Saturday, July 20, 2024

Tourism      Pilgrim Centers      Hindu Pilgrimages      Tamil Nadu     Cuddalore    


Place : Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu
Significance : The famous for its Nataraja temple
Best time to Visit : Throughout the year
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The town of Chidambaram - a name that means 'expanded consciousness' is regarded as a holy town of great importance. It lies on the northern edge of the Coleroon River in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. Also known as the 'city of the Cosmic Dancer' Chidambaram is the site of great Nataraja Temple, dedicated to Shiv Nataraj (the dancing Shiva), the form of Lord Shiva. The image of Nataraj represented by the bronze image known throughout the world as the most perfect synthesis in metal of art. 

According to Tamil sacred geography, the Earth's main vain or Susuhumna nadi (one of the three major energy pathways in the human body) passes through Chidambaram, ending at the power spot of the temple. Chidambaram is also one of the five Shaivite mukti sthalams, the other four being Kalahasti, Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and Tiruvanaikaval.

Chidambaram also hosts the annual Natyanjali dance festival. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is celebrated every year during February-March for five days in the Chidambaram Natrajar Temple premises. This is an opportunity for all dancers, from all over India, to perform and to pay their tribute to Lord Nataraja. It begins on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri. During this time leading dancers from all parts of India congregate and dance in the temple as an offering to Nataraja. Many dancers think it is a blessing to be able to perform their 'arangettam' (first stage performance) in the vicinity of the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Nataraja in Chidambaram. The festival lasts for 5 days.

Sight Seeings in Chidambaram

Chidambaram Natrajar Temple
It is located in the temple town of Chidambaram, 60 km north of Karaikal in Cuddalore District, the east-central part of the Tamil Nadu state. It is dedicated to Shiva Nataraj, in the enthralling form of a Cosmic Dancer. An exquisite example of Dravadian architecture, the temple is one of the oldest temple complexes in the south India. Along with temples to Vishnu, Parvati, and Ganesh, the complex covers an area of 40 acres. One of the major pilgrimage destinations in Tamil Nadu, the temple is founded in the Chola Era. Read more...

The Chitrakootam 
The Chitrakootam is another shrine, situated adjacent to the Nataraja temple. Dedicated to Lord Govindraja, as well as Lord Vishnu, this temple is among the few temples in India that are dedicated to both Vishnu and Shiva. It has five halls. The Nritta sabha, the hall of immortal dance has 56 pillars depicting dance figures. The Deva Sabha was the hall of festivals and meeting place of the administrators. The Chit sabha (Hall) houses the Akasa Lingam and Kanaka sabha houses the Nataraja image. 

Kali Temple

The Thillaikaliamman temple is on the northern end of the town. Dedicated to goddess Kali, it was built by Kopperunjingan, a Chola King who ruled between 1229 AD and 1278 AD.  Open 9 am to 1 pm and 3 to 6 pm. 

Viadanatheeswarar Temple
About 25km. south of Chidambaram, Vaitheeswarankoil is well known for its Viadanatheeswarar Temple, dedicated to Shiva and Parvati. People come bathe in the tank waters in the belief that illnesses will be cured.

Situated 15 east of Chidambara at the mouths of the rivers Vellar, Coleroon and Uppanar, it is the second largest mangrove forest in the world. Spread out over 3,000 acres comprising more than 1,700 islets, it is separated creeks and protected from the sea by a sand bar. About 10 km from Pichavaram, there is a Marine Biological Research Station on the North bank of the Vellar River. There is a Visitor Reception center near to Marine Biological Research Station. Pichavaram offers waterscape, back water cruises (2 hour boat ride R. 125/hr) and photography also.

Vaitheeswaran koil
It is a famous village where one can find famous Nadi astrologers. The village is about 25 km from here.