Kanchipuram Temples Information
Kanchipuram is considered one of the seven sacred cities of India. The ancient city of Thousand Temples is the major Hindu pilgrim center. Kanchipuram was the capital of Pallavas during 6th to 8th Centuries AD. it has magnificent temples of unique architectural beauty bearing eloquent testimony to its glorious Tamil heritage.
Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple
This famous temple is one of the three Shakthi Pedams in India. It was built by the Cholas in the 14th century AD. The sanctum faces the Gayatri mandapam. The beautiful Kamakshi Devi is in the Padmasana posture, holding a bow of sugarcane and arrows of flowers. The kamakotipeedam or Sri Chakram established by Saint Adi Shankara is in front of the goddess and all pujas are offered to this kamakshi being the principal goddess in Kanchipuram, the Shiva temples here have no separate sanctum of Shakti.
Sri Ekambareswarar Temple
This is another ancient temple in kanchipuram. This temple has the distinction of being renovated by successive empires, the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagar Kings. The 57meters high Rajagopurm is one of the tallest gopuram in South India. Sri Ekambareswara is worshipped in the form of Prithivi Lingam (Earth). The two thousand five hundred years old mango tree inside the temple is the biggest attraction.
Sri Kailasanadar Temple
This temple is located at the western end of the city. It was built by the Pallava king Rajasimha and his son mahendra in the 8th Century AD. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram and finest example of Pallava architecture in South India.
Of all the temples in India, no other edifice has been so elaborately filled with all the 64 aspects of Lord Shiva. The temple is unique in its architecture and is viewed more as an architectural wonder than as a holy place. Hence it is never crowded with locals. But, once in a year during Shivaratri festival large crowds visit the temple and there could be hours of waiting in long queues.
Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple
At Chinna (Little) Kanchipuram this Vishnu temple, which dates back from the 12th century, draws thousands of devotees to its annual festival. It is the center of attraction in Vishnu Kanchi. The temple is a big one with two gopurams one at the west and the other in the east.
Sri Varadaraja Perumal situated on top of Hastigiri hill. Sri Varadarajar faces west and is on an artificial hill. People go thorugh the western entrance. The hundred pillared hall in this temple erected during the Vijayanagar Period is renowned for its exquisite sculptures. The holy tank known as Anantha Pushkarani, Lord Athigiri Varadaraja is lying below water. It is taken out once in Forty years, exhibited for one mandalams and then replaced within the tank.
Sri Adi Sankara, after his various tours thorugh most parts of India, settled down at Kanchi to spend his last years. He caused to remodel the city and reconstruct the three principal temples Devi Kamakshi, Sri, Ekambareswarar and Sri Varadaraja Perumal. Sri Kanchi kamakoti Peetham was established by Sri Varadaraja Perumal. Sri Kanchi kamakoti Peedam was established by Sri Adi Sankara in the year 482 B.C. It has distinction of an unbroken line of 70 Acharyas (spiritual leaders). Sri Kanchi Kamakotipeetam has been undertaking several spiritual and social activities.
Other Temples in the Town
The city is full packed with a lot of temples. There are a few temples which get historical and archi8tectural importance. They are Sri Kanchapeswarar (Siva) temple, Sri Pndava Dutha Perumal (Krishna) temple, Sri Kumarakottam Subramanya Swami temple, Sri Ulagalantha Perumal (Vishnu) temple, Sri Vaikunda Peurmal (Vishnu) temple, Sri Vaikunda Perumal(Vishnu) temple, Sri Astabujaperumal temple, Sri yathothakari Perumal temple, Sri Vilakolikathaperumal temple, and Jain temple at Thiruparuthikundram.
Sri Perumpudur (32km), Uthiramerur (30km), and Thirthani(46km)
It is one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga. The temple stands on the top of the Thanigai hill. It is a single rock 700 feet above from sea level. His righteous indignation towards the asuras was quelled here and so it is known as Shantpuri or Abode of peace. It is said that if Murugam is worshipped here with heart and soul for five consecutive days, the worshipper is blessed with the best in this life and after.
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