Kanchipuram Travel guide for the pilgrims and visitors. The temple town Kanchipuram is well known across the world for its religious significance and most beautiful silk sarees. Besides this, it is well known for its temple architecture and religious learnings. This place has got numerous names popular name among them is Land of Thousand temples.
My favorite silk saree is the Kanchi pattu saree, also known as Kanjivaram pattu saree. You will never see a Hindu marriage in south India without a Kanjivaram pattu saree. This silk has become a tradition during marriage and other auspicious occasions.
If you are visiting this Mystical place Kanchipuram from Chennai, it takes around 1 hour 35 minutes, whereas if you’re travel from Bangalore to Kanchipuram, the traveling time is 5 hours via road.
The route from Bangalore is NH 48, the distance is 284.7 km, whereas, from Chennai, the route will be via the same national highway NH 48 via Poonamallee main road, the distance is 60 km.
Brief history of the Kanchipuram
An ancient city in Tamil Nadu is the center for the learning of the world’s ancient languages, Tamil and Sanskrit. It is a home for ancient scholars’ wonderful work in the field of philosophy and literature.
Besides the literature work and spiritual importance, this place was ruled by three powerful dynasties of South India. In fact, it was the capital of kingdoms for more than a decade.
It was extended to the northern banks of Krishna River, Present-day Andhra Pradesh, and the Southern banks of the Kaveri River. Here, they used to have excellent sea trade with China, Fiji, and many more countries having Mahabalipuram as the main port.
This ancient city was once the capital city of Pallava kings during the period 3rd to 7th century AD. Later Chola kings ruled this place from the 10th century to the 13th. Next, the Vijayanagar Kings ruled this place from 14th to 17th century and built many architectural marvels.
Unfortunately, this place saw its downfall as it fell in the hands of Sultans during the Mughal invasion and British colonial administration.
Kanchipuram Silk history
The Silk history of the temple town Kanchipuram dates back to 400 years. This Silk revolution came into existence during the Krishna Devaraya ruling.
During this time two famous waver communities migrated from Andhra Pradesh to Kanchipuram. They were known as Devangas and Saligars. These people utilized their skills to weave the amazing silk saree available in South India.
They mastered the skills of wavering the amazing sculptures of the temple located in the area and nearby places. Today there won’t be a marriage in south India without the Kanchi Pattu silk saree.
If you wonder what is so special about these sarees, how it became one of the Prominent sarees in south India? The Saree gives royal look when worn with a smooth texture with vibrant colors and designs.
These sarees use mulberry silk which is grown in South India, whereas the materials used in the border of the saree are gold and silver, imported from Gujarat.
Kanchipuram’s Local Food
If you are a foodie, then definitely you should try the unique Kanchi Idli which is served in Mandharai leaf. In English, it is called Bauhinia variegata.
The uniqueness of this Idli is that it is not round in shape like regular idli, in fact, it is cylindrical in shape. Here it is served by wrapping in the leaf which gives a unique taste and aroma, unlike normal idli.
Besides this, you can try mouth-watering Tamil Nadu Thali along with filter coffee. On the other hand, never forget to buy the amazing tasty Prasad which they provide in temples.
Kanchipuram Spiritual Importance
This place is considered one of the most sacred places in South India. Let us have a look at why it is giving such religious importance in Hinduism? This place is called Vishnu Kanchi by Vaishnavas as powerful temples like Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Ulagalanthar Perumal Temple, and many more are located here.
Similarly, Shivates call this place Shiva Kanchi as the most divine temple Ekambaranathar locates here. Besides this, it is the land of the most powerful Shakti Peetam Kamakshi Amman Temple.
#1 Kamakshi Amman Temple
A famous Shakti temple, one among the 51 Shakti Peetams in India. The Shakti Peetam here is Sathi Devi’s naval region. Yearly, thousands of devotees visit this temple to pay homage to the goddess Kamakshi Amman.
Visit the temple in the off-season so that you can experience peace in the temple complex. After darshan spends some time to experience the positive vibes you get in the temple.
