Chidambaram is a city in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India with a population of about 62,000 (2011). Of the numerous temples the Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram is one of the most significant ones. In terms of its antiquity, richness in terms of worship & festival traditions, in architectural & sculptural splendour, in its association with music & dance, Chidambaram is a center second to none in representing the rich cultural heritage of India. Several rich legends are associated with Chidambaram. The best known, are those describing the Cosmic Dance of Shiva, the dance duel between Shiva and Kaali and the more recent one describing the re-discovery of the Tevaram hymns.
The airports at Tiruchirapalli TRZ IATA (165 km) and Chennai MAA IATA (215 km) are the nearest airports from Chidambaram. Chennai is connected to all the major cities in India and abroad through regular flights.
Chidambaram is on the Madras-Tiruchirapalli main line of the Southern Railway. It is connected with Tiruchirapalli, Madras, Madurai (335 km), Rameswaram (575 km), Bangalore (340 km), and Stirrup (290 km).
There are frequent bus services available to Tarious places in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Pondicherry states from Chidambaram. Non-stop bus services and express bus services are also available to major cities like Chennai.
- The Natyanjali annual festival of classical Indian dance that takes place at the end of February is the biggest attraction that brings thousands of people from all over the world.
- Marghazhi Thiruvaadhirai (in December - January) and the Aani Thirumanjanam (in June - July ) are the key festivals with the main deity being brought outside the sanctum sanctorum in a procession that included a temple car procession followed by a long anointing ceremony. Several hundreds of thousands of people flock the temple to see the anointing ceremony and the ritualistic dance of Shiva when he is taken back to the sanctum sanctorum.
There are autos (Indian cabs) which can be flagged and are a relatively cheap means of transport.
- Annamalai University - one of Asia's largest public residential universities
- Chidambaram temple (Thillai Nataraja Temple). The temple complex is spread over an area of 40 acres (160,000 m²) in the heart of the city. The main complex is dedicated to Shiva Nataraja and the complex contains shrines to deities such as Shivakami Amman, Ganesh, Murugan and Vishnu in the form Govindaraja Perumal. The golden tiled roof for the Chit Ambalam (the vimanam) was laid by the Chola King Parantaka I (907-950 CE). Donations of gold and jewels have been made by various kings, rulers and patrons to the temple from 9th to 16th century and by the British. In the Chidambaram temple, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of sky.
- Kollidam River
- 1 Melakadambur. A village that is 31 km (19 mi) from Chidambaram known for Arulmigu Amirthakateshwarar Thirukkoil, constructed during the reign of Cholas by Kulothunga Chola.
- 2 Parangipettai (22 km north on NR 62 and east on 662). Due to its strategic location on the Coromandel Coast, Parangipettai has long been a major trading centre. In particular, it was an important trading destination for the Arabs, especially the Yemenis. During the colonial era the Portuguese, Dutch and English successively colonized the area.
- Pichavaram (13 km east along OP Main Road and TS Pettai Road). The Pichavaram Mangrove Forest is the world's second largest mangrove forest.
- 3 Puhar (Poompuhar) (41 km south on highway 32 and east on 22). Stone sculptures of scenes from Silappadikaram, the Epic of the Land, hang on the walls of the Silappathikara Art Gallery. They were carved by the sculptors of Mamallapuram Art College. Masilamani Nathar Koil temple: though heavily eroded by the sea in a number of places, this temple built in 1305 by Maravarma Kulasekara Pandiyan, is architecturally rich.
- 4 Srimushnam (37 km west on highway 37 and 817). Sacred to Hindus and Buddhists, it is one of the eight Svayam Vyakta Ksetras of Vaishnavas. The village is known for the Bhu Varaha Swamy temple.
- Thiruvenkadu (34 km south on Highway 32 and 680). Swetharanyeswarar (Shiva) Temple is a Hindu temple in Thiruvenkadu.
- 1 Mangrove Bay Camp (PaddleforFuture Academy), River Kollidam, Veerankovilthittu (8 km from Chidambaram Busstand), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. India's largest standup paddling program. Learn kayaking, outdoor science and various outdoor skills. The camp is on the bank of river Kollidam backwaters. Accommodation available.
- Hotel Grand Palace, Railway Feeder Road (Near to Railway Station), ✉ email@example.com. Classy non-vegetarian food will be available. Nominal.
- Hotel Palace, Railway feeder road.
- Hotel Ritz.
- Hotel Royal Plaza.
- Hotel SaradhaRam.
- Kamala Vilas, a non-vegetarian hotel, West car street
- Moorthy Cafe, in North Main Road, Bole Narayana Pillai Lane
- R K Residency Hotel
- Shanmuga Restaurant, a vegetarian restaurant, South Car Street
- Udippi Krishna Vilas a vegetarian hotel, West Car Street
- Double 'A', Kothangudi street, Annamalainagar.
- Hotel Grand Palace, Railway Feeder Road (near the railway station).
- A. A Lodge
- Abi Lodge, East street
- Aiswarya Hotel, Venugopal street
- Ameen Lodge, South street
- Anantham Lodge.
- Apollo Lodge, Sabanayagar street
- Everest Lodge
- Ganesh Bavan Complex
- Akshaya Hotel, 17, 18, East Car St (near Natraja Temple), ☏ . Has a pure vegetarian restaurant and WiFi in the lobby.
- Hotel GrandPalace Stay, #12-Railway feeder road (near the railway station), ☏ , .
- Hotel Palace, Railway feeder road.
- Hotel Rajarajan
- Hotel Saradharam, #19, V.G.P. Street (near the bus stand), ☏ .
- Iqbal Lodge
- Jawahar Lodge
- Kalyanam Lodge, Venugopal Street
- Kurinji Lodge, East Sannathi
- M.A.T Lodge
- Mansoor Lodge, No.91, East Car Street, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Popular among business travellers.
- Meera Lodge
- Murugan Lodge
- O.S. Deen Building
- Pari Lodge, South Sannathi
- R. K. Residency Hotel, Narayana Pillai Street (Padi thurai Irakkam)
- R. K. Tower, V.O.C. Street
- Ramanathan Mansion, Bazaar Street
- Ramya Lodge, South Street
- S. K. Lodge
- Saba Complex
- Sabanayagam Lodge
- Shajakhan Complex, Lalkan Street
- Shameer Lodge.
- Sriram Lodge
- Star Lodge, South Street
- Sublakshmi Complex
- Swathi Complex