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KANCHIPURAM - The Golden City, The City of Silk

Translated in English, Kanchipuram means the Golden City, which indeed it is. Kanchipuram first flourished as the capital of the Pallava dynasty- the great builders. In the 7th and 8the centuries AD the Pallavas were not only great builders but they also encouraged the tradition of silk weaving as well as the Bharatanatyam dance. “Kanjeevaram” saris (the English name for Kanchipuram) still maintain their reputation. The colonies of weavers are seen in the backlanes of the city. The Bharatanatyam dance was performed within the pillared halls of temples by devadasis, young women who had dedicated themselves to the service of God.

Kanchipuram is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centres of the hindus, other being Varanasi, Mathura, Ujjain, Haridwar, Dwaraka and Ayodhya. A special feature of Kanchipuram pilgrimage is that it offers worship to both lord Shiva and Vishnu rather than one or the other. Shankaracharya, the 6th century saint who traveled all over India to promote Hinduism, set up an episcopal seat here.

After the fall of Pallavas, Kanchipuram was taken over by a succession of dynasties- the Cholas, the Chalukyas and later the Vijayanagar kings. All of them have left their artistic stamps in elaborate temples built over 12 centuries.

This place is 70 Kms from Chennai and 400 Kms from Bangalore. This place is known as the golden city of temples. It was once the capital of Pallavas from 6th century to 8th century. There are innumerable temples among which the Ekambareswara temple, Kailasanatha temple, Varadaraja temple, Vaikunta perumal temple deserves mention. The Ekambareswara temple is 1000 pillared temple with 5 prakarmas. The mango tree grown here behind the sanctum is believed to be 3,500 years old. More than five thousand families are engaged in silk industry in this town. The place is the home of the Cooperative societies of silk industry.

Important Tourist Places in Kanchipuram

Kamakshiamman Temple

Ekambareswara and Varadarajaswamy Temples

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