About ChidambaramThe name “Chidambaram” is a combination of two words ‘Chit’ and ‘Ambaram’ and the meaning is sky packed with knowledge & brainpower. Chidambaram is situated in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. The town is named after the Tamil word “Stage of wisdom”. Several rulers have ruled this town and the list includes Cholas, Pandyas,and the British. The place has got a forest range named as “Thillai Vanam”, well known after a mythological event staged by Lord Shiva. As per the prodigy, this particular event has taught the sages of that time a lesson, Gods cannot be controlled by mantras. The other names of Chidambaram are Island of Rameshwaram and Gulf of Mannar.
Chidambaram with the Annamalai University is deemed as the learning hub of Tamil Nadu. Chidambaram is a well-known Hindu pilgrimage place with the Thillai Nataraja temple located in the city. For many world travelers, Chidambaram is as well a recognized and most attractive beach destination as well.
Location and Climate of Chidamabaram
Chidamabaram town is situated at a distance of about 156 km from Chennai (i.e) close to the shores of Bay of Bengal in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. This place does not have much geological information and it doesn’t contain any mineral resources in entire area of the town. The soil types are alluvial and red that best suit the cultivation of chili peppers, pulses and paddy.
The temperature of Chidambaram hits a maximum of 32.7 degree C and a minimum of 24 degree C throughout the year. Chidambaram generally receives far less rainfall than the average rainfall of the entire South India that is around 0.39in annually. The southwest monsoon begins in June and lasts till August but gives very scanty rainfall and a heavy rainfall is seen only in Chidambaram during the North-west monsoon months such as October, November and December. Every year, this town receives quite less rainfall compared to other places which may be around 35 to 40 days only.
People and Languages in ChidambaramIn 2012, the population of Chidambaram was 1,220,800,359 and has around 100,000 floating population every year. This place is always filled with tourists due its historical and religious importance. People flock to see all the festivals that happen all through the year especially during the month of February for the Nataraja dance festival. Teh most common languages spoken here are ofcourse Tamil, but some people do speak Telugu and English.
History of ChidambaramOne theory suggests that Chidamabaram has derived from ‘chitambalam’ where ambalam means stage as the Lord Shiva did his eternal bliss dance thereby encasing the supreme knowledge in understanding world. The inscriptions about Chidambaram and its temple are well described in Cholas, Pandiyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Marathas and British. Most of the stories and histories on Chidambaram always depicts its beautiful caricatures, statues and works.
This is not mentioned much in ‘Sangam’ Literature in fifth century, but mentioned in seventh century Tamil Literature under many great Tamil poets have written accolades and praises about this place. Many saints even achieved spiritual bliss in this town and still more people are visiting for the same reason.
Shopping in ChidambaramShopping in Chidambaram enables the tourists to explore different handicraft and decorative products. Also, textiles and handloom stuffs can be purchased from the local bazaar. People who are fascinated about silk sarees and textiles may surely visit Bhuvanagiri, which is located about 7 kms from Chidambaram. The silk sarees sold at Bhuvanagiri are said to be "Bhuvanagiri Pattu”.
Tourist Spots in ChidambaramThere are several tourist spots located in Chidambaram. Notable of them are Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, Pitchavaram backwater, and Neyveli. Chidambaram town is well known for its very old, historical and famous temples located in and around the town. The eminent and major visited temples in Chidambaram are Nataraja Temple - dedicated to Lord Shiva occupy an area of around 51 acres, Vaitheeswaran Koil– dedicated to Shiva, identifying the God as “Lord of Healing”, Thillai Kali Amman temple, Chathapurinathar Temple, Tirunallurpperumanam Temple, and Tiruvetkalam Temple. People who desire to relax themselves on a weekend time can get away for an outing to Weekend getaways near Chidambaram.
The most visited weekend gateways are Kanjanoor, Tranquebar, Kumbakonam, Thiruvarur, Poompuhar, Nagapattinam, Swamimalai, and Velankanni. Other places to visit near Chidambaram are Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Kalvarayam Hills, Tarangambadi, Pichavaram, The enchanting Church of Zion, The Gate, Drowpathiamman Koil (Drowpathiamman Koil Street), Elamayakkinar Koil (Elamayakkinar Koil Street), and Sri Mushnam. The best time to visit Chidambaram is between February to June.
Hotels in ChidambaramIf you are eager to taste some mouthwatering delicacies, then you can get into any of the hotels in Chidambaram. The best eat out spots in Chidambaram includeStar Lodge, Hotel Mahalakshmi, Udipi Hotel, Akshaya Hotel, Bhagyalakshmi Hotel, Hotel Saradharam, Hotel Pallavi and Hotel Anu Pallavi.
Festivals in ChidambaramNatyanjali Dance Festival is considered to be the chief festival celebrated in Chidambaram. It usually occurs in the month of February-March and the duration of this particluar festival is five days. To participate in cultural programmes and take part in this entire special festival occasion, people come from various parts of the world. Markazhi Thiruvadhirai Adi Thirumanjanam are the other festivals of Chidambaram. In the month of March, Panguni Uthiram is as well celebrated in Chidambaram.
Transportation in ChidambaramRoad Transportation
The people of Chidambaram are served by town bus and minibus services. This kind of services afford a connectivity within the city and the neighborhood. Private travel companies provide minibus services for local transport requirements. The center of town has the main bus stand and there are totally 46 bus bays. Long distance bus services are provided by the State Express Transport Corporation and these buses travels through many main cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, and Thoothukudi.
The nearest airpot of Chidambaram is Pondicherry Airport (PNY). Adding to this, the nearest airports of Chidambaram are at Thiruchirapalli and Chennai.
In the rail head from Mayiladuthurai to Villupuram, Chidambaram railway station is located. Three daily Express trains and passenger trains are available for the travlers in Chidambaram town.
Facts of Chidamabaram
Area: 480 hectares
Population: 1,220,800,359 as on 2012
Latitude: 11 24' 00''
Longitude: 79 42' 00''
Famous Place: Thillai Nataraja temple
Famous fact: Chidambara Rahasyam / The Ananda Thandavam
Famous festival: Nataraja dance festival
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