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The City Of Temples

Welcome to the city of thousand temples. Kancheepuram  is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centres Ayodya, Madura, Maya, Kasi, Kanchi, Avanthi, Duvaragai for the Hindus.Conjeevaram is the English name of the ancient Kancheepuram. Kanchipuram owns 108 temples dedicated to siva and 18 to vishnu besides scores of other temples, mosques and churches and Adi Shankara Mutt.Like all ancient cities, Kancheepuram is also situated on the banks of a river, Vegavati. Kancheepuram is easily accessible from the state capital Chennai. It has within its limits historical places like mahabalipuram which are steeped in south indian culture and have won acclaim for their great edifices and magnificient temples of exquisite architectural beauty. Kancheepuram is also known for its culture and civilisation.

The Slik City

Kancheepuram is popular for its renowned crafted world famous silk sarees,  a traditional home industry.  Kancheepuram town is also known as Silk City since the main profession of the people living in and around is weaving silk sarees. The silk weavers of Kanchi settled more than 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk sarees in the country. Woven from pure mulberry silk and have an enviable reputation for texture, lustre, durability and finish. The sarees in dazzling colours are available in every imaginable design and variety, which can make the job of selection quite challenging. The products of Kancheepuram silk sarees are in architectural techniques, by using standard quality of fine gold threads; thus they are worthy and good quality in nature.To compare with other silk sarees, the Kancheepuram silk sarees are very famous in the world.


The Past

Kancheepuram is known as one of India's Seven sacred cities. Kancheepuram was the historical capital of the Pallavas from 6th to 8th Century A.D. and later became the citadel of the Cholas, Vijayanagar Kings, the Muslims and the British. It has been a center of Tamil leaning and culture and religious background for centuries.Kanchipuram gained fame after the third century AD, when it became the seat of learning and was also a prominent Buddhist center.


The Position

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 Nadu.

The Climate

The climate of Kanchipuram is tropical with an almost uniform temperature throughout the year.


Temples and Shrines

THE LAND OF ETERNAL REVERENCE !
The city of a Thousand Temples Ancient Kancheepuram is one of the most sacred pilgrim centres for the Hindus. Kanchipuram is one of the holiest cities of India and is famous for its shrines. There now remain 126 temples in Kanchi and a few more in the outskirts.
Kanchi is also a well 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. The temples of Kanchipuram were built by different dynasties, each enriching and refining the architecture further. Adi Sankara established his episcopal seat (Kamakotipeetam).

SOUTH INDIAN TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE
All the various temples in Kanchipuram belong to the south Indian style of temple architecture. As one nears the city of Kanchipuram, one is greeted by a cluster of temple shikharas (prominent roofs that surmount the sanctum sanctorum of the temples) and gopurams (tall and elaborately carved temple gateways), which are typical of the south Indian style of building temples.

 Route to Reach

BY ROAD - Kancheepuram is 75 km away from Chennai and is well connected by a network of roads. We would provide you all India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and also for the intercity drives too.

BY AIR -Chennai is the nearest airport to Kanchipuram. One can take flights for most of the important Indian cities and important cities abroad from Chennai.

BY RAIL -Trains for Kanchipuram are available from Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tirupati, and Bangalore.

Festivals


Brahmothsavam
January, March , April, May and June

Garudothsavam

May

Can Festival

January, April and May

Languages Spoken

Tamil, Telugu and English.

Sightseeing in Kancheepuram
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» Sakkiswarar Temple : Built by the Cholas, this temple is located near the Kamakshi Amman Temple.

» Vaikuntha Perumal Temple : An important Vishnu temple built by the Pallava King Nandivarman Pallavamalla, in the 7th century AD. Numerous inscriptions are found in the temple, relating to the wars between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas. The presiding deity Lord Vishnu is depicted in sitting, standing and reclining postures.

» Kailasanatha Temple : Built by Rajasimha and his son Mahendra the 3rd, in the 8th century AD. and has an attractive panel depicting Shiva and Parvathi in the midst of one of their innumerable dance competitions. The architecture of this temple resembles the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram.

