Most Famous Temples In Kanchipuram
Located in the south-Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram is one of the holiest sites in the country after Varanasi. It is also known as the City of Thousand Temples because of the vast number of temples located here. Kanchipuram temples have a special place in the hearts of Hindus, and that is why the city is often counted as a pilgrimage site amongst the followers of this religion. People often travel from all over the country to witness the beautiful stone cravings, magnificent shrines, and gorgeous chariot processions held here.
Since there are so many holy places located in the city, we have compiled a list of temples in Kanchipuram which worth a visit. Do book hotels in Kanchipuram to enjoy the best hospitality.
9 Must-visit temples in Kanchipuram
- Ekambareswarar Temple
- Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple
- Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple
- Varadaraja Perumal Temple
- Ulagalantha Perumal Temple
- Trilokinath Temple
- Chitragupta Swamy Temple
- Sathyanatheswarar Temple
- Ashtabujakaram Temple
1. Ekambareswarar Temple
Spread over 10 hectares of land, the Ekambareswarar Temple is one of the largest places of worship in Kanchipuram. It is also one of the five main shrines of Lord Shiva. The complex was originally constructed by Pallava Dynasty in the 6th century and later redesigned by the Tanjore Nayaks. The Nayaks built the famous gopuram in the complex, which is a gatehouse tower standing 59 meters high. From March to April, the temple hosts the most important religious festival in the city – Panguni Brahmotsavam. Hotels in Kanchpuram are the best in terms of service.
This temple is located on Ekambareswarar Sannidhi Street and is open from 6 am to 9 pm.
2. Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple
The Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple is one of the oldest temple complexes in Kanchipuram. It is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. Its complex is one of the earliest examples of the architectural elements taken from the famous Pallava Dynasty. The central hall of the temple displays a one-of-its-kind 16-sided Shivalinga made of smooth black granite stone. Make sure you check out sub-shrines of this place, as they contain many pillars decorated with sculptures of other Hindu Gods.
The temple is located on Kailasanathar Temple Road and is open from 6 am to 9 pm.
3. Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple
The Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple is another important religious heritage site in the city. It is also the primary worship center for one of the most religious temples of South India – Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt. This is why it is the first place that comes to mind when people think of Kanchipuram temples. The original construction details of the temple are unknown, but it is known among the locals that the temple was built by Pallava kings. Hotels in Kanchpuram are the best in terms of service.
There is a rich historical background behind the Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple. The myths and legends have stated that the holy site is associated with Adi Shankara – the patron saint of Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt. If you happen to visit the temple during February or March – you will also be able to enjoy the annual chariot festival held here. It is a time of great fanfare in the city and it also includes the age-old tradition of their-vizha.
The temple is located on Kamakshi Amman Sannidhi Street in Periya and is open from 6 am to 9 pm.
4. Varadaraja Perumal Temple
For the followers of Vaishnavism, the Varadaraja Perumal Temple is one of the holiest sites in the city. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is part of the 108 Divya Desams. Divya Desams are the holiest and most sacred Vaishnavite sites in India. It is also said that these places have been personally visited by the 12 Alwars. Hotels in Kanchpuram are the best in terms of service.
The temple displays more than 350 inscriptions in its complex, all of them attributed to the major dynasties that ruled over the entirety of South India. Many tourists and devotees also visit the temple to admire its most famous architectural feature – the 100 pillared halls with a huge variety of sculptures and structures dedicated to numerous Hindu Gods.
The temple is located on W Mada Street in Nethaji Nagar and it is open from 6 am to 9 pm.
5. Ulagalantha Perumal Temple
The Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is a relatively small complex dedicated to Vamana, who is the fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams and is made with a distinctly Dravidian style of architecture. The temple is also mentioned in a variety of Tamil literature that goes as far back as the 6th century. More than a dozen festivals are celebrated in the temple every year, but it is most popular for the vibrant Brahmotsvam and their-vizha.
The temple is located in Kamakshi Amman Sannidhi Street in Periya and it is open from 6 am to 9 pm. Kanchipuram hotels are the best when it comes to food as well.
6. Trilokinath Temple
Built during the Pallava dynasty, the Trilokinath Temple is an important religious site for devotees of the Jain religion. Of all the Jain temples in the country, this is one of the few places that is designed in the Dravidian style of architecture. It attracts people because of the spectacular wall paintings and inscriptions that display the life and times of many Jain deities. You can also see the mythological tale of Lord Krishna on these walls, who is a Hindu God.
