Chidambaram

Chidambaram is a municipality and taluk (tehsil) headquarters in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. It is 11 km from the coast and 240 km south of Chennai by rail. Chidambaram is a major pilgrimage site for Shaivites as the temple there houses the Akasha Lingam of Shiva and is one of the greatest Shiva Temples of Tamilnadu.

Attractions:

The Chidambaram Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva (or Siva) in His form of the Cosmic Dancer, Nataraja , is a temple complex spread over 40 acres (160,000 m2) in the heart of the city is one of the great Shiva Temples of Tamilnadu. It hosts the most ancient set of 108 Karana stone carvings, the key dance movements of Nataraja.It is an ancient and historic temple dedicated to Lord Shiva Nataraja and Lord Govindaraja Perumal, one of the few temples where both the Shaivite and Vaishnavite deities are enshrined in one place. The govindaraja shrine was opened in 1639.C.E, by a telugu/kannada nayak chief of that area.

Mangrove forest: Pichavaram, a place with a unique mangrove forest, is located at the meeting point of the river and the sea. An interesting fact is that the water level increases and decreases every half an hour. We can see a variety of rare creatures there, including frogs, kingfishers, snakes etc. It is maintained now under the state board of tourism and boats are arranged by them for visitors to go for a ride.

Traditional crafts:In Chidambaram you can find a huge number of families who have been engaged in the gold and silver ornament making business for a very long time. The art is transferred from generation to generation and thus they can excel in their art, over anyone in the rest of the country. Most of the artifacts are hand created and hence are rich in quality and artistry.

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