History of Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram famous as the 'City of a Thousand Temples' has its history intertwined with the glorious reign of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Rayas of Vijayanagar.The city is also famous as an ancient center of Tamil learning and culture. Kanchipuram was home to great luminaries like Appar, Siruthonder, the great Buddhist bhikshu Bodhidharma and Sri Shankaracharya. Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara established his Episcopal seat here called Kamakotipeetam.
Attractions in Kanchipuram
The temples are undoubtedly the foremost tourist attractions in Kanchipuram.The Kamakshi Amman Temple, one of the rare temples where Shakti is worshipped. The golden Chariot in the temple is significant as it is taken in a procession around the temple on Fridays. The temple also has an art gallery which displays the history of Sri Adi Shankaracharya and the Shankara Mutt. The Kailashanathar Temple built in the 8th century is dedicated to Shiva and is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram. Its exquisite architectural work makes it one of the finest examples of Pallava architecture. The Ekambareshwar Temple is one of the largest temples in Kanchipuram with numerous shrines, mandapams, gopurams and tanks. Other famous temples are the Kumara Kottam Temple and the Varadaraja Temple and the Ullahalanda Temple.
Excursions from Kanchipuram
If you are a nature enthusiast then you should make an excursion from Kanchipuram to Vedanthangal, about 60 kms from Kanchipuram, which is a haven for migratory birds especially from November to February. For trekking, hiking or for picnics Elagiri Hills in the Eastern Ghats will be a good option.
Festivals in Kanchipuram
Some of the famous festivals hosted by the temple town of Kanchipuram are the Brahmotsavam at the Varadaraja temple in May, the Garuda Sevai at the Varadaraja temple in June, the Float Festival at the Varadaraja temple in February and November, the Kamakshi Ammam Festival in February, the Mahashivaratri Festival at the Kailashanatha temple in February and the Panguni Uthiram at the Ekambareshwara temple in March-April.
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