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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Location of Chidambaram
in Tamil Nadu and India
Coordinates 11°23′59″N 79°41′37″E / 11.399686°N 79.693622°E / 11.399686; 79.693622
Country  India
State Tamil Nadu
District(s) Cuddalore

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Population 58968 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)

3 m (10 ft)

Chidambaram is a municipality in Tamil Nadu and the taluk (tehsil) headquarters of the Cuddalore district. It is located in the Kollidam River valley about 11  km from the coast, 20 km from the towns Kollidam and Sirkazhi and 240  km south of Chennai by rail .[1] It has an average elevation of 3 metres (9 ft).

Chidambaram is a major pilgrimage site for Shaivites as well as Vaishnavites, where one of the holiest and ancient temples of Hinduism is located.

Chidambaram is the birthplace of the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry - Venkatraman Ramakrishnan referred as VENKY by his peers. But Venky sees no comfort in disclosing that he belongs to Tamil family or he has roots in Tamil Nadu, which is very open in his essays and interviews.



As of 2001 India census[2], Chidambaram had a population of 58,968. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Chidambaram has an average literacy rate of 80%, significantly higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 84% and female literacy of 76%. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Chidambaram Temple

The ancient Chidambaram Temple (Tamil: சிதம்பரம் கோயில் ) is dedicated to Lord Shiva in His form of the Cosmic Dancer (Nataraja நடராசர்) . It is one of the five Dancing Halls (Sabha) of Nataraja and the most famous one. Chidambaram is the Kanaka (Golden)Sabha. It is also one of the panchabhoota sthalams - representing five basic elements. This is the Akasa Sthalam representing 'Space' among the Pancha Bootha Sthalams. For Saivites all over the world this is the most important Siva Temple. The stand alone word "Kovil" would automatically mean Chidambaram Temple to Saivites. The others are - Tiruvannamalai (Thejo sthalam - Fire) Kanchipuram (Prithvi sthalam - Earth) Kalahasti (Vayu sthalam - Air) Tiruvanaikaval (Appu sthalam - Water). The temple houses the Akasha Lingam of Shiva and is one of the greatest Shiva Temples of Tamilnadu. The Govindaraja shrine adjacent to the Nataraja Shrine was constructed in 1639 C.E. by a Telugu/Kannada Nayak chief of that area.[3] Nataraja in Chidambaram Temple has been sung by many Tamil Saints including the Tevaram Trio - Sambanthar, Tirunavukkarasar, Sundaramurti Swamigal. Manickavasagar attained Mukti in Chidambaram by becoming one with Nataraja. The other Saiva Saint of importance who attained Mukti here is Nandanar. Nandanar, born in a caste of untouchables became exalted by his bhakti, that even the most holy brahmins of Chidambaram worshipped him. Chidambaram hosts the most ancient set of 108 Karana stone carvings, the key dance movements of Nataraja. The temple complex is spread over 40 acres (160,000 m2) in the heart of the city. Many thousands of devotees come to this auspicious temple to pay homage to the Dancing Siva.

Traditional crafts

In Chidambaram, one can find a number of families who have been engaged in the gold and silver ornament-making business for a very long time. The art is taught by one generation to the next. Most of the artifacts are hand created and hence are rich in quality and artistry.


Sri Raghavendra Swami was born as Sri Venkanna Bhatta, the second son of Sri Thimanna Bhatta and Smt. Gopikamba on Thursday, Sukla Saptami of Phalguna month in 1595, when the moon was in Mrigashirisha Nakshatra, at Bhuvanagiri, near present-day Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.

Arutprakasa Vallalar Chidambaram Ramalingam: Ramalinga Adigal was the youngest child of Ramiah Pillai and his sixth wife Chinnamaiar, who lived in Marudur in South Arcot district, a village 15 km north-west of Chidambaram.


Chidambaram is home to the Annamalai University. It is home to reputed medical and nursing schools.

School in Chidambaram: Government Nandanar Boys and Girls Higher secondary school. It is one of oldest education school, built by Swami Sahajananda Avargal.


Chidambaram has a Government run public hospital and a tertiary referral hospital attached to Rajah Muthiah Medical College of Annamalai University. There are many small private nursing homes and hospitals.


It is on the Cuddalore-Chennai highway and frequent buses are available from major cities in Tamil Nadu. Buses and taxis are available to the Kollidam-Sirkazhi region. A major rail station is near the city. After the Gauge conversion night trains to Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore will be introduced.

