At a distance of 65 km Karaikal, Chidambaram is a pilgrimage town in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. Well known for Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram is one of the most celebrated shrines in South India.
Chidambaram is also known as Thillai. The name Chidambaram comes from the Tamil word Chitrambalam which means the small hall or stage of wisdom. According to legend, it was once a forest of thillai, a mangrove species of trees. There was once a small shrine on the banks of a tank. The saints Vyagrapada and Patanjali are said to have worshipped at this shrine, now called Thirumoolanathar. It is believed that their penance attained perfection with the revelation of Shiva's cosmic dance by Lord Nataraja on the auspicious Thai Poosam.