Treasure Trove of Temples Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram, the Golden City of a thousand temples, and one of the seven sacred cities of India, is 71 km from Madras. The city was once the capital of the Pallavas, Cholas, and the Vijaynagar rulers. One of the four seats of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, the Kanchi Kamakotti Peeth is situated here. It has been a center for Tamil learning and culture for centuries and presents the glorious Dravidian heritage of the Vaishnavites and Shaivites.
Pilgrimage Attractions in Kanchipuram
Kamakshi Amman Temple: Kamakshi Amman fulfills all our wishes through her eyes, so she is called as Kamakshi. Kanchi is sacred as one of the 3 Shakti peeths of India. Kamakshi is said to be the Super goddess, Parasakti, having Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati as her eyes. It was built by Cholas in 14th century. The goddess is worshipped in the form of a Chakra placed in front of the idol.
Sri Ekambareshwara Temple: Is the most famous Siva temple where he is worshipped in the form of Earth Linga and its 11 storey structure temple tower which is adorned with beautiful sculptures is one of the tallest temple towers in south India. The temple is said to have been built at the spot where the lord forgave Parvati. The ancient mango tree in the courtyard is worshipped by all even today with great veneration. It has got four branches representing the four Vedas.
Varadaraja Temple: Is dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is worshipped as Devarajaswamy here. One has to ascend 24 steps up the hill to reach the sanctum. Significant among the sculptures is the 100 Pillar Hall. This entire masterpiece has been sculpted out of a single rock. The ornamental rings carved out of a single stone in a chain at the four corners are the special features of the hall.
Vaikunda Perumal Temple: Built in 8th century by Nandivarma Pallava. It is said that a Pallava king performed an exquisitely sweet-scented sandal bath to Sri Kailasanatha on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri day and the holy bath water ran as a stream. Its inner walls are decorated with lion shaped pillars.
Kailasanathar Temple: Was constructed by the Pallava kings in the 8th century AD. It was constructed mostly of limestone. The walls of this temple are filled with great sculptures and paintings. There are 58 small shrines situated around the main shrine. The walls have an attractive panel depicting Shiva and Parvati in the midst of one of their innumerable dance competitions. Paintings of Fresco-style adorn the inner walls of the shrines.
How to Reach
By Air: Nearest airport is Chennai International airport, which is 75 km away.
By Rail: Kanchipuram rail line is connected to Chennai, Pondicherry, Nagarcoil and Madurai.
By Road:State owned public transport system connects Kanchipuram to many cities in and around Chennai. Private tourist bus services are also available.