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Pilgrimage in India »» Hindu Pilgrim Centers»

Chidambaram,Tamilnadu , India

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Location of Chidambaram: East-central part of the Tamil Nadu state, southeastern India
Best time to Visit Chidambaram: Throughout the year
Significance: Associated with Nataraja, or Shiva in his Ananda Tandava pose (the Cosmic Dance of bliss) in the cosmic golden hall and the hall of consciousness (Chit Sabha), great religious as well as historic and cultural significance.

Chidambaram is one of the most ancient and most celebrated of shrines in India. It is of great religious as well as historic and cultural significance. Chidambaram is associated with Nataraja, or Shiva in his Ananda Tandava pose (the Cosmic Dance of bliss) in the cosmic golden hall and the hall of consciousness (Chit Sabha).

Chidambaram is one of the Panchabhoota Temple in the Tamil Saivaite tradition refers to none other than the Chidambaram Nataraja temple. Stalams signifying the five elements of wind (Kalahasti), water (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram).

Four most revered Saivaite Saints (Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manikkavachakar) have worshipped at Chidambaram, and the bulk of Manikkavachakar's work is in praise of Shiva at Chidambaram. Accordingly, their images are placed in the temple entrances corresponding to their points of entry into the temple. (Sambandar - South, Appar - West, Sundarar - North and Manikkavachakar - East).

Prominent Pilgrimage Attractions of Chidambaram

Sabhanayaka Nataraja Temple

This is the original temple dedicated to the Nataraja form of Lord Siva (the Celestial Dancer), where Lord Siva is found in his famous Ananda Tandavam dancing pose, with one leg in the air and having four arms. He defeated goddess Kali in a dance contest. It is a huge temple, which takes up an area of about 40 acres.

The roof of the sanctum sanctorum 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.
The Eastern tower rises to a height of 40.8 metres. 108 Bharathanatyam dance gestures can be seen on the eastern tower as well as on the western tower. The northern tower rises to a height of 42.4 metres.

This temple is home to Chidambara Rahasyam, concept of nothingness (aroopam). Shiva is said to have revealed a vision of his cosmic dance to Patanjali, Vyagrapadar and to all the Devas 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 truly representing the rich Indian cultural heritage.

Kali Temple

The Thillaikaliamman temple is on the northern end of the town. It was built by Kopperunjingan, who ruled between 1229 A.D. and 1278 A.D.


16 km from Chidambaram, Pichavaram ranks among the most exquisite scenic spots with abundant and varied tourism resources. The backwaters which are interconnected by the Vellar and Coleroon system offer abundant scope for water sports - rowing, kayak and canoeing. The Pichavaram forest offers waterscape and backwater cruises.

Vaitheeswaran Koil

24 km from Chidambaram, the place is famous for the Siva temple dedicated to Vaidyanatheeswarar, 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. Nadi Jothidam is a traditional skill popular here.

How to Reach Chidambaram

Air: Nearest Airport is Tiruchi - 168 km.

• Rail: It is connected by rail with Tiruchi, Madurai and Chennai.

• Road: It is well connected with all major towns.

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