About 110 km from Thanjavur, the holy town of Chidambaram is noted for its Dravidian architecture temples. As the morning bells start to peel, you can wake up to a fresh cup of hot coffee, and after a sumptuous breakfast, gear up to explore the quintessential Tamil town. The main attraction is Chidambaram Natarajar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is revered as one of the five shrines scattered across the state that represent five elements (air, water, earth, fire and wind). Here, Lord Shiva is worshipped as Nataraja, the god of dance, while in most places he is revered as a shivling. According to legend, Lord Shiva came to live in this town, but since it already served as the abode of Goddess Kali, the duo decided to resolve the issue through a dance competition. Lord Shiva gave a splendid performance of his cosmic dance, tandav, while Kali enacted the lasya. Lord Shiva won the competition and became the Lord of Chidambaram. Lord Vishnu is also worshipped in this temple as Lord Govindaraja Perumal. Another attraction is the Annamalai University, one of the best academic centres in the country. Tourists can shop for gold jewellery in the town as it is renowned for its ornament-making.

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