Chidambaram - The Scientific Temple of India
Also known as Thillai Nataraja Temple, our trip to Chidambaram temple from Pondicherry was a divine one! The place derived its name from the surrounding Thillai forest. These trees are not seen in Chidambaram now, but can be seen at Pichavaram, east of Chidambaram in the backwaters. A two hour drive from Pondicherry, this temple is a purely a divine place to visit known for its scientific facts and mythological stories. Built in the 10th century, Chidambaram was considered to be the capital of Chola Dynasty. The temple has five main Halls or Sabhas namely the Kanaka Sabha, the Cit Sabha, Nritta Sabha, Deva Sabha and Raja Sabha.
There were times, when I as a kid used to hear stories from my mother and grandmother. We were lucky enough to have met Mr. Balu in Chidambaram, who unfortunately lost his job during the pandemic and guided us well through out the temple and shared the stories unheard.
Let's look at some of the interesting facts and stories that would make one desirous of visiting this place.