The temple is located on Jain Temple Road in Pillayarpalayam and it is open from 6 am to 9 pm.
7. Chitragupta Swamy Temple
The Chitragupta Swamy Temple is home to a minor deity in the Hindu religion – Chitragupta. He was the assistant and accountant of Yama – the Hindu god of death. The mesmerizing architectural design of the temple attracts tourists from far and wide. It is one of the few Kanchipuram temples that derives its design and motifs from the famous Chola Dynasty.
Although the temple is smaller than some other complexes in this list, it still draws more people every year because of the unique design and mythological tales associated with it. Legend says that this is the place where Chitragupta kept a watch on the good and bad deeds of men and decided who went to hell and heaven. Hotels in Kanchpuram are the best in terms of service.
The temple complex is located on Hospital Road in Nellukara and is open from 6 am to 9 pm.
8. Sathyanatheswarar Temple
Spread over just 2300 square meters, the Sathyanatheswarar Temple is the smallest of all Kanchipuram temples. But that does not make it any less famous or important. The temple enjoys a special place in the hearts of people who follow the Hindu religion, and it is also historically significant among Vaishnavites. As the name indicates, the complex is devoted to Sathyanatheswarar who is a form of Lord Shiva. Hotels in Kanchpuram are equipped with the best food menus.
The main complex of this temple is made of three tiers and also features a central hall – a sanctum sanctorum, essentially. The hall contains a granite lingam – another form of Lord Shiva that is extensively worshipped among Hindus. The complex has also been mentioned in the Tamil Shaivite canon as one of the 275 most important Shiva temples in the country.
It is located on Thirukalimedu Street and is open from 5.30 am to 8 pm.
9. Ashtabujakaram Temple
The Ashtabujakaram Temple is a popular Vaishnavite place of worship in the city. It is also famous for its unique style architecture that displays motifs and elements taken from a variety of dynasties including the Pallavas, Cholas, and Vijayanagara. Perhaps the most attractive spot for tourists inside the temple complex is the pond which is associated with the age-old story of Gajendra Moksha.
If you happen to visit the Ashtabujakaram Temple during December, you will get to witness the vibrant 10-day festival of Vaikunta Ekadasi which is one of the most important celebrations for people who follow the rituals and commandments of Vaishnava sect.
The temple is located on Ashtabujam South Mada Street and is open from 5.30 am to 8 pm.
Best time to visit Kanchipuram
The best time to visit Kanchipuram is during winters when the temperature is low and the cool breeze is blowing. The summers can be quite hot in South India, and it is impossible to go sightseeing or enjoy the spiritual centers in the city when it is scorching outside. On the other hand, Kanchipuram sees quite heavy rainfall from June to September. Transport facilities may break down, so it is not recommended to visit during this time either. Hotels in Kanchpuram are the best in terms of service.
How to reach Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram is 64 km away from Chennai International Airport which is very well connected to all major Indian cities. From the airport, you can take a taxi to Kanchipuram. Furthermore, the city also has its own railway station which is well-linked with Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. Lastly, regular bus services are available from Chennai, Tirupati (which is 128 km away), and Pondicherry (which is 127 km away). You can also book a private bus from Delhi, Mumbai, or Jaipur.
Shopping in Kanchipuram
Besides the magnificent temples, the place is also popular for its beautiful Kanjeevaram silk sarees all over the world. Your visit to the city would be incomplete without exploring the world glittering silks, some of them with borders made of pure silver and gold. There are many shops located near the Varadaraja Temple. The biggest saree shop in the city is in Nellukara Street.
You can also check out Kamatchi Co-optex on Gandhi Road, Srinivasan Silk House, and Handlooms Weavers Service Center where you will find a wide variety of exclusive sarees. You can also buy jewelry, idols of various gods, and souvenir items in Kanchipuram. Also, hotels in Kanchipuram are clean and tidy.
The city of Kanchipuram is popular for its exquisite temples and silk sarees. The temple complexes must be visited at least once by devotees of the Hindu religion to enjoy the spiritual vibes and admire the brilliant architectural designs. They will provide you a glimpse into the rich mythology and interesting history of several dynasties that ruled over South India. While you are in the city, you can also get one or two of those beautiful Kanjeevaram silk sarees that are famous all over the world. The city is surely well worth a visit for architecture lovers, religious individuals, and shopping enthusiasts.