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Kerala Backwater

Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

The one-time capital of the Pallava dynasty, Kanchipuram is not only an important pilgrimage city of Tamil Nadu, but it is the religious capital of entire southern India. Besides boasting a rich architectural heritage of temples, the city is also a major production centre of finest silk sarees. Due to the city’s historical and religious importance, Kanchipuram also has the eminence of being one of the ‘Seven Sacred Cities’ of India. The city is literally packed with temples and religious places. You are advised to make a list of temples you plan to visit before you actually set out on your temple tour in Kanchipuram. The city is located at just 70 km from Chennai, capital city of Tamil Nadu.

Things to Do in Kanchipuram
Hire an auto-rickshaw and set out on a temple tour in Kanchipuram. Listen to your local guide as he accompanies you from one temple to another. Follow the guidelines and respect the local culture. Explore the temple architecture, sculptures and paintings inside the temples.

Being a city of temples, Kanchipuram celebrates a number of temple festivals throughout the year. Those who are planning their travel around May-June can participate in the Brahmotsavam (May) and Garuda Sevai (June), both organized at the Varadaraja Temple.

Plan to be a part of the Kamakshi Amman Festival, if you are arriving in Kanchipuram around February. Mahashivratri Festival at Kailashanatha Temple is also celebrated around the same time.

How can someone miss to buy the Kanjeevaram silk while on a tour to Kanchipuram. One of the finest in the world, exquisitely handcrafted silk sarees of Kanchipuram are a must buy for tourists. Gandhi Road area in the city has some good shops for silk products.

In and Around
One of the biggest pilgrimage attractions in Kanchipuram is the Kamkashi Amman Temple. The gold plated sanctum tower and the Golden Chariot are the major attractions at this temple. Among the three cities where goddess Shakti is worshipped, Madurai has the most significance due to this temple. Constructed by the Pallavas during 8th century AD, the Kailashanathar Temple is another important religious site in the site. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Besides being the most ancient building, the temple also represents the typical Pallava architecture. There is yet another popular temple dedicated to Lord Shiva – Ekambareshwar Temple. The temple complex covers a huge area of 12.14 hectares and is guarded by 16th century built stonewall. Other must visit temples in the city include Kumara Kottam (dedicated to Lord Muruga), Varadaraja Temple (dedicated to Lord Vishnu) and Ulahalanda Perumal Temple (dedicated to Lord Ulahalanda Perumal).

Where to Stay
MM Hotel, TM Hotel, Babu Soorya Hotel, GRT Regency and Heritage Inn in Kanchipuram offer budget accommodation with value-added services.

Kanchipuram Air/Rail/Road Link
At 70 km from Kanchipuram is Chennai’s Anna International Airport. Rail routes connect the city of Kanchipuram with places like Chennai, Tirupati, Chengalpattu and Bangalore. Whether you are coming from Chennai or Bangalore, you can avail yourself of regular bus services to takes you to Kanchipuram.