Places to Visit in Chidambaram
1.) Thillai Nataraja Temple
Nataraja Temple is the main temple of Chidambaram, which is dedicated to the Nataraja or the dancing posture of Lord Shiva. This temple is located in the heart of the town and has undergone numerous renovations under the reign of Chola and Pallava kings. In 1213 AD, Aragalur Udaya Iraratevan Ponparappinan rebuilt some of the parts of this temple.
The Nataraja Temple is known for its attractive gopurams, carvings, five mandapams and inscriptions. Built during the 10th century by Chola Kings, and its well known for huge walls, four tall shikharas in four directions and a big Sivagangai tank. The four tall shikharas are decorated with 108 carved dance postures of Natya Shastra.
There are five main principle sabhas in this temple, which are known as Chit, Kanaka, Deva, Nritya and Raja Sabha. The main idol of Lord Shiva or Nataraja resides in the Chit Sabha.
2.) Pichavaram Mangrove forest
Situated around 16 km from Chidambaram is Pichavaram. The place is a scenic spot with abundant and varied tourism resources. A unique natural phenomenon in the form of mangrove forests, which sprawl over 11,000 hectares of backwaters, is the main tourist attraction here.
The backwaters, which are interconnected by the Vellar and Coleroon system, offer abundant scope for water sports-parasailing, rowing, and canoeing. Pichavaram consists of a number of islands interspersing a vast expanse of water and covered with green trees. The area is separated from the sea by a sand bar, which is a patch of extraordinary loveliness. To a botanist, rare species like Avicennia and Rhizophora will present special attractions.
Best time to Visit
You can visit Pichavaram at any time of the year but the best time to visit is around November to February since the place is generally hot and is best time for bird watching too.
There are very less option for better accommodation near Pichavaram since it is a village. You can stay in Chidambaram where you can get some decent accommodation.
3.) Thillai Kali Amman Temple
Thillai kali Amman Temple is located near the northern end of the Nataraja Temple. This temple is mainly dedicated to Goddess Kali with the main idol having four faces. Built during the 13th century by Kopperunjingan.
Mother Brahmma Chamundeeswari is also praised as Thillai Amman facing west in a standing posture. Daily pujas and abishek are followed in the temple. Thillai Kali is furious in appearance facing east. Devotees worship here on Sundays between 4.30-6.00 p.m. – Rahukalam time – and on poornima – full moon days and on new oon-Amavasya days seeking boons.
4.) Annamalai University
one of Asia’s largest public residential universities located in Annamalai Nagar, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. The university is founded by Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar in 1929. Spread across 1,500acres (6.1 km) in Chidambaram and offers courses of higher education in science, engineering, humanities, agriculture and arts. Located east of the Chidambaram Railway Station.
This university is known for its Tamil research studies and Tamil music. It is world famous for its mass literacy programmes, vocational training and adult education.