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Best Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

By Alan J Bright
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June 02, 2023
All Best Tourist Places to Visit in Kanchipuram

Introduction

Kanchipuram is a city that exudes spirituality, art, and tradition. Located on the banks of the Vegavathy River, it is considered one of the seven sacred cities in India. The city is famous for its silk sarees, which are sought after worldwide. With a rich heritage and architectural marvels, Kanchipuram attracts tourists from far and wide.

Famous Temples in Kanchipuram

Ekambareswarar Temple

One of the most prominent temples in Kanchipuram is the Ekambareswarar Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is known for its massive gopuram (gateway tower) and sprawling campus. The 1,000-pillar hall and the majestic mango tree inside the temple premises are noteworthy attractions.

Kailasanathar Temple

kailasanathar temple

The Kailasanathar Temple, built in the 8th century, is an architectural marvel and a testimony to the ancient Dravidian style of architecture. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, depicting various mythological stories.

Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Another significant temple in Kanchipuram is the Varadharaja Perumal Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the 108 Divya Desams, which are sacred abodes of Lord Vishnu. The temple complex showcases stunning architecture and sculptures.

Historical Landmarks

Kanchi Kudil

Kanchi Kudil is a heritage village that offers a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of Kanchipuram. It showcases ancient artifacts, traditional houses, and cultural exhibits. Visitors can immerse themselves in the history and heritage of the region.

Kanchipuram Archaeological Museum

The Kanchipuram Archaeological Museum houses a remarkable collection of sculptures and artifacts from the Pallava and Chola dynasties. It provides insights into the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Kanchipuram.

Cultural Experiences

Silk Weaving Workshops

Kanchipuram is renowned for its exquisite silk sarees. Visitors can participate in silk weaving workshops to learn about the intricate art of saree-making. It is a unique opportunity to witness the craftsmanship and dedication of the weavers.

Classical Dance Performances

Classical Dance Performances

Experience the captivating beauty of classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi in Kanchipuram. Several cultural centers and dance academies organize performances that showcase the grace and elegance of these art forms.

Natural Attractions

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, located near Kanchipuram. It is a paradise for birdwatchers, housing numerous migratory and resident bird species. The sanctuary is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Maduranthakam Lake

Maduranthakam Lake, also known as Karunguzhi Lake, is a scenic waterbody near Kanchipuram. It offers a tranquil environment and is an ideal spot for boating and picnicking.

Shopping in Kanchipuram

Silk Sarees

No visit to Kanchipuram is complete without buying a traditional silk saree. The city is renowned for its handwoven silk sarees, characterized by intricate designs and vibrant colors. Visitors can explore the local markets and showrooms to find the perfect saree to take home.

Handicrafts and Jewelry

Apart from silk sarees, Kanchipuram is known for its exquisite handicrafts and jewelry. From intricately designed gold ornaments to beautiful stone carvings, there are plenty of options for those interested in collecting unique souvenirs.

Local Cuisine

Idli and Dosa

Kanchipuram is famous for its delectable South Indian cuisine. Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of steaming hot idlis and crispy dosas, served with a variety of chutneys and sambar.

Payasam

Don't miss the opportunity to relish the traditional Kanchipuram-style payasam, a sweet dish made with rice, jaggery, and milk. It is a delightful treat that reflects the culinary heritage of the region.

Festivals and Celebrations

Pongal

Pongal, the harvest festival, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Kanchipuram. Witness the vibrant festivities, where people come together to offer thanks to the Sun God and enjoy cultural performances.

Kamakshi Amman Temple Festival

The Kamakshi Amman Temple Festival is a grand celebration that attracts devotees from all over. The temple premises come alive with colorful decorations, music, and dance performances.

Accommodation Options

Luxury Resorts

Kanchipuram offers a range of luxury resorts that provide a comfortable and indulgent stay. These resorts often have spa facilities, swimming pools, and fine dining options.

Budget-Friendly Hotels

For budget-conscious travelers, there are several affordable hotels and guesthouses in Kanchipuram. These accommodations provide basic amenities and a convenient stay at a reasonable price.

Transportation in Kanchipuram

Local Buses and Auto-rickshaws

Kanchipuram has a well-connected network of local buses and auto-rickshaws, making it easy to travel within the city. These modes of transportation are convenient and cost-effective.

