CHIDAMBARAM, or Chedumbrum, a town of India, in the South Arcot district of Madras, 7 m. from the coast and 151 m. S. of Madras by rail. Pop. (1901) 19,909. The pagodas at Chidambaram are the oldest in the south of India, and portions of them are gems of art. Here is supposed to have been the northern frontier of the ancient Chola kingdom, the successive capitals of which were Uriyur on the Cauvery, Combaconum and Tanjore. The principal temple is sacred to Siva, and is said to have been rebuilt or enlarged by a leper emperor, who came south on a pilgrimage and was cured by bathing in the temple tank; upwards of 60,000 pilgrims visit the temple every December. It contains a "hall of a thousand pillars," one of numerous such halls in India, the exact number of pillars in this case being 984; each is a block of solid granite, and the roof of the principal temple is of copper-gilt. Three hundred of the highest-caste Brahmins live with their families within the temple enclosure.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)