Situated on the East Coast of Tamil Nadu East Coast of Tamil Nadu, this district has its headquarters in Cuddalore. Cuddalore was an important British trading post and port. The Harbour at the mouth of the Ponnaiyar River was once the scene of considerable commercial activity but it is now not in use. The most important landmark in Cuddalore is Fort St. David, from where Robert Clive first won his spurs during the Campaign against the French. Today, the fort houses the offices of Parry and Company.
Listed below are the best places to visit when you visit Cuddalore.
Karaiyeravittakuppam (10 Km)
This is the place where Appar Swamigal was tied to a stone and thrown into the sea. Miraculously, he floated on the water and reached the shore safely.
Kurinjippadi (33 Km)
This is the famous centre for handloom items, especially lungis.
Neyveli (40 Km)
This is one of the biggest industrial centers in the country. Lignite is mined here and used by a thermal power station. Fertilisers, coking coal and several by-products are obtained from lignite. Contact the Public Relation Officer for permission to visit the complex.
Parangipettai (Porto Novo)
A former Portuguese settlement, this place is known for the Institute of Marine Biology set up by the Annamalai University.
Chidambaram (44 Km)
One of the most important pilgrim centres in the state, Chidambaram means the sky permeated by an atmosphere of intelligence and wisdom. The Nataraja temple here was built by Cholas. Devoted solely to the art of Bharathanatyam, Lord Shiva is depicted in a stunning piece of sculpture as the dancing Nataraja. Spread over 40 acres, the temple complex has five Shabas (courts) and four gopurams (towers). The annual dance festival is held here in February. The Annamalai University, founded by Raja Sir Annamalai chettaiar, is located on the eastern outskirts of the town.
Srimushnam (60 Km)
Located northeast of Chidambaram, the Sri Bhuvarahaswami temple here is one of the eight self-created swayamvyaktam kshetras in the south. The Purushasukta Mandapam here is shaped like a ratham (car) on which there are carvings of warriors mounted on horses and elephants.
Tirunaraiyur (62 Km)
This is a noteworthy Saivite place mentioned in the ancient Tamil literature, which is also the birthplace of Saint Nambiyandar Nambi who was the disciple of the local Lord Vinayaka Peruman. King Raja Raja Cholan discovered the ancient Tamil verses are a grand festival attended by many devotees from far and wide.
Thiruvadigai (22 km)
This is one of the eight “Virattaanai” Saivite temples sung in the praise by the Naayanmars. Here, the legends state that Lord Shiva set aflame the three lokhas (realms) called Muppuram with his third eye. He also cured the acute stomach ailment of Thirunavukkarasar, who was later persuaded by his elder sister Thilagavathiar to give up Jainism and embrace Saivism with the divine grace of Lord Shiva.
Thiruvendhipuram (9 Km)
The famous Vaishnavite Devanathar temple is situated here. On a hillock nearby, the temple dedicated to Arulmighu Hayagreevar is situated. The famous Vaishnavate Saint Vedantha Desigar lived here.
Thiruvamur (34 Km)
This is the birthplace of Saint Thirunavukkarasar.
Vadalur (34 km)
The major tourist attraction here is the Sathyagnana Sabha which was constructed by Ramalingaswamigal, popularly called as Adigalar. The four great towers of the Chidambaram temple are visible from this octagon shaped building. The sanctum of this temple is separated from the main hall by seven screens. Only three of these are removed on the ordinary days, but during the Thai Poosam in December – January, all the screens are removed in order to allow the devotees an unrestricted view of the eternal flame or “jothi”.
Vriddhachalam (60 km)
This town on the banks of the river Manimuttar has an ancient Siva temple dedicated to Lord Vridhagirishwarar. His consort is Vridhambigai.