Having once housed over 1,000 temples, Kancheepuram is known to be one of the holiest of the seven holy cities in India. Though most of these temples, built over centuries ago, are in ruins or have been replaced, over a 100 temples still stand tall, harking tales of the eras in which they were built, making Kancheepuram a hugely favored pilgrimage center, especially in the south.
An array of powerful rulers has swept through this region, each creating their own mark in the way of temple design and architecture. From the Pallavas, the Medieval Cholas and the Pandyas to the Vijayanagar Empire, the Mughals and the British, all the major dynasties of Indian history have reigned over Kancheepuram and built temples and places of worship during their stay. Therefore, today, the provenance of most of the temples can be gauged merely by studying their architectural features.
Apart from the spiritual air that engulfs the city, Kancheepuram is located on the banks of the Vegavathy River, adding a natural charm to the city. Whether or not you’re religiously inclined, a visit to Kancheepuram, even if it is just to study the myriad forms of temple architecture, is a must.
With so many temples in Kancheepuram, you won’t have a moment to spare while you are in the city. Visit the Kamakshi Amman Temple to bow your head to Goddess Shakti and stare in awe at the 7th-century-sculptures. The Ekambareshwarar Temple, believed to have been built in the 2nd century and dedicated to Lord Shiva, is another piece of standing proof of the various kingdoms who ruled this region. The stone carvings at the Kailasanthar Temple, also dedicated to Lord Shiva, regularly draw huge crowds to its threshold.
Once you’re done with the temples, you can head out to witness the other historical monuments in the city. Kanchi Kudil is a must-visit. It is a house that was built over 90 years ago to depict the everyday lives of the locals, the indigenous culture and heritage of the region, and the colorful ethos of the place. It promises to give you a comprehensive lesson in just one visit.
Local buses are easily available in and around Kancheepuram. But hiring a private taxi to take you around Kancheepuram and the other regions in Tamil Nadu would give you a wholesome experience.
On a daily basis there are approximately 332 flights that operate at Chennai International Airport.IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India are the most popular airline brands that fly frequently to this airport.
By road Kancheepuram is surrounded by Tiruvethipuram, Walaja, Tiruttani which are 15.84 km, 22.22 km, 24.5 km away respectively. These places are ideal spots for people to plan their short weekend break.