Friday, August 12, 2022


Kanchipuram - Ekambareswara Temple | Kailasanatha (Shiva) Temple | Vaikunthaperumal Temple | Varadaraja Temple


It is situated 76 Kms southwest of Madras.  It was successively the former capital of the ancient Pallavas, Cholas and Vijayanagar empire.  This old city is known as 'the Golden city of 1,000 temples'. It is one of the seven sacred cities of India and is famous for hand-woven silk fabrics.Kanchipuram Silk Saree

The kings from Pallava and Vijayanagar period built various temples. They also patronised all the arts making Kanchipuram, a great center of learning not only for Hindus but also for Jains and Buddhists.  The Tamil religious and literary works flourished during this period.  The teachings of Sankaracharya (spiritual teacher) is carried at the Sankaracharya Matt.  The Headquarters of  the 'Math' is situated at  Kanchipuram.  

The Ekambareswara Temple is at north western part of the town.  It was constructed in the mid of  9th century by the Pallavas.  It has a 200 ft gopuram with more than 10 stories of intricate sculpture.  The temple is dedicated to Shiva.  There is a mango tree, thought to be 3,500 years old, inside the courtyard. The four main branches is said to bear fruit with a different taste  depicting the four Hindu Vedas (oldest known Hindu religious text). 

The Kailasanatha (Shiva) Temple  The temple is situated at Putleri street, 1.5 Km west of town centre. It was build by Pallava king Rayasimha in late 7th century. The foundation of this temple is made of  granite, the superstructure was built from carved sandstones. There are sculptures of Shiva in various poses, to give a picture of  different aspects of  mythology. 

The Vaikunthaperumal Temple (Vishnu's Paradise).  This temple was built in the 8th century. It has  4-storey vimana in square with three shrines, each with a different pose of Vishnu. Its colonnade lion pillars and extensive sculptures bears historical pallava inscriptions. 

The Varadaraja  Temple (bestower of boons), also known as Devarajaswamy Temple  is 3 Km south east of town.  This temple is a  place of pilgrim and is dedicated to Vishnu.  Its beautifully carved 100 pillar mandapam is one of the attractions.  The 100 ft high gopuram was originally built in 11th century.  It was renovated by the Vijyanagar Kings after 500 years.