Private Taxis and Cabs

Travelers who prefer more personalized transportation can opt for private taxis and cabs, which offer flexibility and comfort. It is advisable to negotiate fares or use metered taxis for transparency.

Best Time to Visit Kanchipuram

Winter Season (October to February)

The winter season is the best time to visit Kanchipuram, as the weather remains pleasant and comfortable. It is the perfect time to explore the temples and enjoy outdoor activities.

Tips for Travelers

Dress Code for Temples

When visiting the temples in Kanchipuram, it is essential to dress modestly and adhere to the dress code. Both men and women are advised to cover their shoulders and wear clothes that extend below the knees.

Footwear Etiquette

Remove your footwear before entering temples and other religious sites in Kanchipuram. It is a sign of respect and also helps to keep the premises clean.

Conclusion

Kanchipuram offers a captivating blend of spirituality, history, and culture. With its magnificent temples, historical landmarks, vibrant festivals, and exquisite silk sarees, the city promises an enriching and memorable experience for travelers. Immerse yourself in the charm of Kanchipuram and create lifelong memories.

FAQs

1. How can I reach Kanchipuram?

Kanchipuram is well-connected by road and rail. The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport, approximately 70 kilometers away. Regular bus services and trains are available from major cities in Tamil Nadu.

2. What is the significance of Kanchipuram's temples?

Kanchipuram's temples hold immense religious and historical significance. They are not only architectural marvels but also important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The temples showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region.

3. Can you recommend any budget-friendly accommodations?

Yes, Kanchipuram offers several budget-friendly hotels and guesthouses that provide comfortable stays at affordable prices. Some popular options include guesthouses near the temple complexes and budget hotels in the city center.

4. Are there any vegetarian food options in Kanchipuram?

Yes, Kanchipuram has a wide range of vegetarian food options. From traditional South Indian cuisine to multi-cuisine restaurants, visitors can savor delicious vegetarian meals at various eateries in the city.

5. What are the popular festivals celebrated in Kanchipuram?

Kanchipuram celebrates numerous festivals, with Pongal and the Kamakshi Amman Temple Festival being the most prominent ones. These festivals showcase the vibrant culture, traditions, and religious fervor of the city.

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Trip plan idea!

Day 1

  • Start your day by visiting the Ekambareswarar Temple, marveling at its grand architecture and the ancient mango tree within the premises.
  • Explore the Kailasanathar Temple, adorned with intricate carvings that depict fascinating mythological stories.
  • Take a break for lunch and savor the delicious South Indian cuisine at a local restaurant.
  • Visit the Varadharaja Perumal Temple, known for its stunning architecture and sculptures dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
  • In the evening, head to Kanchi Kudil, a heritage village, to get a glimpse of the traditional lifestyle and cultural exhibits.

Day 2

  • Start the day by visiting the Kanchipuram Archaeological Museum, where you can explore a remarkable collection of sculptures and artifacts from the Pallava and Chola dynasties.
  • Immerse yourself in a silk weaving workshop and witness the craftsmanship behind the famous Kanchipuram silk sarees.
  • Enjoy a traditional lunch at a local restaurant, savoring the flavors of idli, dosa, and other South Indian delicacies.
  • Attend a classical dance performance in the evening, experiencing the grace and beauty of Bharatanatyam or Kuchipudi.

Day 3

  • Embark on a nature excursion to the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, observing various migratory and resident bird species.
  • Relax and enjoy boating at Maduranthakam Lake, soaking in the tranquil atmosphere and scenic beauty.
  • Indulge in some shopping, exploring the markets and showrooms for exquisite silk sarees, handicrafts, and jewelry.
  • Treat yourself to a traditional Kanchipuram-style payasam, a sweet dish that reflects the culinary heritage of the region.

Day 4

  • Start the day with a visit to the Kamakshi Amman Temple Festival, immersing yourself in the vibrant festivities and cultural performances.
  • Explore the local markets for souvenirs and collect unique handicrafts as mementos of your trip.
  • Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the city, taking in the charm and ambiance of Kanchipuram.
  • In the evening, visit one of the local temples to witness the evening aarti (ritual) and experience the spiritual aura of the city.

Remember to check the timings and any specific guidelines for temple visits and festivals before planning your trip. Enjoy your journey through the best tourist places in Kanchipuram!

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