The Land of Thousand Temples: Kanchipuram


Kanchipuram also known as Kanchi or Kancheepuram, is counted among India’s seven holiest cities, collectively called “Sapta-puri”. It is believed that a pilgrimage to all of these destinations takes a person closer to salvation.

This city is not just popular for its myriad and imposing temple structures but also for the grand Kanchipuram silk sarees made here. Thus, tourists from different parts of the World are attracted by the architecture, culture, tranquillity and the lovely Kanchipuram silk which are all offered in one huge platter at this spectacular city.

Kanchipuram is one of the most ancient cities of Southern India and traces its history as an early Chola capital, Pallava capital, an important Vijayanagar town, etc. before it got conquered by the Muslim, Maratha, British and the French armies.

Throughout its history, Kanchipuram remained an important pilgrimage centre. Kailasanathar Temple is said to be the oldest temples in this city. The city flourished under the rule of Pallava and Vijayanagara dynasties during which many temples were built. Hence, many structures in these temples have a blend of Pallava and Vijayanagara styles of architecture.

The exquisite Kailasanathar Temple
Incredible carved panels in the Vaikunta Perumal Temple
Mandapa (hall) of the Varadaraja Perumal temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.

The city is divided into two parts: Big Kanchi named as Shiva Kanchi with the most Shiva temples and Little Kanchi named as Vishnu Kanchi with a greater share of Vishnu temples.

No account of Kanchipuram will be complete without an adequate commentary on the silk products for which the city is most famous for. One of the finest and beautiful sarees in the world, the Kanjeevaram silks of Kanchipuram are a must-buy for every tourist. These sarees are hand-woven and have an excellent texture which has allured women for generations. The borders of some of the Kanjeevarams are made from pure gold and silver threads. Shopping here is not just about silk sarees, for you are provided with many options such as decorative items, fruit baskets, jewellery boxes and what not! It will be a great idea to even consider buying the perfect idols of your favourite Gods and Goddesses as a souvenir.

Full golden Kanchipuram saree

This place has just everything to replenish an art lover or a pilgrim. It offers a perfect and ironically strange concoction that can satiate you in every way.