Kanchipuram
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KANCHIPURAM


INTRODUCTION

Kanchipuram the golden city of a thousand temples is one of the seven most sacred cities of India.Kanchi is also called as the Varanasi of the South and is held in great reverence.Kanchi is also famous for its finest hand woven silk fabrics and saris with delicate zari work. It was the capital city of the Pal lava dynasty. This city is famous for its numerous temples such as Kailasanthat temple, Ekambareshwararn temple and Kamakshiamman temple. This is also the seat of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetadipathi of the Advaita tradition.Kanchipuram is considered to be as India's seven sacred cities and the second holiest after Varanasi.

HISTORY

Kanchipuram has been the capital city between 6th to 8th century AD during the reign of the notable dynasties like Pallavas, Cholas, and the Vijayanagar.Kanchipuram was also taken over by the Chalukyas, and the Rashtrakutas for a short period from the Pallavas.Most of the temples in and around Kanchipuram was built by the Pallavas and later Cholas. History also states that Buddhism prevailed in Kanchipuram for a brief period which is evident from the Buddhist stupas present here. One of the four seats of Sri Adi Shankaracharya the Kanchi Kamakotti Peetham is situated here. For centuries Kanchipuram was a great center for Tamil learning and culture.Kanchipuram presents the glorious Dravidian heritage of the Vaishnavites and Shaivites where the former were the worshippers of Vishnu and the later were the worshippers of Shiva.

LOCATION

Kanchipuram is situated towards south of Tamil Nadu at a distance of 70 km from Chennai extending from latitude 12° 50' in the north to longitude 79° 45' in the east.

FAIRS AND FETIVALS

Kanchipuram is a place where one can witness fairs and festivals throughout the year.Brahmothsavam is celebrated in the month of January and Garudothsavam, and Car (rath) festivals during the month of April and May respectively.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Sri Ekambareswara Temple

Kanchipuram is also known as the Pancha Bhutha Sthalas for Lord Ekambareswara here has taken the avathar of "Prithvi Lingam". This temple is spread over an area of 20 acres and the gopuram in the south goes upto a height of 58.5m. The legend behind this temple is that when Parvathy and Lord Shiva were playing, Parvathy closed the eyes of Shiva bringing darkness to the entire world. Lord Shiva got very angry with Parvathy's behavior and he cursed her become black like Kali. Goddess Parvathi was not able to take the punishment and so she descended on earth and performed an act of self-mortification under a mango tree and made a lingam out of earth.

Sri Kailasanathar Temple

Sri Kailasanathar Temple was built during the 8th century by Rajasimha of the Pallava dynasty.

This temple has an excellent architecture built with full of red sandstone resembling that of the Shore Temple at amallapuram.

Dauntless carvings of the Pallava art can be witnessed here of which the Urdhva Tandava dance of Siva and the laughing face of Parvati are worth seeing.

Sri Vardaraja Perumal Temple

Sri Vardaraja Perumal Temple sprawls over an area of about 23 acres atop the Hastigiri or Elephant Hill by the Vijayanagar kings.

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.

Sri Kacchapaeswarar Temple

Pallava Dynasty built Kacchapaeswarar temple. In this temple, Siva appears as being worshipped by Vishnu in the form of turtle (kurmemerali). 'Kacchapam' is a Sanskrit word for 'Turtle', hence the name 'Kacchapa Eswarar Temple'.

Sri Kamakshiamman Temple

Sri Kamakshiamman Temple is one of the three Sakti peethas of India.

The presiding deity of this temple is Kamakshi having Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati as her eyes.

The Gayatri Mandapam surrounded by grove of Champaka trees houses the sanctum sanctorum in the centre and it faces the southeast direction.

Kamakodi peetham

The kamakodi peetham and kammakshiamman temple are closely associated with the life of Sankaracharya.

The Kamakoti Peetham is enshrined in the Sri Chakra just in front of Sri Devi and all pujas and sacrifices are offered to the Sri Chakra.


Sri Ulagalandar Temple

This Vaishnava Temple is supposed to be one of the 108 Divya Desam's of Lord Vishnu and was built in Chola period .The main deity of this temple takes the form of Trivikrama and are 35 feet high and 24 feet wide posing with one foot on earth and the other on the sky. -storey structure in the shape of a lotus flower with beautiful archways set in geometric pattern. This Mahal was mainly used by the queens during the month of summer.

Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple

Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple which belongs to the seventh century was built by the Pallava ruler.

This temple which is famous for its architecture has beautiful sculptures and inscriptions.

The other features adding to the merit of this temple are the inner walls are decorated with lion shaped pillars.

Sri Vijayaraghava Perumal Temple

This temple is again one of the 108 Divyadesams.Legends say that it is in this place Lord Rama performed the funeral rites for Jatayu.Jatayu was the giant bird that possessed valor and fought with Ravana when he was trying to take away Sita to Lanka.

Jain Temples at Tirupparuthikkundram

Kanchipuram has many temples of the Jain Tirthankaras for most of the Pallava kings were followers of Jainism. These Jain temples belong to the ninth century and have excellent fresco paintings and a grand image of Bhagwan Mahaveer.

Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple

Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple is a famous and a sacred pilgrimage spot where the Hindus considers it as mandatory to visit this temple which was built in 1915.The location of this temple is said to be a rare phenomenon according to the Hindu scriptures.

SHOPPING

Kanchipuram is noted worldwide for its silk sarees.Kanchipuram silks saris are woven using a dazzling array of colorful threads and fine golden thread or zari into alluring patterns depicting traditional temple motifs. The other items in the shopping list include artifacts like fruit baskets, candle stands, and jewelry boxes and idols of gods and goddesses. These made of stone, bronze, brass, copper and souvenirs. The main shopping area includes Mettu street and Gandhi road.

EAT OUTS

1.Heartbeat Group
Mettu Street
Kanchipuram

2.Sakthi Ganapathi
Raja Street
Kanchipuram

3.Hotel Sakthiganapathy
Kanchipuram-631501

4.Rama's Cafe
Kanchipuram-631501

5.Royal Inn
Kanchipuram-631501

6.Sindoori Hotel
Kanchipuram-631501

7.Sri Muniyandi Restaurant
Kanchipuram-631501

ACCOMMODATION

1.Hotel Babu Surya
Vaigundaperumal Koil Street
Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

2.GRT Regency
487 Gandhi Road
Kanchipuram, 631502

3.Balaji Resorts
110, Sivanthangal Road
Sriperumbudur, Kanchipuram - 602 105
Tamil Nadu
Phone: 044-27162777

4.Hotel Jaybala International
(A Unit of Jaybala Hotels Pvt. Limited)
# 504,Gandhi Road, Kanchipuram-631501
Tamil Nadu
Phone: 044-27224348

5.Kushal Lodge
Nellukkara Street
Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

6.Sri Rama Lodge
21, Nellukara Street
Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 044-22435

7.M.M. Hotel
65-66, Nellukara Street
Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

8.Baboo Surya Hotel
85, East Raja Street
Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

Travel Guide

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Travel Information

Airlines   Buses   Railways   Hotels   Eat Outs   Cabs

GETTING THERE

By Air

The nearest airport from Kanchipuram is in Chennai, which is 75 kms away. 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. Kanchipuram is connected to both broad gauges that lead to western parts of Tamilnadu and North India and meter gauge that connect to the southern most part of Tamilnadu.

By Road

Kanchipuram is well connected by a good network of roads. Many of the major transport corporations of Tamilnadu operate buses connecting Chennai and Kanchipuram.