Kanchipuram Temple Trip
Location : 70 kms from Chennai
Area : 11.6 Sq. Kms
Attractions : Kanchipuram temples
Ideal Time to Visit : September to May
¤ Kanchipuram, The City of Temples
One of the most sacred sites in India, Kanchipuram is the seat of the
Shankaracharya. The city is situated around 70 kms from Chennai in the
south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Kanchipuram was the capital city of
the early Chola kings in the 2nd century BC and a Pallava capital
between the 6th and 8th centuries.
Known as the city of thousand temples, it is one of the seven most
sacred pilgrim centers for the Hindus. Kanchi has about 126 temples
remaining in total and a few more in its outskirts.
Besides its temples, Kanchipuram is also known for its growing hand
loom industry. This beautiful small city has many silk weavers
residing here from more than 400 years ago. This has made it the best
the producer of some of the finest silk sarees in the country. The
Kanchipuram silk sarees are exotic pieces of art, woven from pure
mulberry silk. Available in a variety of designs, these sarees have
blazing colours and are decorated with fine gold thread (zari).
The ancient city of temples, Kanchipuram, is one of the most
important centers of Hindu religion. It is also one of the most
picture perfect towns. It is considered one of India's seven sacred
cities and the second holiest city after Varanasi.
It was once the capital city of the Pallavas, Cholas, and the
Vijayanagar rulers. Many of the temples situated here are built by the
Pallavas and later Cholas.
A few Buddhist stupas remining here indicate the presence of Buddhism
in earlier centuaries. The Kanchi Kamakotti Peetham situated here is
one of the four seats of Sri Adi Shankaracharya (a great Hindu sage).
It has been a center of Tamil learning and culture for centuries and
presents the glorious Dravidian heritage of the Vaishnavites
(worshippers of Vishnu) and Shaivites (worshippers of Shiva).
¤ Attractions At Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram is a scared pilgrimage with many beautiful temples, the
holy town is one of the holiest places in India. The temples found
here are grand and majestic. They are very popular among devotees, who
flock this temple in huge numbers. Some of the most important temples
here are the Ekambaranathar Temple, built by the Pallavas and later
reconstructed by the Chola and Vijayanagar kings, that makes excellent
trip to Kanchipuram. This temple owns 11 stories and one of the
tallest temple towers in South India. It is beautifully decorated with
sculptures. Another sacred temple here is the Vaikunta Perumal Temple
which dates back to the 8th century. It was built by Nandivarma
Pallava. There are scenes from battle carved on the panels encircling
the main parikrama of this Vaishnavite temple. These scenes depict the
bravory of Pallava kings. Anothere temple, the Varadaraja Temple is
dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is worshipped as Devarajaswamy here.
This temple has a 100-pillared hall, built by the Vijayanagar kings
presenting the skillfulness of their artists.
Other important temples of the region are the Kailasanathar Temple
and the Kamakshi Amman Temple. The Kailasanathar Temple was
constructed by the Pallava kings in the 8th century AD. It has a
captivating panel portraying Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in the
midst of one of their many dance competitions. The architecture of
this temple resembles the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram. At the same
time the Kamakshi Amman Temple has a grand structure, dedicated to
goddess Parvati in her incarnation as Kamakshi, the goddess of Love.
Kanchipuram extends its sacredness and beauty to its nearby areas
also. Thus, offering a number of excursion trip options. Some of these
are Tiruttani near Kanchipuram, one of the six abodes of Lord
Subramanya, situated on a hilltop. The temple has 365 steps, leading
to the hill, these steps represent the days of the year. Another
important trip is to the Sriperumbudur, situated about 29 kms from
Chennai on the way to Kanchipuram. It is the birthplace of Saint
Ramanujar, the father of the Vishishtadvaita philosophy of Vaishnavism
and hence an important pilgrim center for the Vaishnavites.
of the most vital places around Kanchipuram is the Vedanthangal Bird
Sanctuary sitauted about 60 km from Kanchi. On your bird sighting trip
to Kanchipuram, one can find many migratory birds like the sandpiper,
white ibis, spoonbill, swan and gray wagtail etc. Definitely, a worth
visiting place. Another destination around Kanchi is the Elagiri Hill.
This hill is a detached and a popular picnic spot in the Eastern Ghats
situated at a height of about 1000 m. The healthy climate, natural
beauty and a Murugan temple makes it a must visit place.
¤ Fairs & Festivals
Kanchipuram, the city of temples celebrates fairs and festivals all
round the year. Some important festivals include the Brahmothsavam,
Garudothsavam, and Car (rath) festivals, celebrated in the months of
January, April, and May respectively.
¤ Reach Kanchipuram
By Air : Chennai (75 kms) is
the nearest airport from Kanchipuram. One can take flights for most of
the important Indian cities and for abroad from Chennai.
By Rail : Trains for Kanchipuram are available from Chennai,
Chengalpattu, Tirupati, and Bangalore.
By Road : Kanchipuram is 75 kms away from Chennai and is well
connected by a good network of roads.
Local Transportation : Tourists interested in visiting the
temples can rent bicycles or use cycle-rickshaws and auto-rickshaws.