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Complete India Travel Guide

"Kanchipuram, 'The Golden City of Temple' with more than thousand oldest temples with its elegance and monumental grandeur attracts tourist and beckons devotees from all parts of the world. Also known as the silk town, one can always look forward to buying few of the best silk apparels in the world from the city."
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Places to Visit in Kancheepuram

Kailasanatha Temple, Kancheepuram
Kailasanatha Temple, Kancheepuram

Kanchipuram - City With The Silky Paths

Situated 70 km from Chennai and located on Bangalore-Chennai highway, Kanchipuram,'The Golden City of Temple' is one of the seven great cities of ancient India and only one south city of Vindhyas. The city of Kanchipuram has served as a royal capital to the greatest empires for centuries and this is reflected in the many exceptional temples that are constructed in different styles by different rulers. Kanchipuram has a mention in the early Tamil literature and even in a Buddhist classic that describes the city the way it was in 2nd century which clearly shows that it served as an abode to Buddhist religion as well. In the present era, Kanchipuram is considered an important pilgrim destination for Hindus due to the cluster of holiest of temples. These temples also attract lots of tourist, as these temples are so magnificently build that they virtually take the travelers to the era in which they were built.

The city has also become famous as the Silk Town since it is home to the finest silk industry in India. Kanjeevaram silk woven out of pure mulberry is considered the best in luster, contrasting colors, and durability. Do visit any famous silk saree store in the city and choose your pick from the innumerable dazzling silk sarees that will give you a look into the world of Indian traditional wear. Kanchipuram through all these ages have been able to safeguard what it has got the most, Heritage and Chastity.

Kanchipuram can be visited anytime as the climate is bearable throughout the year. Though the temperature gets to high thirties in the mid-summer but the cool and refreshing wind blowing from the Bay of Bengal makes a walk even at noon time quite pleasant and delightful, and you actually consider the high temperatures as a boon in disguise. After exploring the thousand majestic temples that dot this land, and going through your shopping spree, if time permits, visit the sedate Vedanthangal and Karikili Bird's Sanctuaries that apart from giving glimpses of beautiful birds, provides the silence that we wish for embedded with the melodious chirping of birds. Come to Kanchipuram and discover a new way to lead your life.

Attractions - Wizardry Well Preserved

Kanchipuram as a tourist destination and a pilgrimage center has earned itself the tag of the most important' spot in South India. There are places that will interest the heritage lover and there are places that will beckon more to nature and wildlife lovers. But the people who come looking for divine experience in the many temples here that are considered to be the holiest and most beautiful, never have returned empty handed, or should we say empty soul.

Kailasanatha Temple

Situated on the west side of the town, this temple of Kailashnath is considered to be the oldest and most beautiful temple in Kanchipuram and in the whole of South India. It was build by Raja Rajsimha of Pallava dynasty in the first quarter of 8th century on request of the queen. The facade of the temple was completed by his son Raja Mahendra Barman III. Around the presiding deity, Lord Shiva, there are splendid carvings of 58 divinities with Devi Durga on throne and Vishnu among them. There are absolutely scintillating sculptures depicting a dance competition between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy, these truly magnificent sculptures leave no stone unturned in mesmerizing the onlookers. Various war-like feats of the Pallava rulers are also depicted in bas-relief style on the temple walls with absolute precision. A must visit site.

Vaikuntha Perumal Temple

Situated adjacent to Shri Kamakshi Amman temple, the resplendent Vaikuntha Perumal temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is considered among the most important ones. The construction of the temple was completed in the 7th century A.D and was built by the Pallava king Nandivarman Pallavamalla. The presiding deity, Lord Vishnu is shown here by life like sculptures in sitting, standing and reclining postures. The walls of temple are inscribed with description about the wars between the Pallavas and Chlukyas. The temple also has a 1000-pillared hall that has turned out to be a major tourist attraction. Each pillar in the hall has a statue carved on it that gives the hall a unique and brilliant look.

Kamakshi Amman Temple

Kamakshi Amman temple is one of the three most holily shrines dedicated to Sakthi. The other two are in Madurai and Varanasi. The temple, over an area of 1.6 hectares, is in the heart of old town. In none of the fifty Saiva fans, big or small in Kanchipuram, is there a separate shrine for Devi. So do not miss the chance of paying a tribute to the Goddess Sakthi and worship her for her blessings. The temple was built by Pallavas and was renovated in 14th and 17th century. The gates used are of Vijaynagar period. So you can see a mixture of many cultures and styles in architecture.

Vedanthangal And Karikili Bird's Sanctuaries

Both Vedanthangal and Karikili Bird's Sanctuaries are situated in the interiors of Kanchipuram covering an area of 30 hectare and 61 hectare respectively. These sanctuaries are full of Babool and Barringtonia trees. You can also find dry evergreen scrub and thorn forests. The sanctuaries receive birds from Pakistan and Sri Lanka other than birds from far flung areas like Siberia and Australia and New Zealand. Species like Pintails, Stilts, Garganey Teals and Sandpipers are frequently seen in these sanctuaries. Overall 115 species have been recorded in Vedanthangal And Karikili Bird's Sanctuaries.

Accomodation

Finding an ultra luxurious hotel can be a difficult proposition in Kanchipuram but there are ample of budget hotels which provide all basic facilities and take good care of their guests. Most of these lodges are around the city bus-stand. Hotel Baboo Soorya and Hotel Sree Kusal Lodge are the more prominent ones. You can savor the Continental and Chinese cuisine in Hotel Baboo Soorya apart from South Indian cuisine.

Getting There

By Air

Chennai is the nearest airport to Kanchipuram and is around 75 km away. All major flight operators have their flights moving to and from all major cities of India. It is around 2-hrs drive from Chennai to Kanchipuram.

By Rail

Kanchipuram has its own railhead and has trains coming in from all-important cities of Tamil Nadu.

By Road

Kanchipuram is just 75 km away from Chennai and it takes only 2 hrs by road to reach here. There are well-connected roads in and around Kanceepuram and buses from all major cities of Tamil Nadu ply in and out of Kanceepuram at regular intervals.

Local Transport

For moving around in Kanchipuram, apart from buses, you can also hire taxis auto rickshaws, bicycles and Mopeds which are easily available at all times of the day.

 



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