Nearby Temple

padal pettra thalangal 1.Melakadambur-nearby 32km southwest near kattumannarkoil,famous sculptural deity 2.Omampuliyur-30km near kmkoil 3.Kanattumullur-35km


Chidambaram assembly constituency is part of Chidambaram (Lok Sabha constituency).[4]

Real Estate

Like many areas in Tamil Nadu, real estate in the Chidambaram area is booming. Plots in the center of the city sell for 3-5,000 rupees per square foot. In the nearby Kollidam-Sirkazhi area, prime land can be gotten for 2-3 crores an acre.


Long revered University - Annamalai University is located very near to the temple.It has a diversity of study department rendering educational services.


External links

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

See also


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Gopuram at Chidambaram Temple
Gopuram at Chidambaram Temple

Chidambaram is in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India with a population of about 59,000. 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.

Get in

Chidambaram is located in Cuddalore district, 240 km south of Chennai, well connected by train and bus routes. Currently the train route is being converted from meter gauge to broad gauge, hence there is no train connectivity at present. You can also reach Chidambaram via Trichy(160km) or even Via Pondicherry(40km)Now the nearest railway station is


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.

Get around

Bhirmapureeswarar Temple - Really a good temple located at sirkali 20 KM from chidambaram, a must-visit. Lot of good and big temples are there in old Tanjore district which starts from Sirkali.

Vaithesewaran koil, 6KM from Sirkali


Navagraha temples

Navagraha Temple Tour Route Map

Here is the link to temple route map for the travellers visiting Navagraha temples in Tamilnadu. [1]

  • Nataraja Temple.  edit
  • Thillai Kaali Amman Temple, Goddes Kali who competed with lord Natarja in dance
  • Pichavaram, (on the road from Chennai), [2]. State forest with unique mangrove lake. Boat tours of the lake take about 2 hours, with some impressive views of this ecological site. 15 Rs toll road.  edit
  • Sattanathar Temple - Really a good temple a must-visit
  • Bhuvanagiri , located 7 Km north from Chidambaram Town - Birth place Baghavan Sri Raghavendra Swamigal
  • Annamalai Nagar (University) unique place not only for education but with old style buildings
  • Maruthur, located 17Km North from Chidambaram Town, Birth Place of Vallalar Ramalinga Swamigal
  • Akshya Restaurant, Ke-rzha-radha Koil Street. Good one for spicy NV between 11:30 to 15:00
  • Kamala Vilas, a non vegetarian hotel, West car street (near kanchi thotti Bus stop)
  • Udippi Krishna Vilas a vegetarian hotel, West Car street
  • Shanmuga restaurant, a vegetarian restaurant, South Car Street
  • Moorthy cafe located in North main road, Bole Narayana Pillai lane
  • Anantheeswarar Temple, West side of the Chidambaram Town (nearly 0.5km west to Thillai Nateraja Temple). Very old temple and nice to see(near chinna kadai street)  edit
  • saradha ram (srg), sdfhgsgth (ghdfg), dhgdfhg, [3]. dhgdfgh. dfghdgh. (dfghdf,ghdghdfgh) edit
  • Double 'A', kothangudi street, annamalainagar (chidambaram). 12. very tasty poratto and other food and super fresh juices. we are annamalai university students like hotel. low.  edit


HOTEL SARADHA RAM A THREE STAR STANDARD HOTEL IS LOCATED OPPOSITE BUSSTAND.Good food,nice A/C rooms,bar etc;are available there.contct phone:91-4144-221336(5 lines)

Hotel Akshaya located in East Car Street

RK Residency located Narayana Pillai Street (Padi thurai Irakkam)

Hotel Kalyanam Boarding & Lodging No:10,Venugopal Pillai Street,Chidhambaram.(Walkable distance from Temple),here you will get single rooms for Rupees 150/-.For more enquries contact ph:04144-222707

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Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

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Palaniyappan Chidambaram is the finance minister of India.

External links

Wikipedia articles

Palaniyappan Chidambaram

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHIDAMBARAM, or Chedumbrum, a town of British India, in the South Arcot district of Madras, 7 m. from the coast and 151 m. S. of Madras by rail. Pop. (1901) 19,909. The pagodas at Chidambaram are the oldest in the south of India, and portions of them are gems of art. Here is supposed to have been the northern frontier of the ancient Chola kingdom, the successive capitals of which were Uriyur on the Cauvery, Combaconum and Tanjore. The principal temple is sacred to Siva, and is said to have been rebuilt or enlarged by a leper emperor, who came south on a pilgrimage and was cured by bathing in the temple tank; upwards of 60,000 pilgrims visit the temple every December. It contains a "hall of a thousand pillars," one of numerous such halls in India, the exact number of pillars in this case being 984; each is a block of solid granite, and the roof of the principal temple is of copper-gilt. Three hundred of the highest-caste Brahmins live with their families within the temple enclosure.

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