Spiritual Itineraries - Kanchipuram
This place famous as one of the 7 sacred cities of India is a small town of Tamil Nadu and is also recognized as Kanchi or Kanjeevaram. It is also considered the most significant spiritual hub of Hinduism as well as a relevant pilgrimage site. The land of Kanchipuram is dotted with numerous medieval holy places with impressive architecture. The place is an eye-candy for travelers for its glorious heritage, culture and of course silk sarees. Blessed with so many places of worship, there is no wonder that this city serves as an eminent pilgrimage site.
History and Mythological Belief:
The history of this place can be traced back to the supremacy of Pallavas. The historical facts reveal that Kanchipuram attained fame under the dynasty of Pallava (4th to 9th century). During their reign it was the capital city and during this period most of the shrines got constructed over here. According to a legend its Kamakshi Amman shrine is dedicated to Deity Parvati, who is worshipped in the form of Kamakshi. It is also remarkable to see that Adi Sankaracharya, the prominent religious leader is considerably related to its glorious past.
It is supposed that the previous form of Kamakshi was one of fury and ferocity. Adi Sankara controlled her fury by placing a heavenly Chakra facing her, which turned her calm. The Goddess also was bounded by a vow that she wouldn’t leave the shrine without his permission. Even today when the deity is taken for a procession then, first of all she is taken to the inner corridor to take permission of Adi Sankara during the Utsava Kamakshi celebration.
Main Pilgrimage Attraction:
Vaikunta Perumal Temple : It has stunning pillared corridors all over the sanctum. With 3 tiers Sannathi-cum-Gopuram, it is considered one of the most ancient places of worship.
Open Timing : 6.00 AM to11.00 AM, 4.00 PM to 6.30 PM.
Kamakshi Amman Temple : It is an abode of Goddess Parvathi who is worshipped here as Kamakshi.
Open From : 6 AM-12 noon, 4.00 PM-8.30 PM
Note : Men require removing their shirts to go into the Gayatri Mandapam. Cameras as well as mobile phones are not allowed within the sanctum.
Varadaraja Perumal Temple : Its Gopuram is on the whole imposing when viewed beyond the lush fields from the highway going towards Kanchi. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is sited atop the Elephant Hill or Hastigiri. The holy place is sculpturally loaded with figurines of riders over horsebacks along with the sculpted lizards coated in gold. The pillared pavilion of 16th century is also set up in this shrine. The God as Attivaradar is engraved out of atti wood and protected within the tank of the temple. Once in every 40 years he is brought out for 48 days for public. The annual Garudothsavam Festival is celebrated here between May & June.
Open from : 6.00 AM to 12.00 noon, 3.30 PM to 8.00 PM
Note : Non-Hindus are not permitted outside the flagstaff
Ekambeshwarar Temple : In the form of Prithvilingam, this shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This one is the most popular and the largest place of worship in Kanchipuram. Its remarkable features comprise the 57 meters high Gopuram along with the huge outer rock wall. It has 5 roomy corridors plus an intricately sculpted 1000-pillared hallway. The interior are festooned with 1008 Shiva-lingams. The patio contains a 3,500 years-old mango tree producing different types of mangoes.
Timing : 6.30 AM to 12.30 PM, 4.00 PM to 8.30 PM
Kachapeshwarar Temple : Another Lord Shiva’s temple. The uniqueness, which you can find in it, is the statute of Lord Shiva being applauded by Lord Vishnu in the figure of a turtle.
Kailasanathar Temple :It is must see high spot in terms of architecture. Its architecture is similar to Mahabalipuram shrine and is another shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is remarkable for its exclusive construction in red stone. The most important place of worship is encapsulated by 58 smaller holy places and all its walls are decked out with statuettes and fresco-style works of art. The engraved walls with the images of Lord Shiva in several postures and forms and Parvati as well as lions are attention grabbing.
Timing : 6.00 AM to 12.00 PM, 4.00 PM to 7.00 PM
Note : Non-Hindus are not permissible across the 1st enclosed space of the inner rooms.
Kanchi Kudil : It is a 90-years old heritage dwelling that has conserved its real old-world appeal, typical of the earliest form of living.
Celebrations in Kanchipuram:
- Garuda Sevai : Varadaraja temple in June
- Brahmotsavam : Varadaraja temple in May
- Kamakshi Ammam Festival – February
- Float festival : Varadaraja temple in February and November
- Panguni Uthiram : Ekambareshwara temple in March-April
- Mahashivaratri festival : Kailashanatha temple in February
Hotels & Resorts:
- MM Hotels
- Fishermans Cove
- Green Coconut Resort
- GRT Regency, Kanchipuram
- Shelter Beach Resort
- Hotel Jaybala International
How To Reach:
Air : The nearest airport is Chennai. There are also direct flights running from from Bangalore to Kanchipuram.
Train : One can easily catch c train running from Chengalpattu, Tirupati, Chennai, and Bangalore.
Road : From Chennai, Kanchipuram is 75-km away and is well interlinked by a network of highways. From Bangalore, Chennai and other places there are regular buses. Other local means of travel are also accessible easily.
- Best Season : Throughout the year
- Languages : Tamil, English
- Weather : Summer 21-36°C, Winter 19-28°C