Have you ever heard of a place called Chidambaram? No? Well, let me tell you, it's not just your average small town. It's a place of mystery, spirituality and of course, some amazing food!

As soon as you enter Chidambaram, the first thing that you'll notice is the Nataraja Temple. It's one of the most famous temples in India and is dedicated to Lord Shiva - the lord of dance! But if you're not a religious person, don't worry - there's still plenty to do in Chidambaram.

There are plenty of local markets where you can try out some delicious street food like vadai, bhajji, and paal paniyaram. If you're feeling adventurous, try out some traditional Tamil dishes like thakkali kuzhambu or puli sadam. Trust me; your taste buds will thank me later.

But wait, there's more! Chidambaram also holds an annual festival called the Natyanjali Dance Festival, where dancers from all over India come together to perform in front of Lord Nataraja himself. So if you're a fan of dance (or just want to witness something truly spectacular), this is definitely something worth checking out.

In conclusion, Chidambaram might be a small town, but it packs a punch when it comes to culture and entertainment. So next time you're in India, be sure to add this hidden gem to your list of must-visit places!

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History and Culture of Chidambaram

Chidambaram is a town in Tamil Nadu, India. It is famous for the Nataraja temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that Lord Shiva himself performed the cosmic dance of creation, preservation and destruction at this very spot. No wonder it's a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus.

The town has a rich history dating back to the Chola dynasty, who ruled over southern India from the 9th to 13th centuries. In fact, Chidambaram was their capital for a brief period. The town also played an important role during the British Raj as it was a center for salt production and trade.

The culture of Chidambaram is deeply rooted in its religious traditions. The Nataraja temple hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Natyanjali Dance Festival where dancers from all over the world come to perform in front of Lord Nataraja. You can't miss this if you are a dance enthusiast.

Apart from religion and dance, Chidambaram is also famous for its unique cuisine. The traditional dishes include Kara Kuzhambu, Thakkali Kurma and Kadalai Kurma which are all bursting with flavor and spice. Be warned though, they can be quite spicy!

Overall, Chidambaram is a fascinating blend of history, religion and culture that will leave you spellbound. So pack your bags and head to this charming little town in Tamil Nadu for an unforgettable experience!

How to Reach and getting around Chidambaram

Chidambaram is a beautiful town situated in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its ancient temple dedicated to Lord Nataraja, the cosmic dancer. If you're planning to visit this divine place, here are some ways on How to Reach Chidambaram.

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Chidambaram is the Chennai International Airport. From there, you can take a taxi or bus to reach your destination. It takes approximately 6 hours to cover the 235 km distance between Chennai and Chidambaram.

  2. By Train: Chidambaram has its own railway station known as the Chidambaram Railway Station. It is well-connected with major cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Madurai, and more. You can easily get a direct train or an overnight train from your location.

  3. By Bus: Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) operates regular buses from various cities in Tamil Nadu to Chidambaram. You can also take private buses from nearby towns and cities like Pondicherry, Cuddalore, and Nagapattinam.

  4. By Car: If you're coming from Chennai or Bangalore, you can take NH45 that connects these two cities with Chidambaram. The drive takes around 5-6 hours depending on traffic conditions.

  5. By Bike: For adventure seekers and bike enthusiasts, taking a road trip to Chidambaram could be an exciting option. You can rent a bike from Chennai or Pondicherry and ride through scenic routes towards your destination.

Chidambaram is a must-visit place for anyone interested in history, culture, and spirituality. With these transportation options available at your disposal, reaching there should be hassle-free and comfortable.

Weather of Chidambaram

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Chidambaram, a small town situated in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, experiences a tropical climate throughout the year. The region witnesses high humidity and scorching heat during summers, while winters are mild with occasional rainfall. The monsoon season in Chidambaram starts from June and lasts till September, bringing heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.

