Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage | Beach
At a distance of 1 km from Kanchipuram Bus Station and 2 kms from Railway Station, Kamakshi Amman Temple is the landmark of Kanchipuram. It is believed that the Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram was existing even before Aadi Sankaracharya's period (788-820 AD). It has been told that there are three major Shakti's (Amman) in India. They are 'Kanchi Kamakshi, Madurai Meenakshi and Kaasi Visalakshi'.
Even most of the locals are unaware of the fact that there are no shrines for Shakti in any of the Shiva temples in Kanchipuram. The Kamakshi temple is the only traditional temple dedicated to Shakti in Kanchipuram.
The sannathi (sanctum) is covered with a gold plated roof. The temple has a golden charriot of which the procession takes place during festive seasons.
Timings: 6 AM - 12 noon & 4 PM - 8.30 PM
Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 2 km from Kanchipuram Bus Station and 3 kms from Railway Station, Sri Ekambareswarar Temple is also known as 'Ekambaranathar Temple' (temple of Lord Shiva). The 'Pallavas' demolished the old structure and rebuilt the existing structure during 600 AD and 700 AD.
The total area of the whole temple is about 40 acres. The temple tower at the main entrance (Raja Gopuram) that you see here was constructed by the king Krishnadevaraya (Vijayanagar Dynasty). The height of this temple tower is 174 feet (about 57 m).
Until recently there was a mango tree in this temple, which was about 3500 years old. The tree has perished about 2 years ago due to its age. It is believed that Goddess Kamakshi Amman, whose temple is about 1/2 km away from here, worshipped Lord Shiva under this mango tree.
Timings: 6 AM - 12.30 PM & 4 PM - 8.30 PM.
At a distance of 3 kms from Kanchipuram Bus Station and 4 kms from Railway Station, the Kailasanathar temple (Shiva Temple) was built during the period from 685 A.D. to 705 A.D. by the Pallava king Rajasimha Pallava, and his son, Mahendra Varma Pallava.
Kailasanathar temple was constructed using sandstones for most of the sculptures. All the walls around and inside the temple are filled with great sculptures.
The architecture and sculpture of this temple resembles the temples found in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) which were also constructed by Pallavas.
This might be the only temple in Kanchipuram which has not been modified after its original creation.
Timings: 6 AM - 12 noon & 4 PM - 7 PM.
At a distance of 3 km from Kanchipuram Bus Station and 4 kms from Railway Station, Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple is also known as Devarajaswami Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
The 100 ft high temple tower (gopuram) was built in 11th century AD and was renovated by the Vijyanagar Kings in the 16th century. This temple has a 100 pillar hall (mandapam) which is beautifully carved. There is a chain that is carved out of a single stone.
The temple owns a chariot (ther) which is parked on Gandhi road. The chariot is taken out for procession (chariot festival) around the city once in a year (during the month of May).
Timings: 6.30 AM - 12 noon & 3.30 PM - 8 PM
At a distance of 7 kms from Kanchipuram (near Pillayarpalayam), Thirupparuthikunram is famous for two ancient Jain temples.
There are two temples dedicated to Vardhaman Mahavir and Chandra Prabha. The Vardhaman Mahavir Temple dates back to 6th century.This temple was enlarged during Chola period.The temple houses a great idol of Bhagwan Mahaveer. The height of the idol is about 6 feet and is in sitting posture. There are a series of paintings which belongs to the 14th and 17th centuries in the Sangeetha mandapa, built by Irugappa, the Vijayanagara minister in 1387 AD.
Chandra Prabha Temple is said to have been built during Rajasimha Pallava's reign in the 8th century AD. Tirthankara 'Chandraprabha' is the main deity in this temple. There is a (Tharmakura) tree here, which is about 2000 years old.
Both the temples are maintained by Tamil Nadu State Archaeology Department.
At a distance of 1 km from Kanchipuram Bus Station and 1 kms from Railway Station, Vaikuntha Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram is one of the most important temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
It was built by the Pallava king Nandivarman and was completed in the 7th century A.D. There are three different levels of the main shrine. There are a number of sculptures of Lord Vishnu which are quite massive in size depicting the Lord in sitting, standing and reclining postures.
One of the main attractions of this temple is the exceptional 1000-pillared hall. The unique characteristic about it is that each pillar has a statue carved on it. Lion pillars support the enclosed passages inside the temple. The architecture of the temple has played a vital role in the architectural evolution of the grand thousand pillared mandaps built in the later south Indian. There are several inscriptions in the temple related to the wars between Pallavas and Chalukyas.
Timings: 6 AM - 12.30 PM & 4 - .....
At a distance of 3 Kms from Kanchipuram Bus Station and 3 Kms from Kanchipuram Railway Station, Anna Momorial is situated in Vishnu Kanchi.
