Our next stop was Chidambaram via Pondicherry. We reached Chidambaram by 3 PM. The temple timings are 6 am to 12 noon and 5 pm to 10 pm (Outer gates will be opened by 4PM but main temple by 5pm). We had plenty of time , so we had our lunch and spent some time in our car chatting, unpacking the load of snacks we bought with us.
It was Kartika (Indian month name) month, which is considered holy month by the Indians, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hindus lit diyas (oil lamps) in front of Lord Shiva and also in their homes - It is believed to ward off evil forces and usher in prosperity and joy. We also bought diyas from shops nearby. Doors were opened at 4 pm, It was crowded, as the day is Karthika Purnima (full moon day of karthika month), which is auspicious day of month.
Chidambaram temple is one of the 5 elements (Pancha Bootha) temples which represents sky (Others are Earth – Kanchipuram, Water – Thiruvanaikaval, Fire – Thiruvannamalai, Air – Sri kalhasthi) which built by Chola’s in 10th century. The speciality of this temple is Lord Shiva residing here as Nataraja (in Dancing form). This is a huge temple with more than one entrance, so remember from which entrance you entered otherwise you’ll get lost and have to strain your legs. There are 9 gopurams in this temple which are colourful and mythical story tellers. The Bharatanatyam (One of the graceful classical dance form of India) postures are carved on temple. The temple complex has so many other temples like Vishnu, Devi Amman, Ganesha and Murugan it takes so much time to visit. At one point one can see both Nataraja and Lord Vishnu at once which is rare.
By the time we came out of the temple it is almost dark so we started for Thanjavur where we booked Naadi Homestay from booking.com.
Homestay was a double bedroom flat which was good, comfortable and clean but finding location was little difficult. We reached around 9 or 10PM. Hotel helped us arranging dinner as they don’t have restaurant. We freshen up, had our dinner and slept.