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KANCHIPURAM

    Kanchipuram  - " Golden City Of Temples" was believed to be the most attractive  city   of   ancient India .This  city  is one of  India's seven sacred cities and is the second holiest place in India next  to  Varanasi.     

   This city was the Historical Capital of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagar rulers.  It was under the Pallavas from 6th to 8th  century A.D. It later became  the citadel of the Cholas, Vijayanagar kings, the Muslims and  the British.  During Pallava  times, it was briefly occupied by the Chalukyans of Badami, and by the Rastrakutas when  the battle fortunes of the Pallava  kings reached a  low ebb.  Many of these temples are the beautiful work of Pallavas and later Cholas.  

       The remains of few Buddhist stupas here also bear  testimony that Buddhism also prevailed   here for a little while. One of the Acharya Peetas of  Sri Adi Sankaracharya - "The Kanchi Kamakotti Peetam"   is situated here.  It has been a centre for Tamil learning and Culture for centuries and gives us a clear  picture  of  the glorious Dravidian Heritage of the Vaishnavites and Shaivites.         
     Kanchipuram ,the "Silken Paradise" is also world renowned for the gorgeous hand-woven  silk sarees of myriad rich colours, noted for their shine, finish and matchless beauty.The exquisite   silk sarees are woven from pure mulberry silk in contrasting colours and have an enviable reputation for lustre,  durability and finish.They reflect a Weaving and  dyeing tradition, hundreds of years old and whose riches the West came seeking before the industrial age was born. 

General information
 
Area 11.6 Sq.Kms.
Location 70 Kms from Chennai
Altitude Sea level
Season Throughout the year
Clothing  Tropical
Languages spoken Tamil,  Telugu and English
Festivals Brahmothsavam, Car festival, Garudothsavam
 
Kailasanathar Temple
 

      Dedicated to Siva, Kailasanatha is one of the earliest temples built by Rajasimha and his son Mahendra in the 8th  century A.D. There are 58 small shrines situated around the main shrine. Paintings of  Fresco-style adorn the inner walls of the shrines. Sandstone was used in the construction of this temple.It is the only temple at   Kanchipuram which is not cluttered with the more recent additions of the cholas and vijayanagar rulers.Fragments of the eigth century murals which once graced the alcoves are a visible remainder of how magnificent the temple must have looked when it was first built. 

Kamakshi Amman Temple
 

         Built in the 14th century by the Cholas, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi- the presiding deity of Kanchi. Here, the goddess is worshipped in the form of a Chakra placed in front of the idol. An image of  Shankaracharya is also worshipped. Sri Sankaracharya is said to have defeated Buddhist philosophers  in debate here. It is one of the  three holy places of Sakthi worship in India  the other two being Madurai and Varanasi.The temple has a golden gopuram in the centre. This imposing temple is the site of the annual car festival, held on the 9th lunar day in February/March.    
 

Ekambareswarar Temple
 

       This is another ancient temple of Kanchipuram. It has been renovated by the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagar kings. This thousand  pillared tall temple with 5 Prakrams is the  earliest surviving structures.The 57 metres high Rajagopuram is one of  the tallest towers in South India.This  Temple has 5 spacious corridors and a beautiful 1000- pillar - hall. The huge Linga inside is known as  PRITHVI LINGAM , one of the pancha lingas of South India.

 
...Ekambareswarar Temple
Varadarajar Temple
 

    Varadarajar temple is a massive and impressive edifice.This  is another Vishnu temple on Hastagiri  rock at the end of the town. 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 are the special features of the hall.The riders on horseback , beautiful  figures of Rathi and Manmatha, exquisite temple jewellery are other notable features.This temple provides a glimpse of 16th century pillared pavilion with an exuberant workmanship.The annual Garudothsavam (May- June)  is the most colourful and draws thousands of devotees.    

 
 

...Varadarajar Temple

 
 

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