The best time to visit Chidambaram is between November to February, when the weather is pleasant with cool breezes and occasional drizzles. During this time, tourists can explore the town's famous temples and enjoy sightseeing without worrying about extreme weather conditions.

Summer season in Chidambaram lasts from March to May, with temperatures soaring up to 40 degrees Celsius. It is not recommended to visit the town during these months as it can be quite unbearable for tourists. The post-monsoon months of October and November also witness heavy rainfall, making it difficult for tourists to move around.

Chidambaram's weather is characteristic of the southern region of India with hot summers and rainy monsoons. To avoid discomfort due to extreme weather conditions, November to February is considered the best time for tourists wanting to explore this beautiful town.

Places to Visit in Chidambaram

1. Nataraja Temple: The Nataraja Temple is one of the most significant and ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in India. The temple is famous for its massive Nataraja idol, which depicts Lord Shiva performing the cosmic dance. The intricate carvings and sculptures on the walls of the temple are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the Chola dynasty.

2. Pichavaram Mangrove Forest: The Pichavaram Mangrove Forest is a unique ecosystem that is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The forest is famous for its intricate network of waterways that wind their way through dense mangrove forests. Visitors can explore the forest by boat and spot exotic birds, animals, and reptiles.

3. Thillai Kali Amman Temple: The Thillai Kali Amman Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, one of the most powerful deities in Hindu mythology. The temple is famous for its vibrant architecture and colorful sculptures that depict various aspects of goddess Kali.

4. Annamalai University: Annamalai University is one of the largest residential universities in Asia, with over 10 faculties and 49 departments offering various courses ranging from agriculture to engineering. The university also has a lush green campus with beautiful gardens, fountains, and lakes.

5. Bhuvanagiri Fort: Bhuvanagiri Fort was built during the reign of Chola dynasty in the 13th century as a military outpost to protect against invasions from neighboring kingdoms. The fort offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and has several ancient temples within its premises.

6. Sattanathar Temple: Sattanathar Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that dates back over 1,200 years ago. The temple has several exquisite carvings on its walls depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology.

7. Thirunallaru Temple: Thirunallaru Temple is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus as it is believed to be where Lord Shani Deva -the deity responsible for one's destiny- was appeased by Lord Shiva himself when he caused havoc on earth with his powers.

8.Annamalaiyar Temple Annamalaiyar Temple is yet another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva where you can witness traditional rituals like abhishekam, arathi etc., You can also visit Ayyanar falls which are closeby.

9.Gangai Konda Cholapuram Gangai Konda Cholapuram was built by Rajendra Chola I (1012–1044 CE) as his capital after his great victorious march along river Ganges on Northern India.The Brihadeshwara temple here stands testimony to his architectural prowess.

10.Vaitheeswaran Koil Vaitheeswaran Koil or Pullirukkuvelur -the abode of lord Murugan's mother- Parvati or Thaiyalnayaki- which lies about 7 kms from Sirkali town,is renowned for its shrine dedicated to Mars (Angaraka) which has curative powers especially related to skin diseases.This place also houses several other shrines including ones for Dhanvantari ,Ayyappan etc.,

Religious Shrines
  • Chidambaram
  • Satyagnana Sabha, Vadalur
  • Vaitheeswaran Koil
  • Relaxing Retreats
  • Perumal Eri
  • Madava pallam Beach
  • Veeranam Lake
  • Beaches
  • Madava pallam Beach
  • Poompuhar beach
  • Silver Beach
  • Food Options and Local Cuisine of Chidambaram

    Local Cuisine in Chidambaram

    Chidambaram, a small town in Tamil Nadu, is famous for its rich culture and ancient temples. The town is also known for its unique and delicious local cuisine. The food in Chidambaram is predominantly vegetarian, and the dishes are made with a perfect blend of spices and herbs.

