, richness in terms of worship & festival traditions, in architectural & sculptural splendour, in its association with music & dance, Chidambaram is a center second to none in representing the rich cultural heritage of India. Several rich legends are associated with Chidambaram. The best known, are those describing the Cosmic Dance of Shiva, the dance duel between Shiva and Kaali and the more recent one describing the re-discovery of the Tevaram hymns.
Places to see in Chidambaram: The sightseeing spots in Chidambaram includes:
Chidambaram is an important destination for followers of the Hindu god Shiva and exponent of the fearsome, frenzied Tandav Nritya or the dance of destruction, so sightseeing will include the main temple. At the centre of the town is the large NatrajTemple complex dedicated to Shiva as the divine dancer or Natraj, the foremost of all dancers. Spread out over 40 acres this complex, dedicated to the god who is usually represented by the phallic symbol, houses other temples, a tank, and the ‘thousand pillared hall’. Non-Hindus are allowed into the complex but not the gold plated sanctum sanctorum that houses the idol.
Thillai Kali Amman Temple
This temple is located to the north of the world famous Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali Amman and is one of the known Shakthi (Parvati) shrine.
Nearby attractions from Chidambaram: Pichavaram, also called “Sunderban of the South” 16km east of Chidambaram, has a huge mangrove forest. There’s a range of sports for the taking like canoeing, rowing and parasailing. The huge sandbar that keeps the sea out can be reached by boat. TTDC provides boating facilities, lodging, and a restaurant for those who’d rather not carry a picnic hamper.
Things to do in Chidambaram: Being a revered temple town the activities and things to do are centered around the famed Natraj Temple. After paying a visit to the Nataraj Temple, relax at Pichavaram “Sunderban of Tamil Nadu” where one can go boating and the adventurous ones can enjoy a wide range of water sports.
Best time to visit Chidambaram: The best time to visit Chidambaram is between January to March.
How to go ?
The nearest airport is at Tiruchirapalli,which is connected to all major cities of the country and abroad, about 195 km from Chidambaram. Nearest international airport is at Chennai, about 245 km away. Taxi services are available from both airports to Chidambaram.
Chidambaram railway station lies on the major rail route between Chennai and Tiruchirapalli. Trains from Chennai, Rameswaram, Madurai, Tirupati and Varanasi do halt at the station. From the station, taxi services are available.
Chidambaram is well connected by road. State transport buses ply regularly to Chidambaram from several cities of Tamil Nadu. Buses from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka also ply regularly to Chidambaram.
Where to stay ?
There are a couple of nice hotels in Chidambaram. Some options are:
Hotel Saradharam: +91-04144 – 221336 Website: www.hotelsaradharam.co.in
Hotel-Akshaya: +91 – 4144 – 220191, 220192 Website: www.hotel-akshaya.com
Hotel Grand Palace Stay: + 91- 4144-239339, 239777 Website: www.grandpalacestay.com
Hotel Vandayar: +91 – 4144 – 225374, 225375 Website: www.vandayarhotel.com
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.