Kanchipuram Located on the banks of the Vegavathy river, Kanchipuram has been ruled by the Pallavas, the Medieval Cholas, the Later Cholas, the Later Pandyas, the Vijayanagara Empire, the Carnatic kingdom, and the British. The city’s historical monuments include the Kailasanathar Temple and the Vaikunta Perumal Temple. Historically, Kanchipuram was a centre of education and was known as the ghatikasthanam, or “place of learning”. The city was also a religious centre of advanced education for Jainism and Buddhism between the 1st and 5th centuries. Kanchipuram is considered as one of the seven holiest towns of its kind in the country. It is believed that a visit to this town bestows salvation. In Vaishnavism Hindu theology, Kanchipuram is one of the seven Tirtha (pilgrimage) sites, for spiritual release. The city houses Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, and Kumarakottam Temple which are some of the major Hindu temples in the state. Of the 108 holy temples of the Hindu god Vishnu, 14 are located in Kanchipuram. The city is particularly important to Vaishnavism but is also a holy pilgrimage site in Shaivism. It is a sacred destination for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus too. People popularly divide the entire region as Siva Kanchi, Vishnu Kanchi and Jain Kanchi. Though the ancient town had 1000 temples, only 126 of them are found today including the few located on the outskirts. 14 of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu are located in Kancheepuram. Silk Industry has its roots for over few hundred years and the name Kancheepuram is famous for its hand woven Silk Saree. Most of the town households are involved in this trade in a way or the other. Pure Mulberrry silk with dazzling colours and fine Zari Work [gold/silver thread linings] is the hall mark of the products from Kancheepuram. Kancheepuram Silk is a popular Brand Equity all around the Globe.
Kailasanathar Temple is the temple of the Lord of Mt.Kailash dedicated to Lord Siva. The temple was built during 685-705AD. It is the first structural temple built in South India by Narasimhavarman II (Rajasimha), and who is also known as Rajasimha Pallaveswaram. His son, Mahendravarman III, completed the front facade and the gopuram (tower).
Varadaraja Perumal Temple was originally built by the Cholas in 1053 and it was expanded during the reigns of the great Chola kings Kulottunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola. When a Mughul invasion was expected in 1688, the main image of the deity was sent to Udayarpalayam, now part of Tiruchirapalli District.
Vaikunta Perumal Temple As per Dr Hultzh, Parameswara Vinnagaram was constructed by the Pallava King Nandivarman II in 690 CE, while other scholars place it in the late 8th century. Pallavamallan was a worshipper of Vishnu and a great patron of learning. He renovated old temples and built several new ones. Among the latter was the Parameswara Vinnagaram or the Vaikunta Perumal temple at Kanchipuram which contains inscribed panels of sculpture portraying the events leading up to the accession of Pallavamalla to the throne.
Ulagalanda Perumal Temple was built by Jayam Konda Cholan. This incarnation of Lord Vishnu is called as the Vamana Avatharam. This talks about the Divine happening of measuring the entire universe [ulagu = world ; alantha=measured] in one step by Lord Vishnu in the form of a Brahman, as a gift from King Mahabli. The Sanctum Sanctorum has a 35 foot Idol of Lord Vishnu.
Ashtabuja Perumal Temple Deviating from the normal posture with four arms, Lord Vishnu is in standing posture with 8 arms called as Ashtabuja Perumal. The temple is one of the 108 Divyadesams of Perumal. A separate Mangalasasanam [hymns] is addressed to Goddess by Azhwar only in this temple. History Says Lord Brahma felt sad that He was not respected with idol worship on earth as to other Lords and organised a great yajna to realise His wish. He left Mother Saraswathi. Mother Saraswathi sent some powerful demons to stop the yajna.
Ekambareswarar Temple This vast temple is one of the most ancient in India having been in existence since at least 600 AD. Second century AD Tamil poetry speaks of Kama kottam, and the Kumara kottam (currently the Kamakshi Amman temple and the Subramanya temple). Initially, the temple was built by Pallavas. The Vedantist Kachiyapper served as a priest at the temple. The existing structure then was pulled down and rebuilt by the later Chola Kings.
Kamakshi Temple is a 12th Century temple in the heart of the town. “Ka” means Goddess Saraswati (God of Education), “Ma” means Goddess Lakshmi (God of Wealth), “Akashi” means Eye. The name in full refers Kamakshi with Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi as her both eyes. It is an important Sakthi Sthalam called as the “Nabisthana Ottiyana Peetam”.
Srinivasa Perumal Temple ‘Semmancheri’ The Archaeological Department confirms that the present structure could be around 500 years. But locals call it a 1500 years old temple. It is located at Semmencheri on the Old Mahabalipuram Road [OMR] 30 km’s from Chennai. It is said that,