At a distance of 217 km from Chennai, 189 km from Kanchipuram, 43 km Cuddalore, 66 km fromPondicherry, 43 km Mayiladuthurai, 85 km from Nagapattinam, 303 km from Madurai and 173 km from Trichy, Chidambaram is a holy trip town in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. Well knownfor Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram is one of the most celebrated shrines in South India and alsoone of the famous Tamilnadu places to visit.
Chidambaram is also known as Thillai. The name Chidambaram comes from the Tamil wordChitrambalam which means the small hall or stage of wisdom. According to legend, it was once aforest of thillai, a mangrove species of trees. There was once a small shrine on the banks of atank. The saints Vyagrapada and Patanjali are said to have worshipped at this shrine, now calledThirumoolanathar. It is believed that their punishment (for sinning) reached perfection with the(thing that is suddenly shown or understood) of Shiva’s (universe-related) dance by Lord Natarajaon the lucky Thai Poosam day.
The town of Chidambaram has been ruled by many kingdoms over the centuries, especially the(very old time in history) Cholas, Later Cholas, Pandyas, Vijaynagar Kingdom, the Marathas, andthe British. The town is known for the Thillai Nataraja Temple and the once-a-year (two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle) special celebration (with fun events) held in the month of April. Chidambaram Nataraja Temple was built during the 11th century and is one of the mostcelebrated Shaivite Temples in South India. Lord Nataraja is the family god of Vikrama Chola(1128 CE) and his (people or things that come after something else). The golden hall of dance wasbuilt and covered with gold plates by Jatavarman Sundra Pandya.
Chidambaram Temple has great religious as well as historic and cultural importance. This is oneof the Panchabhoota Stalas showing/indicating the five elements of wind (Kalahasti), water(Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram).
Lord Vishnu as Lord Govindaraja Perumal is worshipped in the same temple complex. ThillaiKaali Amman Temple, Pichavaram, Sattanathar Temple, Bhuvanagiri, Parangipettai, AnnamalaiUniversity, Kollidam (river) and Poompuhar are the other attractions in and aroundChidambaram.
Brahmotsavam, Ani Thirumanjanam, Thai Poosam and Arudra Dharshan are some of theChidambaram temple special celebrations (with fun events) that attract large crowds from farand nearby places. Natyanjali Dance Special celebration (with fun events) is a major special celebration (with fun events) held in the month of February. Many respected dancers give theirperformances during this special celebration (with fun events).
The nearest airport to Chidambaram is at Chennai, about 212 km away. Chidambaram is locatedon the Madras-Trichy main line of the Southern Railway. It is connected with Trichy, Chennai, Madurai, Rameshwaram, Bangalore, Villupuram, Mayiladuturai, Thanjavur and Tirupati. Chidambaram is well connected by bus with Chennai, Trichy, Rameshwaram, Pondicherry, Madurai, Bangalore and Villupuram.
Best time to visit Chidambaram is July & October to March while the peak season is July & December to February. Usually it takes two full days to visit Chidambaram.
Chidambaram Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12.30 PM & 4.45 PM to 9 PM