A spectacular destination of ancient wisdom bestowed with eternal grace of nature!
The word “Kovil” in the tamil saivite tradition refers to none other than the Chidambaram temple.
Chidambaram is a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Chidambaram is located 78km of South Pondicherry and 60km north of Karaikal in Cuddalore district.
The Nataraja temple at Chidambaram is one of the most significant ones of the numerous temples that line the Southern state of Tamilnadu. Chidambaram is a center second to none in representing the rich cultural heritage of India in terms of its antiquity, richness in terms of worship and festival traditions, in architectural and sculptural splendour, in its association with music and dances.
Chidambaram temple which is also known as the temple of Sri Nataraja is located at Chidambaram town of South Arcot district, Tamilnadu. This temple is dedicated to Nataraja. The idol of Lord Nataraja is placed in the Chit Sabha in the AnanadaTandavan (Dance of bliss) pose. The temple is also known for its Akasa lingam and the deity of Chidambaram represents one of the five great elements of nature. The main attractions that woo thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year is the two annual Brahmotsavam festivals that takes place in this temple.
Chidambaram is one of the Panchabhoota Stalams signifying the five elements of wind, water, fire, earth and space. Several literary works praise the glory of Chidambaram. Several interesting legends are associated with this temple. Several worship services are carried out throughout the day in this vast temple complex. Shiva is also worshipped in the “formless form” of the Chidambara Rahasyam and it is of great religious as well as historice and cultural significance.
Worship Protocol : At the shrine of Nataraja six worship services are offered in this temple each day. The last one which is known as the Ardhajaama Puja (the most special one), in which the padukas (footwear) of Nataraja are ceremoniously taken to the Palliarai (i.e night chamber) of Shiva and Parvati after elaborate rituals. During this occasion, it is believed that the entire pantheon of divine figures in the Hindu system of beliefs. The first puja in the morning is waking up of Lord Shiva, and a transport of the footwear back to the main shrine, followed by fire rituals and ablutions to the crystal Shivalingam. The worship services that starts at about 9.30, and then at noon, 5pm, and at 7 pm in the evening involve a combination of rituals involving ablutions to the crystal lingam and the ceremonial show of lamps to Nataraja and Sivakami amidst the chanting of Vedic and Tamil hymns. It is a unique worship protocol said to have been prescribed by Patanjali that is followed at this temple. The Shiva Agama system of temple rituals is not followed at Chidambaram which is followed almost all of the Saivite temples in Tamilnadu.
By Air : Tiruchirapalli and Chennai are the nearest airport. Tiruchirapalli around 195km and Chennai 245 km.
From Tiruchirapalli, you can board Indian Airlines flights to Chennai which is well connected to all the major cities in India and Abroad.
By Rail: Chidambaram lies on the Madras-Tiruchirapalli main line of the Southern railway. It is connected with Tiruchirapalli, Madras, Madurai 335km, Rameshwaram 575km, Bangalore 340km and Tirupati 290kms.
By Road : There are frequent bus service available to various places in Tamilnadu, Andhra pradesh, Karnataka and Pondicherry states. There are non stop and express bus services to maor cities like Chennai.
Local transport : A ride on bullock carts is a specialty. Buses and cycle rickshaws are also available here and
taxis and auto rickshaws are available without meter for local transportation.