    Some of the popular dishes include:

    1. Kara Kuzhambu: A spicy tamarind-based curry made with vegetables or lentils.
    2. Thakkali Rasam: A tangy soup made with tomato, tamarind, and spices.
    3. Paneer Tikka: Marinated paneer cubes grilled to perfection.
    4. Paniyaram: A fluffy dumpling made with rice batter and stuffed with onions or other vegetables.

    These dishes are usually served with steaming hot rice or crispy dosas.

    Dining Options in Chidambaram

    Chidambaram offers a variety of dining options that serve authentic South Indian cuisine. Here are three recommendations:

    1. Hotel Saradharam: This restaurant offers a wide range of vegetarian dishes, including thalis and dosas. Their speciality is the Chettinad cuisine that has a lot of spices.
    2. Akshaya Bhavan: A small eatery serving delicious South Indian food at affordable prices. Try their crispy dosas and vadas.
    3. Sri Krishna Sweets: This sweet shop-cum-cafe serves traditional sweets as well as savouries like samosas, kachoris etc.

    All these restaurants offer dine-in as well as take-away options.

    Best areas for accommodation in Chidambaram

    Chidambaram, a small town in Tamil Nadu, is famous for its ancient temple dedicated to Lord Nataraja. Every year, thousands of tourists visit this town to explore its rich cultural heritage. If you are planning a trip to Chidambaram and wondering about the best areas for accommodation, then here are some of the top options:

    1. Nataraja Nagar: Located close to the temple, Nataraja Nagar is a popular area for accommodation in Chidambaram. This area has many hotels and guesthouses that cater to different budgets.

    2. Sannathi Street: Another great option for accommodation in Chidambaram is Sannathi Street. This area is known for its budget-friendly hotels and lodges that offer comfortable stay options.

    3. East Car Street: If you want to stay near the market area of Chidambaram, then East Car Street is an excellent choice. This area has many guesthouses and lodges that offer basic amenities at affordable rates.

    If you are looking for some specific properties for your stay in Chidambaram, then here are three recommendations:

    1. The Grand Palace Stay: This luxurious hotel is located near the temple and offers well-appointed rooms with modern amenities like air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant that serves delicious South Indian cuisine.

    2. Hotel Saradharam: For those who want a budget-friendly option, Hotel Saradharam is a good choice. This hotel offers simple yet comfortable rooms with basic amenities like air conditioning and hot water. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant that serves tasty vegetarian food.

    3. Chola Heritage Hostel: If you are a backpacker or traveling solo, then Chola Heritage Hostel is an excellent option for you. This hostel offers dormitory-style accommodation at affordable rates. The hostel also has a common room where guests can socialize and meet other travelers.

    In conclusion, Chidambaram offers various options for accommodation catering to different budgets and preferences. Whether you want luxury or budget-friendly options or prefer staying close to the temple or market area, there are plenty of choices available in this small town of Tamil Nadu.

    Shopping in Chidambaram

    Chidambaram, located in Tamil Nadu, is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus. The city is also known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional handicrafts. If you are planning to visit the city, here are some things you can buy, markets to visit and things to avoid.

    Things to buy

    1. Kancheepuram silk sarees: Known for their intricate designs and vibrant colors, Kancheepuram silk sarees are a must-buy in Chidambaram.
    2. Brass lamps: Brass lamps are an integral part of Hindu rituals and make for great souvenirs.
    3. Panchaloha idols: Panchaloha idols, made of five metals (gold, silver, copper, zinc, and iron), are considered auspicious and make for great gifts.
    4. Wooden toys: Chidambaram is known for its wooden toys that come in various shapes and sizes.

    Markets to visit

    1. Nataraja market: This market is named after the famous Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. You can find a variety of souvenirs here.
    2. Saradha shopping complex: This shopping complex houses various shops selling silk sarees, jewelry, handicrafts and more.
    3. Gandhi road market: This market is known for its clothing shops that sell traditional South Indian wear.

