Kanchipuram Temples

The small temple town of Kanchipuram, or Kanchi is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus especially to Shaivites (devotees of Shiva) as well as to Vaishnavites (worshippers of Vishnu). From the 6th to the 8th centuries, it was the capital of the Pallavas, who built numerous temples here and founded universities for higher learning. Royal patronage from the succeeding Chola, Pandya and Vijayanagar dynasties further consolidated the city's reputation as a religious and commercial centre.

 This city is also famous for quality silk with elegant combination of contrasting colors which is an essential part of Indian marriages.Kanchipuram town is thus divided into two distinct zones, with the Shaivite temples to the north and the Vaishnavite temples to the southeast.

Temples in Kanchipuram

It also has an important Devi (goddess) temple, the Kamakshi Temple, situated northeast of the bus stand. Dedicated to Kamakshi, or the “loving-eyed” Parvati, the temple was rebuilt in the 14th century, during the Vijayanagar period. It has four colourful gopuras and the main sanctum has a gold-plated roof. The Kailasanatha Temple, to the west of the bus stand, is the oldest and grandest structure in the town. Built in the early 8th century by Rajasimha, the last great Pallava king, this Shiva temple is surrounded by 58 smaller shrines, each with splendid carvings of the various repre sentations of Shiva. The recently discovered frescoes here are the earliest in South India. The sanctum has a circumambulatory passage with great symbolic meaning - seven steps (indicating seven births) lead to a dark passage (indicating the journey of life) and a narrow outlet (indicating death). Sri Ekambareshwara Temple, Sri Kailasanatha Temple, Sri Varadharaja Temple,Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple, Kamakshi Temple are the most important places to visit in kanchipuram.

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