About Kanchipuram

Country: India | State: Tamilnadu

Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest City to Kanchipuram: Chennai (70 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Kanchipuram: July to August & November to March

Peak Season: July to August & May to June

At a distance of 75 km from Chennai, 68 km from Vellore, 65 km from Mahabalipuram, 108 km from Tirupati & 127 km from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram or Kanchi is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Tamil Nadu. It is a temple town and the headquarters of Kanchipuram district. Kanchipuram is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Chennai and one of the major Places to visit in Tamilnadu.

Kanchipuram has rich history and it's one of the oldest cities in India. The temples of Kanchipuram are known for their grandeur and great architecture. The architecture of Kanchi monuments were trendsetting with great sculpture work and unique style and became a benchmark for South Indian architecture. This is another popular attraction to visit as part of Chennai tour packages.

The city served as the capital of Pallava Dynasty, and most of the known temples were built during their reign. From the 3rd to the 9th century CE, Kanchi was the capital of the Pallavas who ruled over the territory extending from the river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh to the river Kaveri in the south. The Pallavas fortified the city with ramparts, moats, etc., with wide and well laid out roads and fine temples. They were a great maritime power with contacts with far-off China, Siam, Fiji, etc., through their chief Port Mamallapuram, the modern Mahabalipuram. The Cholas ruled this town from 10th century to 13th century after the fall of Pallavas. Kanchi came under the control of Vijayanagara kingdom from 14th century to 17th century and controlled by British from the end of 18th century.

Kanchipuram is located on the Palar River and known for its temples and silk sarees which are woven manually. There are several big temples, like Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kailasanathar Temple, Karchapeshwarar Temple, Ekambaranatha Temple which is one of the five forms of abodes of Lord Siva, (it is the earth abode here, other abodes include Chidambaram (Sky), Sri Kalahasti (air), Thiruvanaikoil (water) and Tiruvannamalai (fire)).

Kanchipuram is well connected by train and bus from major cities in South. There are frequent buses to Kanchipuram from Chennai, Vellore, Tirupati, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, etc.

It usually takes about 2 full days to visit the major sites in Kanchi.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Good
STD Code: 04112
Languages Spoken: Tamil, Telugu, English
Major Festivals: Brahmotsavam - Varadaraja Temple In May
Garuda Sevai- Varadaraja Temple In June
Float Festival -Varadaraja Temple In February And November
Kamakshi Ammam Festival - February
Mahashivaratri Festival - Kailashanatha Temple In February
Panguni Uthiram -Ekambareshwara Temple In March-April

How to Reach Kanchipuram

By Air

Nearest Airport: Chennai - Chennai International Airport (75 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Kanchipuram (0 Kms)
Arakkonam Railway Station (29 Kms)
Chennai Central Railway Station (75 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Kanchipuram Central Bus Station (0 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram


#1 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

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

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#2 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

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 - .....

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Heritage | Pilgrimage

#3 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

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.

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#4 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

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.

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#5 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

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

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#6 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

At a distance of 13 km from Puttur, 25 km from Nagari, 46 km from Tirupati, 92 km from Chennai, 76 from Chittoor, 86 km from Kanipakam, 85 km from kanchipuram and 110 km from Vellore, Kailasakona Waterfalls are a natural perennial waterfall in the valley of Nagari hills in Chittoor District. The water originates from the split in a mass rock.

The height of the waterfalls is about 30 meters and it cascades down into a small pond below the rock. The water here is crystal clear having considerable mineral values & medicinal powers and can heal ailments. The tourists are not allowed to go uphill to the top of the falls.

There is a small temple of Lord Shiva and Parvati near the waterfall. According to the legend, Lord Kailasanatheswara Swamy came down to earth to attend the marriage of Lord Venkateswara Swami with Goddess Padmavathi at Narayanavanam which is 9 km from Kailasakona falls. Lord Kailasanatheswara was impressed with the .....

Distance (From Kanchipuram): 85 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kanchipuram - Including Travel): 4 Hours/Half Day

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#7 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

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'.

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#8 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

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.

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#9 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

At a distance of 13 km from Arakkonam, 44 km from Kanchipuram, 86 km from Chennai and 65 km from Tirupati, Thiruthani is a holy town located in Tiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu and is famous for the Murugan Temple. This temple is one among the six Padai Veedus (Battle Grounds) of Lord Murugan, other five are Palani, Swamimalai, Tirupparangunram, Pazhamudircholai and Thiruchendur. This place represents the site where Subramanya stayed after destroying the demon Surapadman.

Tiruttani is also said to be the place where the Lord Subramanya married Valli - one of his two consorts. This temple has been mentioned in the Sangam period work Tirumurugaatruppadai composed by Nakkeerar. According to legend, Devayani, daughter of Indra married Lord Murugan and was presented Indra's elephant Airavatam as part of his dowry offering. Upon Airavatam's departure Indra found his wealth waning. Lord Subramanya is said to have offered to return the white elephant, however Indra refused to accept a .....

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Heritage | Beach

#10 of 14 Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

At a distance of 57 km from Chennai, 65 km from Kanchipuram, 96 km from Pondicherry, 420 km from Madurai and 290 km from Trichy, Mahabalipuram (also called Mamallapuram) is situated in Kanchipuram district in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its shore temples built in 7th century. Mahabalipuram is one of the must visit weekend getaways from Chennai for one day trip. This also a major historical / heritage site in Tamil Nadu and one of the best places to experience Tamilnadu Tourism. Mahabalipuram is one of the best places to include in your Pondicherry tour packages.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during .....

Distance (From Kanchipuram): 66 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kanchipuram - Including Travel): Full Day

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