City of Thousand Temples
Kanchipuram is one among the most sacred pilgrimage sites in India. The
city has some of the most grand and majestic temples to sweep you off
your feet, with their striking architectural marvel. These temples are
not only sacred sites, but also a study of the architectural evolution
within South Indian style of temple architecture. These temples reflect
architectural experimentations, restructuring and refinement that
underwent under different dynasties that ruled the city.
Temples of Kanchipuram
As one of the seven holiest cities of India, Kanchipuram housed
thousand temples of which only 200 are extant. These temples are the
epitome of flourishing Pallava art and architecture with the
embellishments from the Chola, the Vijayanagara and Chalukyas kings.
Some of the most important temples are as follows:
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Ekambaranathar Temple was built by the
Pallavas and later reconstructed by the Chola and Vijayanagar kings.
This temple makes excellent trip to Kanchipuram. Sprawling over 11
stories and one of the tallest temple towers in South India, it has some
of the most awe-inspiring sculptures, and features a thousand pillared
Vaikuntha Perumal Temple
Dating back to the 8th century, Vaikuntha temple was built by
Nandivarma Pallava and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There are scenes from
battle carved on the panels encircling the main parikrama of this
Vaishnavite temple. These scenes depict the bravery of Pallava kings.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is worshipped as Devarajaswamy here. This
temple has a 100-pillared hall, built by the Vijayanagar kings
presenting the skillfulness of their artists.
The Pallava kings constructed the Kailasanathar Temple in the 8th
century AD. It has a captivating panel portraying Lord Shiva and Goddess
Parvati in the midst of one of their many dance competitions. The
architecture of this temple resembles the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram.
Kamakshi Amman Temple
Dedicated to goddess Parvati in her incarnation as Kamakshi, the
goddess of Love, this is one of the three holy places of Shakti worship
in India. The other two are in Madurai and Varanasi. The Cholas built
the temple in its present form, during the 14th century AD.