Located in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, Chidambaram is a beautiful town and is known as a site of great historical and religious significance. It is home to the popular Nataraja Temple, which is frequented by Hindu devotees and tourists from all over the state. As Chidambaram has been in existence for thousands of years, it is said to have been ruled by most of the South Indian dynasties, including the Cholas, the Pallavas, the Pandyas, the Marathas and the British. Hence, you can find numerous ancient sites within its boundaries.
But do you know the region in and around Chidambaram is also home to several natural sites, and hence it allures thousands of nature lovers and photographers every year? If you think the beauty of this age-old town with gorgeous tourist attractions would certainly interest you, then read on to know more about Chidambaram and its beautiful spots.
1) Nataraja Temple
The most significant place in Chidambaram is, undoubtedly, the charming and historic Nataraja Temple. Did you know that it is one of the oldest surviving active temples in the country? Yes, as per historical records, the current building of the temple was established in the 10th century when the town served as the capital of the Chola dynasty.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Nataraja, the cosmic ecstatic dancer, and is a highly revered religious site amongst Hindus, especially Shaivites. The temple complex also houses a beautiful sacred tank which can be accessed by a flight of stairs.
It is also known for its beautiful architecture, which comprises intricate designs, commendable patterns and marvellous sculptures. Hence, each and every traveller must visit Nataraja Temple and explore its beauty.
A beautiful village located at a distance of about 12 km from Chidambaram, Pichavaram is a natural site and is known for its mangrove forests. If you are a nature lover, then you cannot miss visiting this wonder.
Pichavaram is said to be home to the second largest mangrove forests in the world. Therefore, it is a significant tourist attraction in Tamil Nadu. You can also enjoy a boat ride in the backwaters of Pichavaram.
As the region is filled with natural wonders, it is home to numerous beautiful species of migratory and indigenous birds. So, it wouldn't be wrong to say that Pichavaram is a perfect weekend getaway for birdwatchers. The major species found here include pelicans, egrets and spoonbills.
Located on the outskirts of Chidambaram in the vicinity of the Vellar river, Bhuvanagiri is another place of great religious prominence. As it is said to be the birthplace of the two great saints, i.e., Sri Raghavendra Swami and Ramalinga Adigalar. Therefore, it is considered a scared town amongst their followers.
Bhuvanagiri is home to numerous beautiful temples where one can feel the beauty of calmness and tranquillity. The list includes Sri Raghavendra Swami Temple, Chamundeeswari Amman Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple and Sri Hanuman Temple. Considering the number of temples Bhuvanagiri harbours within its boundaries, it can be called the land of temples.
4) Annamalai University
Even though Annamalai University is not a proper tourist destination, it is certainly a stoppage for several ardent travellers and history lovers. After all, it is the first private university and one of the oldest universities in India. It was established in the year 1929 and is one of the significant institutions for higher studies in the state.
Did you know that Annamalai University provides more than 500 courses? Well, that's certainly a feat to achieve! It has also produced several notable personalities of India, such as K. Balachander and Savitha Reddy.
5) Vaitheeswaran Temple
If you would love to explore beyond the main boundaries of Chidambaram, then you can plan a tour of the beautiful and historic Vaitheeswaran Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is one of the nine Navagraha temples in the country.
The temple is located at a distance of about 25 km from Chidambaram and houses a sacred tank with holy waters, which can cure diseases of all kinds. Anyone coming to the temple with sheer dedication and devotion is always blessed with a happy and prosperous life.