Chidambaram, a piligrimage place in Tamil Nadu state, South India is a small town, 75kms away from Pondicherry, now Puthucherry – a French Colony, and approximately 200kms from Chennai (capital of Tamil Nadu). The centric part of this town is Nataraja Temple located right in the centre of the town. There are 4 main streets and every street has a main door to the temple. Significance of these 4 main doors shows 4 directions of earth -North, East, West and South.
Another significance of this temple is – “Chidambaram Rahasya” (Secret of Chidambaram). I was quite keen to know what this secret is all about… but, you know, this is a secret and hence, it remains a secret.
I like to visit this place during annual dance festival, “Natyanjali”, with Bharathanatyam as its prime dance. If you are a Bharathanatyam dance lover, then you should not be missing this event. You will see renowned Bharathanatyam dancers performing their best dances in front of lord Nataraja and this will be a treat to watch. This annual event, held during February/March with the temple backdrop, goes for about 5 days, each day, different dancers perform. The temple’s gopuram is also renowned for its enumeration of the poses of Bharatanatyam.
Accommodation facilities arent that great in the town. But, if you are a dance lover, then you might compromise on accommodation facilities. Otherwise, I think, 2-3 hours (preferably morning time) is enough to visit this place. i.e., by road if you are driving from Chennai, you can start from Chennai around 5am, reach Chidambaram by 9am and by 12noon leave Chidambaram and reach Chennai by 4pm.
Also, I am not happy about restaurant foods here, apart from one – Udupi restaurant. South Indian food is good, but, North Indian will not be authentic.
Apart from the poor facilities, a great place for both spiritual people and the Bharatanatyam fans and admirers.
Guest author @ Stills360