Top Tourist Attractions in Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram, also known as Kanchi, is an ancient city in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state. Considered a holy pilgrimage site by Hindus, it is home to many temples. The 8th-century Kailasanathar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a vast complex with intricate sandstone carvings. Ulagalanda Perumal Temple houses a huge statue of Lord Vishnu. A mango tree in the Ekambareswarar Temple courtyard is thought to be sacred. Located in the south-Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram is one of the holiest sites in the country after Varanasi. It is also known as the City of Thousand Temples because of the vast number of temples located here.
Best Places to Visit in Kanchipuram
- Kailasanathar Temple
- Sankara Mutt
- Kanchi Mutt
- KAMAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE
- Ekambaranathar Temple
- SRI VARADARAJA PERUMAL TEMPLE
- VAIKUNTA PERUMAL TEMPLE
- SAKUNTHALA JAGANATHAN MUSEUM OF FOLK ART
- ULAGALANDHA PERUMAL TEMPLE
- SRI ASHTABUJA PERUMAL TEMPLE
- SUNDARA VARADA PERUMAL
Best Time to Visit in Kanchipuram
Tourism Places in Kancheepuram District
The Kanchi Kailasanathar temple is Kancheepuram’s oldest Shiva temple. The Shiva lingam of this temple is 10 feet tall. Rajasimha, also known as Narasimhavarman II, a Pallava prince, founded the Kanchi Kailasanathar temple in the 7th century AD. It is famous for its beautiful Vimana, or gopuram, which soars above the sanctum sanctorum.
Kailasanathar Temple Sculpture
It speaks eloquently about the architectural splendour that flourished during the reign of the Pallava ruler. The temple’s base is made of granite tones, while the superstructure is made of sandstone. The Archaeological Survey of India currently looks after the temple. The temple is open from 6.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., as well as 4.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Kailasanathar Temple is 3 kilometres from Kancheepuram bus terminal. Kancheepuram is the nearest railway station. The temple is 2.7 kilometres from Kancheepuram Railway Station. To go to this temple, you can use a private cab. The temple is 75 kilometres from Chennai.
It is known as Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and is said to have been founded by Adi Sankara himself as Moolamnaya Sarvajana Peetam. Kanchi Mahaswami Sri Chandrasekarendhra Saraswathy Swamigal, the Mutt’s 68th pontiff, lived for 100 years and his Brindavanam is housed inside the Mutt’s grounds. The 69th and 70th pontiffs of this mutt are Sree Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal and Sankara Vijayendra swamigal, respectively.
KAMAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE
It’s a 12th-century temple in the centre of town. “Ka” refers to the Goddess Saraswathi (Goddess of Education), “Ma” refers to the Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth), and “Akshi” refers to the Eye. The entire name relates to Kamakshi, who has Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi as her two eyes. It is a significant Sakthi Sthalam known as the “Nabisthana Ottiyana Peetam.” A golden Gopuram on the Sanctorum of Goddess Kamakshi goddess is also visible to all worshippers. In the temple, Goddess Kamakshi is in a sitting position. Apart from this temple, there are no conventional Parvati or Shakthi shrines in Kancheepuram, which adds to the mystique of this temple. The temple is located in the centre of Kancheepuram, with easy access from all regions of Tamil Nadu.
It is one of the five great Shiva temples of Pancha Bootha Sthalams (each symbolising a natural element), representing Earth. A single mango tree on the outer court is venerated as the most sacred, and it is thought that if a childless couple worships it, they will be bestowed with a child. The temple’s Raja Gopuram (entry tower of the temple) is one of the highest in south India, standing at 57 metres, and was erected by Vijayanagar monarch Krishnadevaraya. The Vijayanagar rulers created the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam, or “hallway with a thousand pillars,” which is a significant feature of the temple. The interior walls of the temple are adorned with 1008 Siva lingams. 6.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. is the phone number. The temple is located in the heart of town, too near to the bus stop. It is a short walk from there.
SRI VARADARAJA PERUMAL TEMPLE
Sri Deveraja Swamy Temple, also known as Sri Varadarajar Temple, is located in Kancheepuram’s eastern outskirts. Varadarjaperumal, also known as Varadaraja Swamy, has a 23-acre temple complex with 19 vimanams and around 400 pillared rooms. All 12 Alwars have visited and sang songs in honour of the Lord, as one of the 108 Divya Desams. The biggest festival of the temple is Bhramotsavam, which takes place in May/June. This opulent temple was built in stages over centuries by many rulers. The Vijayanagar emperors constructed the Mandapam with its hundred pillars. With its gorgeous carvings and delicate works of art, this has become a popular destination for foreign travellers. The Tiruppanies created by Alam Kheer Basha of Delhi in 1645 were written on the temple’s walls.
Timings – Morning: 6.00a.m. – 12.30 p.m. Evening: 3.30p.m. – 8.30 p.m. Nearest Railway station: Kancheepuram.
