A spiritual and handicraft heritage that goes back centuries.
Positioned at 80 kilometers southwest of Chennai is the Land of thousand temples Kanchipuram. It is located in the Tondaimandalam region of Tamilnadu. Kanchipuram is divided into Shiva Kanchi and Vishnu Kanchi based on the temples found in the area. Also known as Kanchi, it is one of the seven tirtha kshetras of Vaishnavism other than being a famous religious centre for Hindus.
It has a very colored history with a plethora of empires and dynasties involved in its making. The city also has its mystic roots in the epic of Mahabharatha.
Other than the Pallavas, Cholas and the Vijayanagara Kingdom, there is evidence that Buddhism as a religion prevailed here at one time in the remains of some Buddhist Stupas. Most of the temples here were constructed by the Pallavas and Cholas and use the Dravidian style of architechture.
It is one of the four seats pf the great sage Adi Shankaracharya, the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. He was the one who expounded the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. The major happenings of the place are the Bramhotsavam, Garudotsavam and the Ratha Yatras.
The way to one's heart is through their stomach. Kanchipuram is a feast to the foodie in you. The typical south Indian cuisine will be steaming ready to entice you with its aromatic spices. One of the best places to visit to quench your cravings for the true Tamil cuisine is the Saravana Bhavan. Located to the north side of Gandhi road, this place has been serving consistently yummy and authentic cuisine for decades now.
The Adyar Ananda Bhavan and Sakthi Ganapathi are the two other major eateries of Kanchipuram.
Delicacies that you cannot afford to miss are Rasam, Payassam, Sweet Pongal and Kovil Idlis.
Top things do in Kanchipuram
How to reach
Kanchipuram, being the administrative capital of the district is well connected and easily accessible. The Best way to reach Kanchipuram would be to reach Chennai and then travel by road from there.
How to Reach by Flight
The nearest airport to Kanchipuram is the Chennai Airport. From here commuting by road for the remaining journey is the best option.
How to Reach by Train
Kanchipuram has a railway station and is adequately connected to most important destinations around it. But there is no train connecting Kanchipuram directly to Chennai, but a passenger connects it to Chengalpattu (a suburb of Chennai). There are EMUs from Chennai beach to Tirumalpur that pass via Kanchipuram.
How to Reach by Bus
There are state operated buses that run everyday between Kanchipuram and all major cities of Tamil Nadu.
How to Reach by Road
At only 69 Kilometers from Chennai and 280 kilometers from Bengaluru, the Chennai-Banglore expressway is very convenient to reach Kanchipuram. Even from Tirupati, the journey by car takes only about three to four hours and is quite convenient.
How to travel within
Kanchi is colored bright in its glorious history of producing the most lustrous Silk Sarees, famously known as the Kanjeevaram Silks or Kanchi Pattu Sarees. The Borders of these hand-woven beauties are woven with pure gold and silver threads. Shopping in Kanchi is a must because of this reason as you can make sure of the authenticity of the product and also grab a great price. Make sure to look for the GI (geographical identification) tag to check for authenticity.
If you are looking for a lot of choices and are ready to compromise a bit on the quality, visit commercial stores like the famous Prakash Silks and A.S. Babu Sah.
If you are looking for pure zari and pure zari only, visit cooperative societies like Murugan Silk Society and Kamakshi Amman Silk Society.
The prices can start from 2000-3000 and go up to one lakh rupees.
Day 1 :
Reach Kanchipuram from Chennai. The drive would take around two hours or lesser. Plan accordingly so that you can start touring the city from the early morning itself. Start by visiting the Kamakshi Amman Temple in all its glory as the sun rays highlight its beauty. Followed by the Varadaraja Temple and the Vaikunda Perumal Temple.
Take a break for lunch in the famous Saravana Bhavan.
Continue with visiting all the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Ekambareswarar Temple, Kailasanthar Temple, and The Kachabeswarar Temple.
Soak in the history and culture in the evening as the sun sets in the Kanchi Kudhil.
End the day with Shopping for the best of Kanjeevaram Silk Sarees on Gandhi Road.