1. Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu’s largest mangrove forest, is located on the shores of Chidambaram. This is one of the most amazing sights in Tamilnadu and Chidambaram is only a few minutes walk away. The boat ride is the main attraction here.
When viewed from inside, the mangrove forests give the impression of being larger than they really are. The boats glide over the narrow canals, which have a green canopy formed by trees on both sides reaching towards each other. It’s a beautiful little environment separated from the rest of the world. The sight of clear waterways, mangrove woods, and blue skies is a visual treat.
Timing: 9.00 AM to 4.00 PM
Address: Chidambaram, Killai, Post, Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu 608102
2. Thillai Nataraja Temple
The Nataraja Temple, one of the five Panchbootha Sthala, is an ancient Hindu temple located right in the center of the city and extending over 40 acres, is among the most beautiful examples of Chola architecture.
The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and is one of just five spots on the globe where he is portrayed as an idol rather than a lingam. The temple is an architectural treasure trove that gives insight into the Cholas’ Dravidian culture.
Timing: 6.00 AM to 12.00 PM and 5.00 PM to 10.00 PM
Address: Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 608001
3. Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Raja Raja Chola built the town to commemorate his conquest of the Pala dynasty in North India. In Tamil, Gangaikonda Cholapuram means “town of the Chola king who conquered the Ganges.”
Several wars have destroyed Gangaikonda Cholapuram’s historic city over the years. The Lord Maha Shiva Temple is the solitary legacy of its great history. The temple’s magnificence, built in the Dravidian style of architecture, is seen to be believed. The temple includes a 55-meter tower with nine stories. It resembles the Periya Koil at Thanjavur, which was constructed by another Chola king.
Timing: 6.00 AM to 12.00 PM and 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM
Address: Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu 612901
4. Silappathikaram Art Gallery
The Silappathikaram Art Gallery is located in Poompuhar town, 40 kilometers from Chidambaram. At a height of 22.5 feet, the ‘Magara Thoranavayil’ at the Art Gallery’s entrance immediately gives the structure an impressive and stunning appearance. It was inspired by the Makara Thorana Vayil pattern found in Suruli Malai Mangala Devi Koil. The Art-Gallery also has an anklet-shaped tank. The statues of Kannagi and Madavi are placed on this side of the tank. Scenes from Silapathikaram, the Land Epic, have been etched into stone and exhibited on the Gallery’s walls. These sculptures, carved by Mamallapuram Art College sculptors, are a wonderful collection of Tamil culture.
Timing: 8.30 AM to 8.30 PM
Address: Poombukar, Tamil Nadu 609114
5. Poompuhar Beach
Poompuhar Beach is one of Tamil Nadu’s most ancient beaches and It’s a 3-kilometer-long natural beach with the mouth of the Kaveri river at its southern end. The mouth of the Kaveri river, where it joins the sea, should be explored. The beach is rocky, but it appeals to people seeking solitude due to the absence of advertising.
Poompuhar Beach also has a lighthouse and a memorial in the form of a tall tower. On most days, the crowds are limited because it is a unique attraction. It is better to visit during a weekend because otherwise, the area will appear deserted and devoid of tourists.
Timing: Required to visit 2 hours
Address: Bus stand to Kaveripoompatnim temple, Keelaiyur, Tamil Nadu 609114
Mayiladuthurai or Mayavaram is ruled by the Cholas and various other empires also It is 27 kilometers away from Chidambaram. The Chola influence can still be seen in the architecture of the Mayuranathar Temple. This temple was built during the Chola dynasty’s medieval time.
The Kaveri river, which runs through the town, keeps the surrounding green. The paddy fields in the surrounding villages are a visual delight. Konrad clothing extends to the uniqueness that Mayiladuthurai inherits, with Dravidian architectural excellence spread throughout the city.
Timing: 5.30 AM – 12 PM and 4 PM – 8.30 PM
Address: Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu 609001
7. Vaitheeswaran Temple
Lord Shiva is worshipped at the Vaitheeswaran Temple which is 27 kilometers away from Chidambaram. In Tamil, Vaitheeswaran means “God of Healing.” All ailments are said to be cured by taking a holy bath in the temple tank. Nadi astrology is well-known in this locality.
Nadi astrology is based on the belief that Hindu sages foreseen and wrote the past, present, and future lives of all humans in leaves. The Nadi leaves document a person’s entire life, from birth to death. The texts are written in Vatteluttu, an old Tamil script. These texts are thought to have been composed by a Tamil sage named Agathiyar.
Timing: 6.00 AM to 11 AM and 4.30 PM to 9.30 PM
Address: Vaitheeswaran Koil, Tamil Nadu 609117
While traveling to Chidambaram, you might also like to halt at Sirkazhi, a little medieval town. There are several temples in the area, including the well-known Sattainadhar Shiva temple, which includes three-tiered shrines for Shiva as Brahmapureshwara, Thoniapper as Uma Maheshwara, and Sattainathar as Bhairava. On the outskirts of Sirkazhi, you can also see the 11 Nangur Divya Deshams of Vishnu. Sirkazhi’s first known history originates from the Sangam Age (3rd century BCE) when Chola King Kochengannan beat the Cholas in a war.
During Mahashivratri and Diwali, pilgrims from all across the country come to this little town to seek the Lord’s grace. The entire town is done out in festive lights and diyas during these festivals, and the people are elated.
Address: Nagapattinam district, Tamilnadu