Sunday, May 8, 2011


        Kancheepuram, the ‘Golden city of Temples’ is  just 76 kms from Chennai. Kancheepuram was the historic capital of the Pallavas. It was under the Pallavas from 6th to 8th century A.D. and later became the citadel of the Cholas, Vijayanagar Kings, the Muslims and the British. It  has  been a centre of Tamil learning and culture for centuries. Adi Sankaracharya established his Episcopal seat (Kamakotipeetam) here. Thus Kancheepuram was a meeting place of different cultures. Kancheepuram’s exquisite silk sarees  are woven from pure mulberry silk in contrasting colors and have an enviable reputation for luster, durability and finish. More than 5,000 families are engaged in this industry and their spectacular creations are marketed by a number of co-operative societies, located all over the state.
                Kancheepuram is the birth place of Dr.C.N.ANNADURAI, the scholar Statesman affectionately called ‘ANNA’. His house  located here has been converted into a Memorial.

Sakkiswarar Temple:
                This was also built by the Cholas, successors to the Pallavas. Who continued the Pallava traditions and even entiched it. The Skkaiswarar temple is near the Kamatchi Amman Temple.

Vaigutha Perumal Temple:
                This is one of the impartant Vishnu temples built by the Pallava King Nandivarman Pallavamalla the 7th Century A.D. Numerous inscriptions are found in this temple relating to the  wars between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas. The battle scenes of the Pallavas with, Gnagas and Chalukyas are depicted in bas-relief around the main parakaram. The presiding deity Lord Vishnu is depicted in sitting, standing and reclining positions. 

Kailasanathar Temple:
                Built by Rajasimha and his son Mahendra III in the 8th century A.D. this temple is noted for its sculpture and architecture. There are 58 small shrines around the main shrine as compound wall. Paintings of Fresco-Stucco style adorn the inner walls of the shrines. Sandstone was used in the construction of this temple.

Ekambareswarar Temple:

                Another ancient temple of Kancheepuram, it has been renovated by the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagar Kings. The 57 meters (188’) high Raja Gopuram, one of  the tallest towers in South Indian, and the massive outer stone walls were constructed by Krishna Devaraya in 1500 A.D. The 2500 Years-old mango tree inside the temple is the main attraction of the temple. There is a thousand-pillar-hall.

Kamakshi Amman Temple:
                This is one of the three holy places of SAKTHI worship in India. The other two are in Madurai and Varanasi. The temple in its present form was built by the Cholas during 14th century A.D.

Thiruparuthi Kundram:
                This is a suburb of Kanchi on the southern bank of the Vegavathi river. It was a centre of JAINISM. The  temples of Jaina Kanchi are unique since they contain a variety of Towers (Gopurams) encompassing the  complete range of the Pallava, the Chola and the Vijayanagar styles of temple art.

                Renowned pilgrim centre, where the Lord Subramanya temple is located on a hillock. It is also the birth place of Dr.S.Radha Krishnan former President of India and a philosopher Statement. It is 42 kms from Kancheepuram.

                It is known for its fort and the Jalakandeswarar  temple inside the fort. The Christian Missionary Hospital situated here is world famous. It is 64 kms. from  Kancheepuram.

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary:
                It is 48 kms from Kancheepuram and is one of the important national bird sanctuaries. This water bird sanctuary is 83 kms. South of Chennai. Season: October to March.

                This is also called Patchitheertham. It is 49 kms from Kancheepuram on the way of Mamallapuram. Two kites visit the Siva temple-called Vedagireeswarear temple atop a hillock here and take food from the temple priest every day. Thzhakkovil, situated at the  foot of the hillock and dedicated to Bakthawatsaleeswarar dates back to the Pallava period, and was renovated and enlarged by the Cholas and their successors. Sangutheerthakulam is a holy tank which yields a conch once in 12 years.

                There is an ancient Vishnu temple atop a hillock. At the foot of the hill can be seen some pre-historic burial grounds it is also known as South Thirupathi and lies on the way to Vedanthangal. It is about 73 kms from Chennai.

                There is a cave temple of the early Pallava period at this place. It is about 60 kms. from Chennai off the Grand Southern Trunk Road.
                An ancient Siva temple built according to Silpa sastra that contains inscriptions. It is about 75 kms from Chennai.

                It is 29 kms form Chennai on the way to Kancheepuram. It is the birth place of Saint Ramanujar, the Father of Visishtadvaida Philosophy  of Vaishnavism and hence an important pilgrim centre for the Vaishnavites.

            The new sprawling 1,265 acre, Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur, the biggest in South India has among other species, a superb collection of tropical mammals, birds and reptiles. Expansion plans of the Zoo include a monorail, nocturnal animal house, a pre-historic park and a lion and bison safari park. The enclosures for the animals are located in vast natural surroundings enabling them to move freely. It is about 35 kms south of Chennai.


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