    What to avoid

    1. Buying from street vendors: While street vendors may offer cheaper prices than shops, the quality of their products may not be reliable.
    2. Wearing revealing clothing: Chidambaram is a religious city where modesty is appreciated. It's best to avoid wearing revealing clothing while visiting temples or other religious places.
    3. Overpaying for goods: Bargaining is common practice in markets in India. Don't be afraid to negotiate prices with shopkeepers.
    4. Disturbing wildlife: The city has many natural reserves where wildlife thrives. It's important not to disturb them by littering or making loud noises.

    In conclusion, shopping in Chidambaram can be an enjoyable experience if you know what to look out for. By visiting the recommended markets and avoiding certain activities, you can have a memorable trip while supporting local businesses.

    Nightlife in Chidambaram

    Chidambaram is a small town located in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, India. Though Chidambaram is mainly known for its famous Nataraja temple, the town has a vibrant nightlife that attracts tourists from all over the state. The nightlife in Chidambaram mainly revolves around the local bars and clubs that stay open till late at night.

    If you are looking for some exciting activities to spend your night in Chidambaram, here are three places that you can consider:

    1. Ganesh Bar: Located near the bus stand, Ganesh Bar is one of the popular bars in Chidambaram. The bar serves a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to its customers. The atmosphere inside the bar is lively and energetic, making it an ideal place to spend your night.

    2. The Moonlight Club: Located on East Car Street, The Moonlight Club is one of the best nightclubs in Chidambaram. The club has a spacious dance floor where you can groove to some of the latest music tracks. Apart from dancing, you can also enjoy some delicious food and drinks at this club.

    3. Sri Raja Talkies: If you are a movie buff, then Sri Raja Talkies is the perfect place for you to spend your night in Chidambaram. This movie theatre screens some of the latest Tamil movies at affordable prices. You can grab a tub of popcorn and enjoy a good movie with your friends or family.

    Overall, if you are looking for some fun-filled nightlife experience in Chidambaram, then these places are worth checking out.

    Outdoor Activities in Chidambaram

    Chidambaram, a small town in Tamil Nadu, is known for its cultural heritage and ancient temples. However, the town also offers a range of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. The natural beauty of the town and its surroundings provide ample opportunities for outdoor adventures.

    Boating is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Chidambaram. Visitors can choose from a variety of boats, including pedal boats and motor boats, to explore the tranquil waters of the nearby lakes and rivers.

    Trekking is another exciting activity that attracts visitors to Chidambaram. The town is surrounded by lush green hills and forests that offer several trekking trails. Trekking here can be a thrilling experience as it involves crossing streams, climbing steep slopes, and exploring hidden waterfalls.

    Bird watching is also a popular activity in Chidambaram. The town has a rich variety of bird species that can be found in its wetlands, forests, and other natural habitats. Visitors can spot several migratory birds during their winter migration season.

    Apart from these activities, visitors can also indulge in camping, cycling, and fishing in Chidambaram. The town has several camping sites where visitors can set up their tents and spend the night under the stars while enjoying a bonfire. Cycling enthusiasts can explore the countryside on their bikes while fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching fish in the nearby lakes and rivers.

    In conclusion, Chidambaram may be known for its cultural heritage but it offers plenty of options for adventure enthusiasts as well. From boating to trekking to bird watching, visitors are sure to have an exhilarating experience amidst nature's beauty.

    Festivals and Events in Chidambaram

    Chidambaram, also known as Thillai, is a city in Tamil Nadu famous for its ancient Nataraja temple. The city celebrates numerous festivals and events throughout the year, making it a vibrant and lively place to visit. The festivals and events in Chidambaram showcase the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and attract thousands of visitors every year.