» Ekambareswarar Temple : Another ancient temple, renovated by the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagar kings. The 57 metre high Rajagopuram, is one of the tallest towers in South India. The 2,501 - year old mango tree inside the temple has 4 branches each yielding different varities of mangoes. This temple has five spacious corridors (prakrams) and a beautiful 1,000 - pillar hall.

» Varadarajar Temple : It is a massive and impressive edifice.Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple was built by the Vijaynagar kings. The shrine of Devarajaswamy is located on an elephant-shaped rock called Hastagiri. Among the best pieces are the severed halves of a large chain carved out of a single stone and the figures of the God of Love and his consort astride a swan and a parrot. It is called The magnetic pull of the town.

» Kamakshi Amman Temple : This is one of the three holy places of Shakti worship in India. The other two are in Madurai and Varanasi. The temple in its present form was built by the Cholas, during the 14th century AD.

Anna Memorial
Kanchipuram is the birth place of Dr. C.N. Annadurai, the scholar statesman, affectionately called Anna - The Elder Brother - by the general public. His ancestral house located here has been converted into a memorial.

Enathur (5 kms )
Rustic rural setting adorn this village. Kanchi Sankara Mutt, has set up a University for Advanced learning at Enathur. Library with ancient books, palm leaf manuscripts on various subjects are housed in this University comlex. 60 feet-high statue of Adi Sankara is put up in the front of the University. Hundreds and thousands of pilgrims and scholars frequent this place regularly.

Handloom Industry
Kanchipuram's exquisite silk sarees are woven from pure mulberry silk in contrasting colours and have an enviable reputation for texture, lustre, durability and finish. More than 5,000 families are engaged in this industry and their spectacular creations are marketed by a number of co-operative socities, located all over the state. The Tamil Nadu Handloom House offers attractive rebates.


Excursions

Tiruparuthi Kundram (5 kms)
This is a suburb of Kanch on the southern bank of the Vegavathi river. It was a centre of Jainism.

Thiruthani ( 42 kms )
Thiruthani, lying to the west of Chennai, is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. Situated on a hill top, the temple is accessible by road as well as by train. 365 steps lead to the hill which represent the days of the year. Thiruthani is said to be the place where the Lord married Valli - one of his two consorts. The Karthigai festival which falls in December is celebrated with great pomp here and it is one of the most crowded periods of the year. This small town is also the birth place of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, a philosopher - statesman and former President of India.

Vedanthangal ( 48 kms)
Vedanthangal is one of the largest bird sancturies in India. It is a marshy, 30 hectare park with lake visited by over 1,00,000 migratory birds every year. The majority of these birds can be seen between November and February. The variety of birds include Herons, Darters, Spoonbills, Pelicans, Sandpipers, White Ibis, Cormorants,Blue winged teals and Swans.

Uthiramerur ( 28 kms. )
An ancient Siva Temple built according to silpa satras that contains inscriptions about village administration in those days is situated here. There is also an ancient Vaishnavite temple which is massive in structure. It is also muti-storeyed with Astanga Vimana.

Sriperumpudhur (29 kms)
It is the birth place of Saint Ramanujar, the Father of Visishtadvaida philosophy of Vaishnavism and hence an important pilgirim centre for the Vaishnavites. A memorial for Sri Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India, is situated here. Tourist accommodation is available.

Vandalur (35 kms.)
The new sprawling 1,265-acre Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur, the biggest in South India, has, among other species, a superb collection of tropical mammals, birds and reptiles. The animals are in vast natural enclosures enabling them to move freely.

Where to Stay

It is difficult to find quality accommodation in Kanchipuram. Most of the lodges are situated near the city bus stand. Some guesthouses also provide basic facilities, and a clean environment to the travelers. But for a tourist visiting Kanchipuram, Hotel Tamil Nadu (TTDC) is a perfect place to unpack besides this there are other unclassified hotels also.


Conclusion

Kancheepuram means city of gold. It is called the Kashi or Varanasi of South India.

 

 
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