I Came, I Slept, I Saw, I Left

Chidambaram Travel Blog

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The tank at Nataraja Temple

Yesterday I arrived in Chidambaram and checked into the nicest hotel in town that was just opposite the bus station.  I wasn’t in the mood for pilgrim’s lodges and I was too tired to shop around.  I decided to treat myself to a nicer place considering I originally thought I’d be visiting Chidambaram on a day trip from Pondicherry.  If I had stayed a second night in Pondicherry I would have been paying about the same for my room.

 

Besides, Chidambaram only exists because of the Nataraja Temple.  There really was nothing else to do here except stay in my room.

 

But look out!  I got a TV in my room!  CNN, BBC, the National Geographic Channel and Bollywood, Bollywood, and Bollywood….

One of the gopurams
.followed by MORE Bollywood!  Not only that, but I got clean towels and soap in my private bathroom.  Best of all, when I walked into my room it SMELLED GOOD.  Trust me, I was excited.  My toilet seat (yes, seat!) even had one of those paper thingys over it saying “This toilet disinfected for your health”.   I actually said thank you to the toilet.

 

Sorry, but I needed to share my joy.  Usually I pay for cheap rooms, so I get cheap rooms.

 

On to the temple.  This morning I visited the Nataraja Temple famous for its brightly coloured large gopurams.  I loved looking at the gopurams because off all the colours and intricate details.  There’s so much to see on one gopuram. 

 

My favourite temple in the complex included an open-air hall that had gorgeous paintings on the ceiling and intricate carvings on the pillars.

Detail of one of the gopurams
  The stone floors had painted designs of brightly coloured flowers and shapes.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take any photos of that temple.

 

I’m finding that more and more temples I visit have people asking for donations and then asking for double the donation once you pull out your cash.  The funny thing is, you have to write your name, country, and donation on a ledger so that the temple can keep track of how much money is collected.  I can read how much money other people donate so I know I’m not being cheap here!  It’s weird to have to learn to say “no” while you’re making a donation!

 

Onwards now to Thanjavur.  This will be my third day on a bus.  I need a break.

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The tank at Nataraja Temple
The tank at Nataraja Temple
One of the gopurams
One of the gopurams
Detail of one of the gopurams
Detail of one of the gopurams
Detail of one of the gopurams
Detail of one of the gopurams
Chidambaram