After Varanasi, which holy city can strike your mind?
This could be Kanchipuram, obviously!
This Kanchipuram Temples city of thousand of temples holds a treasure trove of ancient architectural marvels, and majestic temples that illustrate the artistic brilliance of the bygone eras. Kanchipuram is located in the state of Tamil Nadu. The city is believed to hold thousands of temples but this number has gradually diminished. Each enchanting temple in Kanchipuram narrates a unique story of the past and signifies various dynasties’ glory and architectural brilliance. Hindus considered Kanchipuram as the city of salvation or Moksha Puri.
Kanchipuram temples are the abodes where history, devotion, spirituality, peace, and art blend harmoniously. So let’s embark on a journey to let the aura of devotion transport you to the spiritual heart of South India.
Abode of lord Shiva- A divine symphony
Ekambareswarar refers to Lord Shiva. Ekambarshwar Temple covers around 25 acres making it one of the largest temples in India. Its temple is around 12 stories and it is one of the tallest temple towers in India. During Panguni Month (March – April) a prominent festival called Panguni Uthiram (A Tamil-Hindu festival) adds charm to the temple. It lasts for 13 days and after this festival, the Tamil new year begins. This temple has stunning architecture and this temple also possesses many other shrines in its courtyard. Many Tamil poets and literature mention this temple.
Timings: 6 am to 12:30 pm, and then 4 pm to 8:30 pm
Kamakshi Amman Temple
A Divine Feminine Aura- Where Devotion Meets Grace
Kamakshi or Goddess Kamakshi was an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. The is believed to have the highest form of Adi-Shakti. The temple shows a perfect blend of Dravidian and Vijayanagara architectural styles. This temple will be perfect if you want to seek devotion and peace. The most interesting fact about the temple is that the morning prayers are done by elephants. The everyday ritual starts before 5 am with the worship of holy cows and then this is followed by Gaja pooja which as mentioned, is done by elephants.
Timings: From 5:30 am to12 pm, and then 4 pm to 8 pm
A Historical Marvel: Timeless Beauty in Stone
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, This is one of the oldest temples in Kanchipuram that dates back to the 8th century. It is an architectural gem that illustrates the finesse of early Dravidian architecture. The temple also possesses early Hindu mural art which is very rare. The architecture of this temple got influenced by the Pallava dynasty, the Vijaynagar Empire, and the Chola dynasty. Carvings and sculptures of this temple depict scenes from Hindu epics and showcase the creative brilliance of the craftsmen of yore.
Timings: Open all 24 hours.
Varadharaja Perumal Temple
Where Art and Spirituality Unite
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, This temple stands as a perfect illustration of the finesse and excellence of traditional Tamil architecture. The temple has majestic gopurams and carved vimanas just above the main shrine. This temple has countless sculptures and all of them are so finely built that they can leave visitors in awe. Varadharaja Perumal Temple was originally built by the Chola dynasty but was later expanded by subsequent rulers.
This temple has the divine ambiance and spiritual significance and its sacred tank, ‘Anantha Theertham,’ adds more to it. Another highlight of this temple can be its 100-pillar mandapam and these pillars are beautifully carved and they narrate various mythological stories.
Timings:6 am to 12:30 pm, and 3:30 to 8:30 pm
Creator by: Chola kings but later expanded by Nayaks of Thanjavur.
Kanchipuram is not just a sightseeing adventure; it is a transformative spiritual place that can change you for the better. We live in a world where people might look physically fine and happy but true happiness lies in a happy and peaceful mind. We hope this spiritual journey of faith and wonder leaves an indelible mark on your heart and soul. Cheers!