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 pilgramage site for Shaivites as the temple there houses the Akasha Lingam
Chidambaram is located at . It has an average elevation of 3 metres (9 ft). The town is in the Kollidam River
As of 2001 India census
, Chidambaram had a population of 58,968. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Chidambaram has an average literacy rate of 80%, 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.
The Chidambaram Temple
(Tamil: சிதம்பரம் கோயில் ), dedicated to Lord Shiva
) in His form of the Cosmic Dancer, Nataraja
நடராசர், is a temple complex spread over 40 acres in the heart of the city. 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.It is founded by swetavarman a pallava king. Now his descndants known as Pichavaram zamindar,a vanniya by caste
, 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.
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.
Chidambaram assembly constituency is part of Chidambaram (Lok Sabha constituency)