ABOUT KANCHIPURAM (KANCHI):
- The ‘Golden city of Thousand Temple’, set on the banks of the Palar River is considered to be one of the seven sacred cities of India.
- It was under the control of the Cholas as far banks as the 2nd century B.C. and a Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries.
- Kanchi was a major centre of learning, culture and philosophy.
- It is also a world renowned silk centre.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Chennai International Airport, Chennai (MAA), 60 kms away from Kanchipuram city.
- Rail: Kanchipuram Railway Station, Kanchipuram, 2 kms away from Kanchipuram city centre.
- Road: Well connected by road.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE
FORT & MONUMENTS
Anna Memorial Vellore Vellore Fort
Kailasanathar Temple Ekambarnathar Temple Varadarajaswami Temple Kamakshi Amman Temple Vaikunta Perumal Temple Jaina Kanchi or Tiruparuttikunram Jalakanteshwar Temple
ATTRACTIONS OF KANCHIPURAM (KANCHI)
- Kailasanathar Temple:
- It is one of the earliest and most exquisite temples of Kanchipuram.
- Temple was built in the 7th century by the Pallavas King Rayasimha.
- Its sculptures, carved reliefs and the overall design and elegance are closer in style to the monolithic rock-cut temples at Mahabalipuram.
- The main sanctum enshrines a unique 16 sides Shivalingam is black granite stone.
- Ekambarnathar Temple:
- Temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva covers an area of about 20 acres and is one of the largest temples of the town.
- It was originally built by the Pallavas in 7th century and remodelled extensively by the Cholas and Rayas.
- 58.5 metres high gopuram and a massive outer stone wall were built in 1609, by Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar Empire.
- Temple has five corridors and a 1000 pillared hall.
- Huge ‘Prithvi (Earth) Lingam’ inside the main sanctum is one of the Pancha (Five) Lingams of South India.
- There are also 108 lingams carved out of a single stone.
- An ancient mango tree here believed to be over 3500 years old has four branches representing the four Vedas and bear fruits with four different tastes.
- Varadarajaswami Temple:
- Large temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu was built in 10th century by the Vijayanagar Kings.
- It has a massive outer wall and a beautifully sculpted Kalyanamandapam, called as ‘thousand pillared hall’.
- The exquisitely carved pillars depict various incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
- Kamakshi Amman Temple:
- Sacred shrine of goddess Kamakshi (Parvati) is said to be originally built before 7th century and was later re-built by the Cholas in 14th century.
- It is set in the heart of the town and is one of India’s three holiest places of Shakti worship.
- Temple complex also has a shrine dedicated to Shankracharya, who founded the Kamakoti Peetam (monastery) and built a golden gopuram here.
- Vaikunta Perumal Temple:
- 7th century shrine of Lord Vishnu was built by the Pallava King, Nadivarman II.
- Its towering Vimana with images of Lord Vishnu in standing, sitting and reclining postures is noteworthy.
- Jaina Kanchi or Tiruparuttikunram:
- Sacred site on the outskirts of the town has a conglomeration of several fine shrines reflecting the rich religious legacy of Kanchipuram.
- Beautiful painted Varddhman Temple and a smaller temple dedicated to Chandraprabha are noteworthy.
- Anna Memorial:
- It is the birth place of C.N. Annadurai, an eminent scholar and statesman.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND KANCHIPURAM (KANCHI)
- 64 kms away from Kanchipuram city.
- The ‘Fort City’ of Tamil Nadu nestles amidst the Eastern Ghats and is well known for its Fort and Jalakanteshwara temple.
- There is also a church built in an old British cemetery.
- Historic city is now better known for its Christian Medical College, started by Dr. Ida Scuddar, a medical missionary.
- It is rated among the best medical institutions of the country.
- Vellore Fort:
- 16th century granite fort built by Sinna Bommi Nayak, a Vassal chieftain under the Vijayanagar Kings.
- It is an excellent example of military architecture and has withstood several attacks.
- A small museum within the fort showcases objects of historic value, recovered from the region.
- Jalakanteshwar Temple:
- Shiva temple within the ramparts of the fort is built in the late Vijayanagar style.
- The temple is noted for its seven storeyed gopuram and the Kalyanamantapa.