#2 Kailasanathar Temple
Another temple displays the architectural skills of Pallav kings. The best temple to visit and admire is the ancient south Indian temple architecture.
Here the main deity is Lord Shiva in the Linga form which is 10 feet in length. Tourists who visit Kanchi will pay a visit to this temple to have the darshan of the Lord and also to explore the amazing Vimana construction.
#3 Varadharaja Perumal Temple
Lord Vishnu temple comes under 108 Vaishnav Divya Desham. Here Lord Brahma prayed to Lord Vishnu and got a boon from god hence lord is called Varadharaja.
This temple has numerous small shrines inside the temple complex and halls and beautifully carved pillars. If you are visiting Kanchi, then make sure you will not miss visiting the powerful and amazing temple.
#4 Ulagalanthar Perumal Temple
One of its kind temple which you never find anywhere in India. The main idol is Lord Vishnu in the Trivikrama form(Vamana avatar). The magnificent Idol makes devotees bewilder with its uniqueness.
This temple locates in the close vicinity to Kamakshi Amman temple. Hence pilgrims who visit the Amman temple also visit this amazing temple.
#5 Ekambaranathar Temple
The second biggest temple in the Kanchipuram, which comes under the panchabutha Lingas. The main idol in the temple is Earth Linga. The specialty of the Linga is it is made of sand by Kamakshi Amman herself.
Besides, the religious significance of the temple tower at the entrance and the amazing architectural work along with 3500 mangoes represent four Vedas make this place a must-visit temple in the Kanchipuram.
#6 Bird sanctuary
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, an offbeat place covers an area of 75 acres. Not much is popular among visitors. Many tourists whoever visit the Temple town Kanchipuram, visit the famous temples like Kamakshi Amman temple, Ekambareshwar temple, Varadaraja Perumal temple, and so on.
Few after temple visit goes for saree shopping, some exclusively come here only for silk saree shopping. Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is one of the oldest sanctuaries in India. Here one can view different migrant birds which came from across the globe.
Best place for bird watchers and photographers. If you are planning to visit this place then plan in the winter months. Here summers are super hot and the rainy season is not the best season for bird watching.
#7 Kanchi Kudil
If you want to know more about the amazing cultural heritage place, then visit Kanchi Kudil. This is an ancient home that is 90 years old. Here you can get a clear glimpse of the ancient art of the place. What kind of food and lifestyle the people here led along with home architectures.
Best place to go to explore the ancient Indian culture. If time permits try to visit in the evening, as they conduct programs where you can understand the art of this place from ancient time to till now.
If you are looking for nearby temples to visit then plan to visit Tiruttani, famous for Lord Subramayan Swami temple. From Kanchi, it takes around 1 hour 20 minutes, around 44.7 km via the Tirupathi route.
Visit Mahabalipuram From Kanchipuram
If time permits visit the Pallava king’s architectural magical land. This place dazzles with brilliant sculptures and carvings from Pallava time. The excellent rock-cut art made this place a UNESCO world heritage site.
This place is crowded all the time with tourists across the world and locals who plan a picnic to get away from the busy life. From Kanchipuram, it takes around 1 hour 30 minutes, 65.56 km almost similar time it takes to reach Chennai.
Do’s and Don’t in the temple town Kanchipuram
Since it is a temple town one has to wear a decent dress and follow the temple rules if visiting temples.
Don’t get cheated by local auto/taxi, have a clear idea about the temples and your tour plan.
Don’t get cheated by buying duplicate silk.
However, here you will get both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian food, don’t visit the temple after having Non-Vegetarian food.
The Kanchipuram travel guide article gives brief details about temples and places to visit. Plan a vacation on the weekend and visit the ancient capital city of Palava and Chola Kings, which has religious importance among Vasihinvas, Shivaits, and Shakti cults.
This mystical land is not only known for its spiritual importance but also for the famous Kanchipuram Silks. Worn by almost all the south Indian women for at least one special occasion.
Further Reading– If you are interested in spiritual topics, I have another article and travel guide of a famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, please check out The Dharamshala temple travel guide
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