a land of legends and dreams, a land of Gods and Goddesses, of kings
and thinkers, of temples and exotic silks. And then come to Kanchipuram,
one of the seven holy cities of the Hindus, where a myriad intricately
carved temples and reams of elaborately woven silk complete the
picture. Once the City of a Thousand Temples, only 126
temples remain in this bustling town. Kanchipuram was prominent
as the capital of the glorious Cholas, Pallavas and the Vijayanagar
dynasties of the south, rulers who worshipped Shiva, Parvati and
Vishnu and dedicated a thousand temples to these Gods.
As far as shopping goes, it
must be silks and more silks! The famous Kanjeevaram silks are from
worms bred purely on mulberry and the end product is spectacularly
shot through with gold zari threads. Visit a silk weaving center
such as the Handloom Weavers' Service Centre on Railway Station
Road. Or walk down the dusty lanes and narrow gullies where more
than 5000 families are involved in this ancient craft. Your memories
of Kanchipuram are bound to be woven in silk! Places
- Kailasanathar Temple
It is similar to the ancient
Dravidian Style; the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Kailasanathar Temple was built by king Rajasimha in 7th century;
there are 58 small shrines around the main shrine formed in the
honour of Shiva, Parvati, Murugan and Ganesh.
- Ekambaranathar Temple
This is the largest temple
in Kanchipuram, it covers approximately 12 hectare. The temple
is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Later, the temple was renovated by
Cholas and Vijayanagra Kings. There is a mango tree within the
temple compound, which is believed to be 3500 years old, the
four branches represents the four Vedas. The tree still bears
- Sri Vardaraja Perumal Temple
The highlight of the
Vishnu Kanchi is the temple of Varadarajaswamy, atop the
Hastigiri or Elephant Hill. The Vijayanagar kings constructed
this temple covering an area of about 23 acres. The sculptural
beauty of the pillars is amazing as are the ornamental rings
carved out of single stone at the Four Corners of the mandapam
in the form of a chain.
is well connected by road and rail to Chennai, which is the nearest
domestic and international airport 75 km away. Kanchipuram is well
placed on the road network. Inexpensive and clean buses ply frequently
between Kanchipuram and major cities like Bangalore and Chennai.
The roads are smooth, and renting a car is a good option.
The best time to visit is in the early
part of the year, from January to March when it is pleasantly cool -
temperatures average at between 20-28° C. This is also a good
time to see migratory birds at the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary 60 km
from Kanchipuram. The rath (chariot) procession of the gods takes
place in January too.Hoe to Reach
The nearest airport is Madras.
Connected by road to Madras (71 Km).
Connected by rail to Madras.