Temples to visit in KanchipuramThere are many prominent temples to visit in Kanchipuram, since, it is the land of thousands of temples. People generally get ambiguous regarding the list of temples to visit in Kanchipuram.

For those, this article provides details about the most visited temples in Kanchipuram. Here, yearly millions of devotees visit to pay homage to their beloved god and goddess.

Lets us first know how this name Kanchi came into existence? In Tamil Ka means Brahma whereas anchi means worshiped. Here Lord Brahma worshiped Lord Vishnu in the present-day Varadharaja Perumal Temple.

As we all know this temple town is famous for Shakti Petam, Kanchi Kamakshi Temple. This holy land stands as the second place after Varanasi for its spiritual significance. Check out our detailed Kanchipuram travel guide for all information.

Prominent temples to visit in Kanchipuram

#1 Kamakshi Amman temple

The powerful temple with religious significance. It is one of 51 Shakti Peetas in India. Here the Goddess Sathi’s navel region fell when Lord Vishnu cut her body into pieces with Sudharshana Chakara. This was done in order to distract Lord Shiva who was grief-stricken due to the loss of Sathi Devi.

The name Kamakshi reference to Ka means Saraswathi, Ma means Lakshmi Devi whereas akshi means eyes. So this place holds the powerful energy of the three main Goddess of Hinduism that is Lakshmi Devi, Parvathi Devi, and Saraswathi Devi.

During Pallava’s rule in the 7th century, they built this beautiful temple. Later developed by the Chola and Vijaya Nagar kings. Interesting facts regarding the temple is here goddess was very aggressive when incarnated, as she is a furious form of Sakthi.

The most renowned saint and philosopher, Adi Shankaracharya kept the most powerful Shree chakra here to reduce the Aggression of the Goddess and make her Shantha Murathi(Calm). One can see Adi Shankaracharya Shrine on the right side from the entrance of the temple.

#2 Kailasanathar Temple

Kailasanathar Temple TE
Built on the banks of the Vedavathi River, the 1300-year-old Kailasanathar Temple is the oldest structure in the Tamil Nadu city of Kanchipuram in South India. Built by the Pallava King Rajasimha also known as Narasimhavarman II, in the Dravidian style of architecture, Carved and sculpted almost completely out of sandstone, it was built between 685 and 705 AD; it is dedicated to the god Shiva. Photoshoot in the afternoon sunlight shows the circumambulatory passage of the western side; on the left is the inner side of the outer wall as well. Each of the sections houses a shrine – 58 in total. Converging lines make for an interesting photograph.

A masterpiece that represents the Pallava king’s architectural supremacy. Built-in 7th century, along with religious significance, makes this place one of the must-visit temples in the Kanchipuram.

In this temple, the main deity is Lord Shiva in the shiva linga form, the height of the Shiva Lingam is 10 feet long. You may wonder what made this temple top among the temples to visit in Kanchipuram.

The architecture of the temple attracts visitors. The temple, constructed on the grant stones foundation with limestones craves walls. It is famous for its Vimana-style architecture.

#3 Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Varadarajaswamy Temple at Kanchipuram
View of the Temple Tank and Mandapam, with the main Temple Tower seen in the background. The Varadaraja Swamy Temple is an ancient Hindu Temple and an important place of worship for the Hindus of the Vaishnava sect. Located in Kanchipuram, which has several Temples and is known as the ‘Temple Town’ of Tamilnadu.

Lord Vishnu temple is one among the 108 Vaishnava Divya deshams. The huge temple covers an area of 23 acres. The beautiful architecture with multiple halls and pillars attracts tourists. Inside the temple complex, there are 32 small shrines.

Besides this, it is the place where Lord Brahma prayed to Lord Vishnu, hence it is known as Kanjitham. Ka means Brahma and Anjitham means to worship. This name was later changed to Kanchi.

The story goes like this; Lord Brahma was sorrowful and to overcome the upset state he started doing penance near the River Ganga. A celestial voice from the sky instructs Lord to perform 1000 Yagas.

Hearing this, already upset Brahma became even more sorrowful. As it is not possible to perform 1000 Yagas in his entire life span. However, finally, Lord Brahma chooses to perform Yaga at the sacred Satyavrata Kshetra.

Doing one Yaga at Satyavrata Kshetra is equal to 1000 Yagas. Unfortunately, the Yaga was disturbed by the flooding of the Vegavathi river. Goddess Saraswathi Devi, Consort of Lord Brahma takes the river Vegavathi form and floods the area.

Goddess was angry as Lord Brahma rates Goddess Lakshmi more than Saraswathi. Lord Brahma requests Lord Vishnu to help him so that he can continue the Yaga.

Lord Vishnu lies in the river water like a dam by taking Yathoktakari Perumal form and stops the flood so that Brahma can continue Yaga.

Once the Yaga was completed Lord Vishnu appears as Devarajaswami and blesses Brahma with a boon. Lord Brahma request Lord to stay in the place and bless the devotees.

As per Lord Brahma’s request, Lord stays here in the form of Varadharaja Perumal to grant the wishes of the devotees.

Some of the interesting facts about the temple

Here they have gold and silver lizard carving on the wall. This you never find anywhere in India.

Hence, devotees who visit the Varadharaja Perumal Temple will touch these lizard carvings to ward off illness and any kind of doshas(obstacles) related to Lizard.

The second interesting fact here is, Lord Perumal in a wooden box. An amazing ritual followed here, in a wooden box, they keep Lord Perumal Idol and immerse inside the temple pond.

Once in every 40 years temple, authorities open this wooden box and will perform prayers to Lord. After 48 days, the temple authorities along with the persist will keep the idol securely inside the box and immerse it inside the pond.

Hence, the temple is also called Devarajaswami Temple. Many people get confused between Varadharaja Perumal Temple and Devarajaswami Temple. Vijaynagar kings built Devarajaswami Temple.

#4 Ulagalanthar Perumal Temple

This temple is located in close vicinity of Kamakshi Amman temple. Pilgrims who visit the Kamakshi Amman temple also visit this temple. Here the main deity is Lord Vamana, a form of Vishnu. This temple comes under the108 Vaishnava Divya desams.

The Lord Vamana Idol will bewilder the devotees. As the Idol is 35 feet in height and 24 feet in width with one leg raised towards the sky and another on the earth.

As we all know that Lord Vishnu in the Vamana avatar sends Demon King Bali to Patala by stepping on his head.

#5 Ekambaranatha Temple

One of the Panchabutha Linga temple, here the linga represent the earth Linga. The specialty of the earth Linga is that it is made of sand by Kamakshi Amman herself. One can see the handprint of Goddess on the Linga.

The amazing thing one must not miss when visiting the Ekambaranatha temple is 1000 lingas crafted in a single stone. Also, the 3500 years old mango tree with four limbs and each limb represents a Veda, also this tree gives fruits with different tastes.

It is another big temple in Kanchipuram that covers an area of 20 acres along with a very huge temple tower.

#6 Vaikuntha Perumal Temple 

Another architectural marvel which beautifully displays the different poses of Lord Vishnu in sitting, standing, and reclining pose in the main temple sanctum.

The beautiful carvings on the pillars of the temple display the story of the temple and the story of the place as well. This temple was built in the 7th century during the rule of Pallava kings rule.

The above mentioned are some of the temples to visit in Kanchipuram. Plan a weekend trip to the divine place along with family and friends and have a great spiritual tour.


Further Reading– If you are interested in temples of India and spiritual topics, I have another article and travel guide dedicated to Lord Ganesh, please check out the Idagunji temple travel guide.


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