VAIKUNTA PERUMAL TEMPLE
It is one of the 108 Divyadesams devoted to Vishnu as Vaikunthanathan (Lord Paramapadanathan) and his spouse Lakshmi as Vaikundavalli. It was constructed in the eighth century by Pallava King Nandivarman. The Archaeology Department of the Government of India is now in charge of this temple. It is divided into three levels. Moolavar vaikunda Perumal adorns the first tier in his sitting position facing west. Araganadha Perumal, on the second tier, turns his head to the north and showers his grace in his reclining posture. Paramapadanadhar graces in his standing stance on the third tier. In this three-tiered temple, Perumal favours his worshipers in three postures: sitting, reclining, and standing.
Airammadha theertham is the name of the temple tank, while Mukunda Vimanam is the name of the Vimanam. Vaikunda Ekadasi is the temple’s most important event. The temple is a short walk from the Kancheepuram bus station. The temple is open from 7.30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
There are two significant Mosques. The Jama Masjid, with its unique combination of architecture and tradition, was established about 300 years ago by the Carnatic Nawabs. Inside the mosque stands one of the town’s 108 Sivalingams. This exemplifies another aspect of the country’s multi-ethnic values, which it is quite proud of. Another mosque is located near the Vaikunta Perumal temple. Both the Mosque and the Temple share the same tank, demonstrating India’s religious tolerance. Muslims participate in the Annual Varadharaja Swami Temple Brahmotsavam event as well.
SAKUNTHALA JAGANATHAN MUSEUM OF FOLK ART
It is the ancestral residence of the Damal Family, maternal forefathers of renowned scholar Sir. C.P.Ramasamy Iyer, dating back 400 years. This home was turned into a museum. This museum displays furniture, antique dolls, ancient palm leaves, musical instruments, pooja items, lamps, stone sculptures, paintings, traditional dressing and make-up cases, silk, cotton and handloom, men and women’s apparel, jewellery, and indological books.
ULAGALANDHA PERUMAL TEMPLE
Ulagalandha Perumal is Lord Vishnu’s fifth avatar (known as Vamana Avataar). This describes the heavenly occurrence of Lord Vishnu, in the shape of a Brahman, measuring the entire cosmos in one stride as a gift from King Mahabali. Jayam Konda Cholan erected this temple.
This aesthetically stunning temple is notable for housing four Divya Desams inside the same compound. Thiru Ooragam. Thiruneeragam Three. Thirukkarvanam. This is a one-of-a-kind feature that can’t be found anyplace else. It is a wonderful blessing for Kanchi to have four “Divya Desams” in one temple. The Ulagalanda Perumal temple is extremely close to the Kancheepuram Bus Stand. The temple is open from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
SRI ASHTABUJA PERUMAL TEMPLE
Lord Vishnu is in a standing stance with eight arms, which differs from the conventional posture with four arms. This is known as Ashtabuja Perumal. The temple is one of Perumal’s 108 Divyadesams. Azhwar addresses a special Mangalasasanam (hymn) to Goddess exclusively at the temple. Thondaiman Chakravarthy, also known as Vayiramoghan, erected this temple.
The Perumal in this sthalam is Sri Aadhikesava Perumal, who is shown with eight hands. On the right, he carries Chakaram, a Sword, a Flower, and an Arrow, while on the left, he has Sangu, a Bow, Kedayam, and Gadha. The temple tank called Gajendra Pushkarini, and it features a three-tiered rajagopuram in its northern entrance. It has a single prakaram spanning an area of roughly an acre. There are temples dedicated to Bhuvaraahar, Aandal, Peyalwar, and Hanuman. The temple is open from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The temple is located 2 kilometres from the Kancheepuram bus station.
SUNDARA VARADA PERUMAL TEMPLE, UTHIRAMERUR
Uthiramerur is roughly 85 kilometres from Chennai. This temple is around 1200 years old and was erected by Nandhi Varma with the assistance of Paramesa Vathan, a highly accomplished Vasthu Sasthra specialist. This temple contains various inscriptions from the Chola and Vijayangaram dynasties. The rites of this temple follow Krishna Yajuveda Vaikasana Agamam. Uthiramerur also has the Sri Kamakshi Sametha Sri Kailshanathar Temple, which is devoted to Lord Siva. The temple is said to have been built during the reign of Uthiravarma Chola. Vishnu is typically shown in one of three postures: Nindraan (Standing), Irundhaan (Sitting), or Kidandhaan (Reclining) This is one of the few places in the world where you may see Maha Vishnu in all three incarnations.
Best Time to Visit in Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram is best visited between March and October.
How to Reach Kanchipuram
The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport (Meenambakkam)- just a 2 hours drive away.
Kanchipuram is 75 kms away from Chennai and is well connected by a good network of roads. There are bus services from Kanchi to Chennai, Bangalore, Pondicherry, Thiruppathi, Thiruvannamalai and other places.
Can be reached from Chennai Central railway station and Arakkonam railway station. The Southern railway has augmented its suburban train services to Kancheepuram by extending EMU services on the Chennai Beach-Tambaram-Chengalpattu section