Kaliasanatha Temple, Vaikunta Temple,
Sri Ekambaranathar Temple, Devarajaswami Temple
Best Season :There's precious little to see or do
here except when the temple car festivals take
place (January, April and May)
Excursions : Vedantagal Bird Sanctuary
Kanchipuram is one of the seven revered cities of India and was, consecutively, capital of the kingdoms of the Pallavas, Cholas and rajas of Vijyanagar. During Pallava times, it was briefly occupied by the Chalukyans of Badami, and by the Rashtrakutas when the battle fortunes of the Pallava kings reached a low ebb. Kanchipuram is a splendid temple city and is visited by lots of pilgrims and tourists. The place is famous for its hand woven silk fabrics.
Places of interest
Kaliasanatha Temple :
Dedicated to Shiva, Kaliasanatha is one of the earliest temples. It was built by the Pallava king, Rayasimha, in the late 7th century. The temple is now run by Archeology Department and is very fascinating. Non-Hindus are also allowed into the inner sanctum.
Vaikunta Temple :
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple was built between 674 and 800 AD, shortly after Kaliasanatha Temple.
Sri Ekambaranathar Temple :
The Sri Ekambaranathar Temple is dedicated to Shiva and is one of the largest temples in Kanchipuram. The temple is spread across nine hectares. The temple's name is said to be modified from Eka Amra Nathar- the Lord of the Mango tree- and in one of the enclosures is a very old mango trees, with four branches representing the four Vedas. The fruit of each four branches is said to have a different taste. The tree is claimed to be 3,500 years old.
Like the Sri Ekambaranathar Temple, this is an huge monument with heavy outer walls. The temple is ravishingly sculptured, 1000- pillared (actually only 96) halls. One of its most remarkable features is a huge chain carved from a single piece of stone. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and was built by the Vijyanagar kings.
The temple car festivals, which take place in January, April and May are worth seeing.
Vedantagal Bird Sanctuary:
This is one of the most splendid water- bird breeding grounds in India. Comorants, egrets, herones, storks, ibises, spoonbills, grebes and pelicans come here to breed and nest for about six months from October/November to March.
Getting There :
There are direct TTC buses to Tiruchirappali, Chennai and Banglore. There are also plenty of PATC buses to Chennai, Vellore and Tiruvannamali, as well as private buses to Pondicherry. It is possible to get to Kanchipuram from Chennai and vice versa, via Arakkonam on the Banglore to Chennai Central broad gauge line there are only two connections per day in either direction by rail route.