Dr. C.N. Annadurai, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the founder of D.M.K. was born in Kanchipuram. His ancestral house has been converted into a memorial. Various exhibits like photographs, the articles used by him and important events of his life are exhibited here. As he is associated with the Dravidian movement and the nationalist movement one can see the evolution of these important movements which made a breakthrough in the lives of the Tamils who hailed him as their elder brother 'Anna'.
Historical & Heritage
At a distance of 2 Kms from Mahabalipuram Bus Station, The Shore Temple (700-728 CE) is so named because it over looks the Bay of Bengal. It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
Mahabalipuram Shore Temple is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. The site is famous for the rock-cut caves and the sculptured rock that line a granite hill. The temple was built by Pallavas during the reign of Narasimhavarman.
The Shore Temple is a five-storeyed structural Hindu temple rather than rock-cut as are the other monuments at the site. It is the earliest important structural temple in Southern India. Its pyramidal structure is 60 ft high and sits on a 50 ft square platform. There is a small temple in front which was the original porch. It is made out of finely cut local granite.
The Shore Temples has two Shiva shrines .....
Museum & Gallery
At a distance of 1 Km from Mahabalipuram Bus Station (situated in East Raja Street), the Sculpture Museum is famous for its elaborate collection of sculptures and images of god and goddesses of Hindu mythology. There are more than 3,000 sculptures can be found in this museum. All the sculptures bear the historic significance and the tales of the by-gone days. In the display of the museum there are sculptures made of wood, metal, brass and cement. There are creations of ancient artists to the contemporary ones.
Not only Hindu mythology but the Buddhists sculptures and images too, exist in the temple town. The monolithic statues, the Rathas (chariots), sculptured relief and their miniature can be seen in the museum.
Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM on all days
At a distance of 2 Kms from Mahabalipuram Bus Station (near The Shore Temple), the golden sandy Mamallapuram Beach is a picturesque place bounded by the shimmering sea and rolling hills. Identified as the most pristine beaches of Tamil Nadu, the beach attracts thousands of tourists throughout the year. This is another popular attraction in Mahabalipuram to visit as part of Chennai tour packages.
On request, the local fisher folk can arrange sea cruises in the country crafts. Angling can also be done with the help of the fishermen. The deep-sea angling is also famous here. There is a wide choice of resorts along the beach. Fisherman's Cove, a private beach resort offers water sports apart from its magnificent beach area. Some resorts are also having beachfront restaurants.
Sunrise and sun set watching cruises are another attraction. The sea is rough and swimming is not .....
Historical & Heritage
At a distance of 0.5 Km from Mahabalipuram Bus Station (on Mada Koil Street), Arjuna's Penance or Bhagiratha's Penace is the name of a massive open air bas-relief monolith dating from the 7th century CE. Measuring 96 feet long by 43 feet high, the bas-relief is also known as The Descent of Ganga. It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
In one interpretation, a figure in the bas-relief who is standing on one leg is said to be Arjuna performing an austerity Tapas to receive a boon from Shiva as an aid in fighting the Mahabharata war.
The bas relief is situated on a rock with a cleft. Figures within the cleft are said to represent the River Ganges and Shiva. This provides the basis for an alternative interpretation, rather than Arjuna, the figure performing austerities is said to be Bhagiratha.
Historical & Heritage
At a distance of 0.5 Kms around Mahabalipuram Bus Station, there are 14 rock-cut carves and Mandapams in and around Mamallapuram. Mythological scenes are depicted on these architectures. These caves have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
Following three are important Mandapams:
1) Krishna Mandapam - This is the biggest among the Mandapams and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The sculptures inside this Mandapam beautifully picturize the myth of Lord Krishna during his brave and energetic adulthood.
2) Mahishasuramardhini Mandapam - The battle between goddess Durga and the buffalo headed demon, Mahishasura is beautifully inscribed.
3) Varaha Mandapam - the side walls have large sculptured panels depicting Vishnu as Varaha, the boar, holding up Bhudevi, the earth goddess.
Historical & Heritage
At a distance of 1.5 Kms from Mahabalipuram Bus Station, Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) - five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi. It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
An interesting aspect of the rathas is that, despite their sizes they are not assembled - each of these is carved from one single large piece of stone.
The Pancha Rathas shrines were carved during the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I. Each temple is a monolith, carved whole from a rock outcropping of pink granite.
Historical & Heritage
At a distance of nearly 0.5 Km from Mahabalipuram Bus Station, Ganesh Ratha Temple is located towards the north of the Arjuna's Penance. It is a temple carved out from a rock to resemble a chariot and is built in Dravidian style of temple architecture. It was once dedicated to Lord Shiva. But when the original lingam was removed, the temple came to be known as the temple of Lord Ganesh.
It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
Historical & Heritage
At a distance of 0.5 Km from Mahabalipuram Bus Station (on Mada Koil Street), Krishna's Butter Ball is a huge boulder near the Ganesha Ratha. It rests precariously on a narrow rock base. Legend has it that several Pallava Kings attempted to move it, but all the kings and their elephants could not shift the boulder even by an inch.
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