    Some of the major festivals and events celebrated in Chidambaram are:

    1. Thai Poosam: Celebrated in January/February, Thai Poosam is a Hindu festival that honors Lord Muruga. It is celebrated with great fervor at the Thillai Nataraja Temple.
    2. Maha Shivaratri: Celebrated in February/March, Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival that honors Lord Shiva. Devotees fast, offer prayers, and perform special rituals at the Thillai Nataraja Temple.
    3. Natyanjali Dance Festival: Celebrated in February/March, Natyanjali Dance Festival is a tribute to Lord Nataraja's cosmic dance. Dancers from all over India come to perform Bharatanatyam at the Thillai Nataraja Temple.
    4. Brahmotsavam: Celebrated in March/April, Brahmotsavam is a ten-day festival that honors Lord Nataraja. It includes processions, music concerts, and other cultural events.
    5. Aadi Perukku: Celebrated in July/August, Aadi Perukku is a Tamil festival that celebrates water's life-giving properties. People visit nearby rivers or lakes to take a dip and offer prayers to the river goddess.
    6. Navaratri: Celebrated in September/October, Navaratri is a Hindu festival that honors different aspects of Goddess Durga. It includes nine days of fasting, worshiping idols of Goddess Durga, and performing special rituals.

    These festivals and events are an excellent way to immerse oneself in Chidambaram's cultural heritage while also enjoying its natural beauty. Visitors can plan their visit accordingly to witness these festivities firsthand.

    Tips for Travelers while travelling to Chidambaram

    1. Plan your trip according to the festivals and events happening in Chidambaram as they showcase the rich culture and traditions of the town. The Natyanjali Dance Festival, held during Mahashivaratri, is a must-see for dance enthusiasts. The annual temple car festival, known as Thiruvathira, is also a popular event that attracts a large number of devotees.
    2. Dress modestly while visiting the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple, especially if you are entering the inner sanctum. Avoid shorts, sleeveless tops, and revealing clothes. It is customary to remove footwear before entering the temple premises.
    3. Carry cash as most local shops and eateries do not accept credit or debit cards. ATMs are available but may not always be reliable. It is also advisable to keep small change handy for using public transport or buying street food.
    4. Stay hydrated as Chidambaram can get quite hot and humid during summers. Carry a water bottle with you at all times, especially when visiting the temples or exploring the town on foot.
    5. Be respectful of local customs and traditions while visiting Chidambaram. Avoid taking photographs inside temples without permission, touching or pointing your feet towards religious symbols, and indulging in any behavior that may offend locals or fellow travelers.

    Chidambaram is a beautiful town that offers a unique blend of spirituality, history, and art. By following these tips, travelers can make the most of their trip to this cultural hub in Tamil Nadu.


    What is Chidambaram?

    Chidambaram is a town located in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is famous for the Nataraja Temple, one of the most prominent Shiva temples in South India.

    How to reach Chidambaram?

    Chidambaram is well connected by road and rail. The nearest airport is in Chennai, which is about 215 km away. There are regular buses and trains from major cities in Tamil Nadu.

    What is the significance of Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram?

    The Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram is one of the most important Shiva temples in South India. It is dedicated to Lord Nataraja, who is considered as the cosmic dancer. The temple has a unique architecture and has five sabhas or halls that represent the five elements - earth, water, fire, air, and ether.

    What are the timings of Nataraja Temple?

    The temple opens at 6:00 AM and closes at 12:30 PM. It reopens at 4:30 PM and closes at 9:00 PM. There are different poojas performed throughout the day.

    Is photography allowed inside the temple?

    No, photography is not allowed inside the temple premises.

    What are some other places to visit near Chidambaram?

    There are several places to visit near Chidambaram like Pichavaram mangrove forest, Thillai Kali Amman Temple, Annamalai University, and Bhuvanagiri Fort.

    What are some famous festivals celebrated in Chidambaram?

    The Natyanjali Dance Festival held during February-March every year is a major festival celebrated in Chidambaram. Other festivals like Mahashivaratri and Brahmotsavam are also celebrated with great pomp and show.

    In conclusion, Chidambaram has much more to explore beyond its famous temples. With its rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty, it attracts a large number of tourists every year.

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