Kanchipuram: Town of Temples and Textiles
Kanchipuram: Town of Temples and Textiles

Kanchipuram: Town of Temples and Textiles

Kanchipuram, the town of thousand temples, is one of Hinduism’s seven most vital pilgrim centres. The city is essential to both Shaivism and Sri Vaishnavism. It’s also documented for its hand-woven silk sarees and most of the city’s workforce involving within the weaving industry.

Brief History

Still known as one of the most ancient cities of south India, which traces back to 2nd-century BCE as a Chola capital. From the 3rd to 9th century, it was under Pallava capital, and after that, it served as the late Chola government. From the 15th to 17th century, it had been a crucial Vijaynagar town conquered by Muslim and Maratha armies and later by the British within the 18th century, after which the French had twice sacked it.

Kanchipuram is additionally referred to as Kānchi, and earlier, it was known as Conjeeveram city, a temple city within the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The town is believed to be a part of the legendary Dravida Kingdom of the Mahabharata and was described as “the best among cities”.

The main Kanchi Kailasanathar temple [which means “lord of the Cosmic Mountain”] is the oldest structure of the city that Narasimhavarman II built in 685-705AD, also known as Rajasimha pallaveswaram.

State/District/Capital

Kanchipuram, a town of temple and textiles, is a city in Tamil Nadu in the Tondaimandalam region 72 km from Chennai [capital of Tamil Nadu].

How to reach Kanchipuram?

By Air

The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport (Meenambakkam) – nearly 2 hours chase away.

By Road

Kanchipuram is 64 km far away from Chennai and is well connected by an honest network of roads. There are bus services from Kanchi to Chennai, Bangalore, Pondicherry, and Tirupati. You’ll also book a personal bus from Delhi, Mumbai or Jaipur.

By Rail

People can reach it from Chennai Central railroad station and Arakkonam railroad station. A local train runs between Chennai and Kanchipuram [40108 Tbm Msb], which takes over 14 mins to reach its destination.

When to visit Kanchipuram?

The best time to visit Kanchipuram is winter season. The summers are often quite hot in South India, and it’s impossible to travel sightseeing or enjoy the spiritual centres within the city when it’s scorching outside. It is also recommended not to visit during the rainfall season from June to September as transport facilities may break down due to heavy rainfall.

Official Language

The official language of Kanchipuram is Tamil. Though a couple speaks English and Hindi of localities

Weather

  • Summer season: March to May
  • Average temperature: 27.5°C to 31.8
  • Summer season: March to May
  • Average temperature: 27.5°C to 31.8°C
  • Winter season: December to February
  • Average temperature: 23.8° C to 25°C
  • Monsoon season: June to September
  • Average temperature: 30.9°C to 28.7°C
  • Post monsoon season: October to November
  • Average temperature: 27°C to 25.1°C

Fairs & Festivals in Kanchipuram

Festivals are celebrated every day in various Temples in Kanchipuram district.

However, the festival of Sri Varadharaja Perumal Swamy Temple is held per annum in May. Major festivals are “Karuda Seva” and “Chariot Festival”.

In Ekambaranathar temple, Brahmachavam is widely celebrated for 10 days within March, and the Elavarkuzhali Amman wedding is held.

Transportation/Stay to prefer

Although Kanchipuram is a small town, it mostly consists of its townspeople, and they do have their government lodging. You can book them online by calling Ph: 044 – 27222553, 9176995831 on the official website by the Tamil Nadu government or by personally visiting Hotel Tamilnadu – Kancheepuram at the address Kamakshi Amman Sannadhi Street, Opp. Old Railway Station – 631 502. 

As for local transportation, a limited network of bus/van is available, so hiring a personal taxi or rickshaw as per accommodation would be a better option, and there are no operating metro trains in Kanchipuram.

Places to visit in Kanchipuram

  1. Ekambareswarar Temple
  2. Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple
  3. Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple
  4. Varadaraja Perumal Temple
  5. Ulagalantha Perumal Temple
  6. Trilokinath Temple
  7. Chitragupta Swamy Temple
  8. Sathyanatheswarar Temple
  9. Ashtabujakaram Temple

Besides the magnificent temples, the place is additionally popular for its beautiful Kanjeevaram silk sarees. Your visit to the town would be incomplete without exploring the glittering silks, a number of them with borders made from pure silver and gold. There are several shops which travellers can find near the Varadaraja Temple. The most important sarees shop within the city is Nellukara Street.

You can also inspect Kamatchi Co-optex on Gandhi Road, Srinivasan Silk House, and Handlooms Weavers Service Center, where you’ll find a good sort of exclusive sarees. You’ll also buy jewellery, idols of varied gods, and souvenir items in Kanchipuram.

The city also has 45,000 expert weavers belonging to Devangas and, therefore, the Pattu Saliyar community.

Cuisines to taste in Kanchipuram

As Kanchipuram is a south Indian city, its food is also typically influenced by the same. You would find many rice, spices, chillies, coconut, and various fruits and vegetables.

At breakfast, you would find cuisines like Idli, Dosa, Pongal, Puttu, Uttapam, Upma, Appam, Sevai, and Vadai, and apart from this, the natives drink coffee. The most famous is filter coffee which has a high percentage of coffee beans, about 70 to 80 per cent

For lunch and dinner, rice is the common food. Some other dishes include Kuzhambu, Sāmbhar, Rasam, Puliyogare, Thayir Sadam, Parota.

Non-vegetarian foods include Kottu, by mincing beef or egg or chicken, chopping and rooling into a special kind of roti called Kottu roti. It is a little similar to the north Indian dish Shwarma. Some other includes Karuvattu Kuzhambu, Muttaiparotta and Karidosai.

Things to do in Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram is a place of natural beauty and just-in-aww sights of ancient craftsmanship, many structures dating back to more than a thousand years. Tourists from around the world visit Kanchipuram for its sacred pilgrimage journey and vast history.

Although if you are looking for places to visit other than temples, then Kanchi Kudil would be an excellent choice. The spot is a heritage museum that gives all visitors a peek into the history of its city. You get to know a brief inside knowledge about the traditional lifestyle of the local people. The museum displays various wooden swings, utensils, rocking chair and furniture dating back to ancient times.

Souvenirs to buy in Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram, better known for its Silk Sarees, most of which are hand-woven and have an excellent texture that allured women for generations because the city has a booming handloom industry. These sarees represent a symbol of legacy and grace.

Shopping in Kanchipuram is just not about Silk Sarees, for travellers can also buy many decorative items, jewellery boxes and idols of Gods and Goddess made out of stone, bronze, copper, stone and jute..

You can also stroll around the streets and come across several artefacts in various shops, they come in different designs, and the kinds of variety in these sculptures are unbelievable. Some of the artefacts can be cheap, while a few massive sized figurines could cost a penny.

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About Hitesh Kumar Negi

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