Sights to See
Kailasanatha Temple: This temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the oldest in Tamil Nadu. It was built by Pallava king Rajasimha in the early decades of the 8th century. The sand stone structure’s architecture is fine example of the Dravidian period and an improvement on that of the shore temple at Mahabalipuram.
Sri Vaikunta Perumal Temple: Built a few years after the Kailasanatha, this temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, marks the next stage in the development of Dravidian culture. The cloisters inside the outer wall consisting of a colonnade of lion pillars represent the first phase in the evolution of the grand thousand-pillar halls of later years.
Sri Kamakshi temple: Dedicated to the goddess Kamakshi (Parvati), the resident deity of Kanchipuram, this temple has an imposing structure. The temple's annual festival, which falls on the 9th lunar day in February-March, draws large crowds. Photography is not allowed inside the temple. Tel: 044 27222609
Ekambareswara Temple: This large Shiva temple, built originally by the Pallavas and later improved upon by the Chola and the Vijayanagara kings, has five Prakarams (enclosures) and a thousand pillared hall. The massive outer walls and the gateway towers (Gopuram) were built by Krishna Deva Raya in 1509 AD. Here, Shiva is worshipped in the form of one of the elements - Earth (Prithvi).The mango tree behind the Sanctum is said to be 3,500 years old and still bears fruit. Tel: 044 27222084.
Devarajaswamy Temple: Also known as Varadarajar temple, this massive and impressive edifice, the shrine of Devarajaswamy, is built on an elephant shaped rock called Hastagiri. There are two lofty eat and west towers. The hundred pillar hall erected during the Vijayanagar period in this temple is noted for its exquisite sculptures. The ornamental rings, carved out of a single stone in a chain at the four corners, is a special feature of the hall.
Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple: This temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, was built by the Vijayanagar kings. Its hundred pillared hall has exquisite sculptures. Among them is a massive chain carved out of a single stone. The precinct contains many other impressive temples.
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam: Adi Sankaracharya, the great India Vedanta philosopher, established the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in the last years of his life. It is one of the five seats of learning in India established by him. Tel: 044 27222115.
Sakkiswarar Temple: This temple was also built by the Cholas, successors to the Pallavas, who continued the Pallava traditions and even enriched it. The Sakkiswarer temple is located near the Kamakshi Amman Temple.
Anna Memorial: Kanchipuram is the birth place of Dr. C.N. Annadurai, the scholar statesman, affectionately called Anna - The Elder Brother - by people. His house has been converted into a memorial.
Kanchipuram is a famous centre of handloom weaving and exquisite silk saris are woven here from pure mulberry silk. The saris, usually designed in contrasting colours, have an enviable reputation for lustre, durability and finish which is second to none in the country. More than 5,000 families are engaged in this industry and their spectacular creations are marketed by a number of co-operative societies located all over the city and the state.