Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
Been there recently?
One of the holiest cities in India, Kanchipuram was ruled by all the major dynasties of South India, as is evident from the rich cultural lineage they left behind. Also known as Kanchi, it was a large and famous educational centre, with students from all over South India attending the university here. Even the founder and great king of the Kadamba dynasty, Mayura Verma, studied here during the 4th century. The city looks deceptive by nature, but its history and the names of the great kings who lived and ruled from here would raise eyebrows. It is believed that there were over a thousand temples here, but hardly a hundred remain now in the erstwhile kingdom. Once a great learning centre, a great cultural centre, and a great civilizational centre, Kanchipuram is now left with the rumblings of a fantastic past through about ten outstanding temples in the city and many more in the surrounding rural areas. August to March is the best time to visit the city of a thousand pillars, Kanchipuram. It is located approximately 70 kilometres away from Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu. It is well connected by rail routes. Chennai is the nearest airport.
Nearby Places to See
Situated right on a sizable plot of land and designed in the Dravidian architectural style, the Kamakshi Amman Temple is the holiest site in all of Kanchi. The history of this temple, which is dedicated to the goddess Parvati, dates back to the 7th century, with subsequent rulers adding to it over time. More people visit this temple than any other in the city.
Another one of Kanchi’s magnificent temples is the Varadharaja Perumal Temple, which was constructed in the 11th century by the Chola kings. Nearly 350 inscriptions dating back nine dynasties and eight centuries, all of which are dedicated to Bhagavan Vishnu, have been discovered. It’s highly unlikely that any other temple contains as many unique inscriptions as this one does. Artistic carvings and designs beautify the pillars that form the temple’s outer ring.
The Ekambareswarar Temple dates back to the 9th or 10th century and was originally constructed by the Cholas. It was later renovated, primarily by the Vijayanagara rulers. Part of the ‘must-visit trio’ of Kanchipuram, which also includes the above-mentioned temples, is a temple with attractive architecture and a beautiful pond.
Aside from the aforementioned three, there are numerous other temples in the city that are just as beautiful, significant, and ancient. There are also temples dedicated to Parameshwara, Kaliasanatha, Kumarakottam, Perumal, Devarajaswamy, and Panduranga in the city.
Over a century has passed since the house at Kanchi Kudil was built, and now it serves as a museum showcasing the way of life of the people who once lived there. Spaces, furnishings, and ornaments are all displayed for posterity. Countless sightseers flock here each year.
Things to Buy
Things to buy include Kanjivaram sari, Jewellery box, Idols, Souvenirs.
Foods to Relish
Pongal, Idli, Vada, Dosa, Idiyappam, Uthappa.