Kanchipuram is known as one of India's Seven Sacred cities.
Kanchipuram was the historical capital of the Pallavas. It was
under the Pallavas from 6th to 8th century A.D and later became
the citadel of Cholas, Vijayanagar Kings, the Muslim and the
British. It has been a centre of Tamil learning, cultural and
religious background for centuries.
Kanchi is also known centre of the finest silk sarees made in
the country. Kanchi has magnificent temples of unique architectural
beauty bearing eloquent testimony to its glorious Dravidian
heritage. Adi Sankara established his Episcopal seat (Kamakotipeetam).
Kanchipuram is the birthplace of C.N. Annadurai, former Chief
Minister of Tamil Nadu affectionately called as "Anna"
by the people of Tamil Nadu.
Kanchipuram, the Golden City of a thousand temples, is the
capital of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Rayas of Vijayanagar.
During the 6th and 7th centuries, the Pallavas built some of
the best temples in the city. The city was also a great seat
of learning. Sri Sankaracharya, Appar, Siruthonder and the great
Budddhist Bhikku lived, and worked here. Today, it is known
not only for its temples, but also for its handwoven silk fabrics.
Kanchipuram or the Golden City of Temples is one of the most
important centres of Hindu religion and also one of the most
picturesque. The place is one of India's seven sacred cities
and the second holiest after Varanasi. The city was once the
capital of the Pallavas, Cholas, and the Vijayanagar rulers.
It was under the Pallavas from 6th to 8th century AD but, during
that period, was also briefly occupied by the Chalukyas, and
the Rashtrakutas. Many of the temples situated here are the
work of the Pallavas and later Cholas.
Location and Access
75-Km From Chennai, Tamil Nadu its called Religious Capital
Of South India. Kanchipuram is one of the most sacred Hindu
pilgrimage sites in India and the seat of the Shankaracharya.
The temple city of Kanchipuram extends from latitude 12? 50'
in the north to longitude 79? 45' in the east. The city is situated
around 70 km from Chennai in the south Indian state of Tamil
How to Get There
Air :-Chennai is the nearest
airport to Kanchipuram.
Rail :-Trains for Kanchipuram are available
from Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tirupati, and Bangalore.
Road :-Kanchipuram is 75-km away from Chennai
and is well connected by a network of roads. There are frequent
buses from the city to Chennai, Bangalore and other places.
For local transportation bicycles can be hired from the shops
near the bus stand. Cycle Rickshaws and auto rickshaws are also
available on hire to move in and around the city.
Pilgrimage Attractions of Kanchipuram
Kamakshi Amman Temple
India has three main cities where the Goddess Shakti is worshipped.
Kanchipuram holds the most important rank among the three. In
the same order, the three places are Kanchipuram, where the
Goddess Kamakshi is worshipped, Madurai, where the Goddess Meenakshi
is worshipped, and Kashi, where the deity is 'Visaalakshi'.
The Kamakshi Amman temple is the hub of all religious activities
in Kanchipuram. The temple is also in closer control of the
Shankara Mutt, unlike the other temples, which are governed
either by the Department of Archaeology, Government of India,
or the Hindu Temples Department of the Tamil Nadu Government.
The main tower over the sanctum (Vimanam) of the temple is gold
plated. Also of significance is the Golden Chariot in this temple.
The Golden Chariot is taken in a procession around the temple
on Friday evenings around 7.00 p.m. This temple also features
an Art Gallery with pictures depicting the history of Sri Adishankaracharya
and the Shankara Mutt.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kailashanathar (also spelt as Kailashnatha)
is one of the earliest temples built by the Pallava ruler Rajasimha
Pallava and was completed by his son, Mahendra Varma Pallava
in the 8th century AD. It is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram
and the finest example of Pallava architecture in South India.
The temple is situated among several low-roofed houses just
over 1-km west of the town centre. Of all the temples in India,
no other edifice has been so elaborately filled with all the
64 aspects of Lord Shiva. The temple is unique in its architecture
and is viewed more as an architectural wonder than as a holy
place. Hence, it is never crowded with locals. But, once in
a year during Shivaratri festival large crowds visit the temple
and there could be hours of waiting in long queues.
Ekambareshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the
largest temples in Kanchipuram, spreading over an area of 12.14
hectares. This ancient temple is surrounded by a huge stonewall
built in the early 16th century during the days of the Vijayanagar
Empire. Ekambareshwar temple is of hoary antiquity, beginning
as a small fane, it has grown over the centuries into a large
one with innumerable shrines, Mandapams, Gopurams and Tanks.
It is considered to be one of the most ancient temples in India
and has been in existence even prior to 600 AD. It enshrines
Kumara Kottam is located in between the Kamakshi and Ekambareshwar
temples in the Somaskanda formation in the town of Kanchipuram.
It is a well-visited temple with two Prakarams and a complete
pantheon of Parivara Devatas enshrined in their respective shrines.
In the sanctum, Muruga is in a seated pose. Valli, Deivayani
are absent here, but their festival idols are kept here. In
accordance with the function of Creation he has assumed, his
right arm is in Abaya pose, the upper hand holds the rosary,
and the lower left arm is on the thigh in Katyavailambita pose
with the left arm holding the Kamandalam. The posture is also
called "Brahma Chattam".
The Varadaraja temple is one of the important shrines of Sri
Vaishnavites, also known as "Hastigiri" and is one
of the celebrated Vaishnava Divya Desams, located in Vishnu
Kanchi or "the Little Kanchi". Originally it was known
as "Attiyuran". The main deity here is Varadaraja
Perumal in a standing posture facing west and the Lord here
is also known as "Devaraja", "Pranatharthihara",
"Deva Perumal", "Athiyooran" and "Perarulalan".
Varadaraja temple with superb art has a magnificent history,
which is associated with Sri Ramanuja, who used to serve here.
Many miracles are said to have occurred. It was with his ministry
that the temple, then already several centuries old, began to
Ulahalanda Perumal Temple
Ulahalanda Perumal temple, situated about half a kilometre
from the centre of the town near Kamakshi Amman temple is one
of the oldest temples in Kanchipuram. The deity Ulahalanda Perumal
in this temple represents the "Vamana Roopam", an
incarnation of Lord Vishnu taken to save the Devas from the
Demon king Mahabali. The deity Ulahalanda Perumal is depicted
by a huge image of about 35 feet high.
Festivals Celebrated In Kanchipuram- Some of the important festivals
celebrated in Kanchipuram are