Chennai: The temple town of Chidambaram is Tamil Nadu’s best kept secret. Located in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, Chidambaram is approximately 200 km from the capital Chennai. Synonymous with ancient temples and bustling festivities, the city holds pride of place in terms of immense religious significance, rich culture and vital tradition. Speaking of its historical significance, the city was ruled by the Cholas, Pandyas, Marathas and finally the British and currently thrives on religious tourism.Also Read – Flyers Arriving in Delhi or Mumbai from Dubai – Check Out Latest Covid Guidelines, Quarantine Standards
In the city is Chidambaram Temple, also known as Thillai Nataraja Temple, which is literally the soul of Chidambaram. The magnificent temple is one of the five most sacred temples of Lord Shiva or Pancha Bootha Sthalas. The temple is a gigantic structure and an architectural marvel – which you should visit at least once in your life! Read also – Ayodhya will soon be connected by waterway with other destinations – 5 highlights
Scroll down for more interesting facts about the temple. Also read – Omicron disrupts Christmas and New Years travel plans as airlines cancel 5,700 flights. Details here
5 fascinating facts about Thillai Nataraja temple in Chidambaram – the hidden gem of Tamil Nadu
1. Dedicated to Lord Shiva
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Thillai Nataraja Temple has immense religious significance for followers of Shaivism, making it an extremely popular pilgrimage destination in southern India.
2. Shiva is seen playing ‘Ananda Tandava’
Normally Lord Shiva is represented in the form of a “Linga”, which is the classic and most common form. However, here in this temple, the highlight is that Shiva is depicted in a dance form and is seen performing “Ananda Tandava”, which translates to “dance of delight”.
3. Shiva Vishnu worshiped together
Interestingly, what is more fascinating here is that the Chidambaram Temple is one of the few temples dedicated to the Shaivite and Vaishnavite deities. Lord Govindaraja Perumal is also revered here.
4. Wonderful story
Synonymous with rich history, the ancient temple underwent several renovations during the reign of various dynasties like the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras and what stands today is the 12th-13th century structure. It is definitely an architectural wonder!
5. Spectacular architecture
The massive structure of the temple has nine gates and four of them are adorned with “gopurams” or towers decorated with very exquisite and intricate carvings. There are five elaborate halls in the temple of which the Raja Sabha or the Hall of 1000 Pillars is one of the temple’s most splendid features. In Tamil, there is a popular saying, “gopuram darisanam kodi punyam”, which translates to “the sight of a temple tower is worth 10 million pious activities”.
How do I get to Chidambaram?
- Chidambaram is very well served by airways, railways and roads.
- The closest airports to the city are Tiruchirapalli, 165 km away and Chennai, just over 200 km away.
- The temple city is well connected by train to major cities in southern India and cities in Tamil Nadu.
- Meanwhile, there are also a number of private and public buses that connect the major towns and villages of South India with Chidambaram.
Best time to visit
Notice to travelers! The best time to visit the city is between November and February due to the pleasant weather and the annual festivities of the temple of Shiva.
When are you planning to visit this fascinating temple located right in the heart of this picturesque city?