Situated some 250 km from Chennai, the city of Chidambaram is located in the east central part of Tamil Nadu and is the most important pilgrim spot for the devotees of Lord Shiva. The word Chidambaram comes from words 'Chit' and 'Ambaram', which literally means the sky infused with an atmosphere of intelligence and wisdom. Spread over an area of 5 sq. km Chidambaram has a population of around 60 thousand most of them speaking Tamil and English. It totally has a plain topography with the highest point just 6m above sea level. So don't expect a very adventurous trip in this city. Chidambaram had been the northern frontier of the ancient Chola kingdom. Now Chidambaram is famous for its cluster of temples and their Dravidian style of temple architecture, with few of them being absolute gems in the architectural domain.
Visit the temple town and find out by yourself why they are so renowned and talked about. The most known of all is the Natraja temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temples in the city are generally Dravidian style.
Attractions of Architectural and Natural Stupefaction
Chidambaram is saturated with scenic places that a tourist can enjoy. Be it gifts of nature or man made architectural splendors, you are bound to get the value for your time that you spend in this part of Tamil Nadu.
Natraja temple is one of the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu. It is exclusive not only due to its tremendous structural excellence, but also its unique concept. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, also known as the 'The Cosmic Dancer'. This is one of those rare temples that represent Lord Shiva in an idol form rather than a Lingam. The Nataraja temple is said to be the venue of a divine dance competition between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy. It is built of granite and was constructed during the rule of the Chola King Bira in the 10th century. The temple of Nataraja, blends piety, tradition, history and art to an outstanding level. The temple sees devotion by millions of Hindus not only in India but also in Sri Lanka where its influence is very prominent. The art and architectural lavished on the temple is just remarkable. The temple located in the center of the town covers an area of around 40 acres and has a gopuram on all sides.
Situated around 16 km east of Chidambaram, known for its exclusive mangrove ecosystem is considered among few of the most scintillating scenic spot with overflowing natural wealth and varied tourism resources. Pichavaram is also famous for its backwaters, which are interconnected by the Vellar and Kollidam system. They prove to be excellent destination for water sports para-sailing, rowing and canoeing. So all the adventurers and dare devils who plan to visit this city. Pack your bag and get ready for a thrilling experience.
Situated some 150 km north west of Chidambaram, the Kalvarayan Hills are on the western side of Kallakurichi. These hills are spread over an area of 600 sq. km with the height ranging from 315 meters to 1190 meters. These hills have a very pleasant climate and are the ideal spot for solitary moments. Here you can go for a visit to the botanical garden on the hills and two waterfalls close by. The hills also offer a lot to adventurers as well, as the place is quite ideal for trekking. Do enjoy the grand summer festival gala, which are held every year in the month of May on these hills.
Founded in 1929 by Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar, the Annamalai University is set over an area of three hundred acres. The Annamalai University has become an important landmark on the face of Chidambaram. This center for higher studies is a residential university and offers educational facilities in various fields like humanities, medicine, agriculture, and engineering. The Annamalai University also has been a center for adult education, mass literary programs and vocational training.
Where to Put Up
Accommodation in Chidambaram is mostly basic and does not have any luxury facilities. Though whatever amenities they provide are clean and well maintained. Most of these hotels cater only south Indian cuisine. Some are pure vegetarian, but few also have non- vegetarian and chilled beer on the table. Few of the hotels that you can look upon are Hotel Sardha Ram, Natraja Lodge, and Park-Inn Business.
The nearest airport to Chidambaram is at Trichy at a distance of around 160 km. It takes around two and half-hours to reach here from Trichy by road.
Chidambaram has its own railway head and lies on the Chennai-Trichy meter gauge line. The stations are connected to most cities of Southern India and most passenger trains have a halt at Chidambaram station.
Chidambaram is well connected to all cities of Tamil Nadu with a good network of roads. State transport busses ply in and out of Chidambaram with regular frequency.