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Kanchipuram Travel Guide

Kanchipuram - The Destination


3 S’s of Kanchipuram—silk, saints and shrines. The city of Kanchipuram forms a primary part of the golden triangle of the Southern India together with Chennai and Mahabalipuram. The sacred city is a beautiful place in India with temples in the every nook and corner. The temple city of Kanchipuram is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites in India and seat of the Shankaracharya.

This City of a Thousand Temples Kanchipuram is one of the seven holy cities of the  Hindus . Only  126  temples  remain in  Kanchipuram

now  but  the  town  still  attracts  visitors  from  around  the  country.Pilgrims, customers of silk, and the simply curious come to see the numerous carved temples and participate in the activities of this busy town.

You can spend the entire day visiting the temples in the city. The most important of the temples is the Ekambareswarar temple that was built by the Pallavas. Later it was reconstructed by the Chola and Vijayanagar kings. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity at the temple as Prithvi (earth). Earth is one of the five basic elements of this physical world. The temple is spread across 20-acres of land and the 58.5 m high Gopuram in the south are its remarkable features. The temple is 11 stories high and this makes it one of the tallest temple towers in South India. You will appreciate the beautiful sculptures of the temple as much as they are by the other tourists.

The other visit will be to the 8th century Vaikunta Perumal Temple that was built by Nandivarma Pallava. This is a Vaishnavite temple i.e. it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The beauty of the temple lies in the battle scenes that depict the Pallava valor. These scenes are carved on the panels surrounding the main parikrama.

Further in the Varadaraja Temple, which has a 100-pillared hall, was built by the Vijayanagar kings will prove the mastery of its artists to you. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is worshipped as Devarajaswamy.

At the Kailasanathar Temple you will find the panel depicting Shiva and Parvathi in the midst of one of their innumerable dance competitions. Pallava kings constructed the temple in the 8th century. The architecture of this temple is on the same lines as that of the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram. Later in the tour the imposing structure of the Kamakshi Amman Temple is bound to impress you. The temple is dedicated to goddess Parvathi in her guise as Kamakshi, the goddess who accedes to all requests. Go ahead and say your request.

You can visit the city anytime throughout the year. The fairs and festivals add color to the spectrum of temples at Kanchipuram. The Brahmothsavam, Garudothsavam and Ratha festivals, which are held in the months of January, April, and May are important occasions for you to plan to trip accordingly.

While at the religious center of Kanchipuram, do not forget to pick up souvenirs for one and all from this Silken Paradise. The city is world famous for the gorgeous hand-woven silk sarees of myriad rich colors, noted for their shine, finish and matchless beauty. These spectacular creations are marketed by a number of co-operative societies, located all over the state are will be excellent gifts for self and others.

Kanchipuram - Facts at a Glance

State : Tamil Nadu
Area : 11.6 sq kms
Temperature : 21.1 C – 36.6 C (Summer)
19.8 C – 28.7 C (Winter)
Rainfall : 87 cms
Altitude : Sea level
Language : Tamil, Telegu, English
Best Season : Throughout the year

History of Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram or the Golden City of Temples is one of the most important centers 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.  
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