Discover Temple Architecture With These 6 Places To Visit In Kanchipuram

Here's everything you need to know while you're planning a trip to Kanchipuram.

Published On Mar 16, 2023 | Updated On Mar 01, 2024

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The Indian state of Tamil Nadu's southernmost city is called Kanchipuram. It is famed for its extensive history and culture, as well as its numerous old temples and architectural marvels, and is situated on the banks of the River Palar.

One of the seven sacred cities of India, Kanchipuram has been a significant hub of Hindu culture and religion for more than a thousand years. The city is also known for its silk sarees, which are prized for their superior craftsmanship and elaborate patterns. These sarees are among the finest in the world, and have been hand-woven for many years.

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You can discover India's outstanding Dravidian architectural examples by visiting the Kailasanatha Temple, a shrine to Lord Shiva. This temple dates back to the 7th century; and it's a sight to behold because of its intricate carvings and sculptures. You also can't miss out on the Ekambareshvara Temple in Kanchipuram, another temple devoted to Lord Shiva, and one of the biggest temples in South India dating back to the 16th century.

Kanchipuram is well-known not just for its historic temples but also for its vivacious culture and annual festivities. Numerous traditional dance schools can be found in the city. Anyone with an interest in history, architecture, religion, or culture should go to Kanchipuram. It is a wonderfully intriguing location that is likely to create a lasting effect on everyone who visits due to its rich history and distinctive fusion of ancient and modern features.

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A visit to Kailasanatha Temple is a must. One of the finest displays of Dravidian architecture and Indian temple architecture, this 7th century temple has intricate carvings worth studying. The Shiva temple is an extremely popular tourist attraction in Kanchipuram. And, it should be on anyone's list of places to visit in Kanchipuram, even if they're not religious. 

Timings: 6 am to 12 pm and 4 pm  to 9 pm

This is a 16th-century shrine devoted to Lord Shiva and one of the most noteworthy places to visit in Kanchipuram. One of the biggest temples in South India, this structure dates back to the 16th century. It has a sizable gopuram (tower), is encircled by a sizable courtyard, and is home to countless lesser shrines.

Timings: 6 am to 12 pm and 4 pm  to 9 pm

Believed to have been built by the Pallava Kings, this is a temple that honours the goddess Kamakshi. Regarded as one of South India's most important temples, as it's one of the 51 Shakti Peeth and it's believed that Goddess Sita's navel fell here. But this temple is also a popular place to visit in Kanchipuram because of its architecture, particularly the golden overlays over its gopurams. 

Timings: 6 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm

Believed to be the 2nd oldest temple in Kanchipuram, the Varadharaja Perumal Temple is famed for its exquisite carvings and sculptures. It's also one of the Divya Desams, meaning one of the 108 temples belived to have been visited by Lord Vishnu. If temple architecture excites you, then this is definitely a place you must visit in Kanchipuram.

Timings: 6 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm

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Said to be built by the Pallava Kings, this temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu and is also one of the 108 Divya Desams. As Kanchipuram is a city renowned for its ancient temples, this is naturally a place to visit. But one of the primary reasons to visit it is because this temple is the earliest specimen of Dravidian architecture. You can see the sculptures and carvings that depict the history of the Pallava dynasty and also throw a light on its divine lineage.

Timings: 6 am to 12 pm and 4 pm  to 9 pm

Constructed in Dravidian style of architecture, the temple complex actually houses four Divya Desams. Several daily rituals and over a dozen festivals are celebrated at this temple, of which the chariot festival is the most popular. Complete with three tiered rajagopuram (main towers) with seven kalasas, this is a key place to visit in Kanchipuram to fully be in awe of Indian temple architecture

Timings: 6 am to 12 pm and 4 pm  to 9 pm

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Bharatanatyam, one of the oldest and most important classical dance styles in India, is performed in Kanchipuram by a number of traditional dance schools. This is a popular tourist attraction for those who love dance and want to catch a performance at a 

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Kanchipuram is a must-visit for everyone interested in traditional textiles because of its hand-woven silk sarees. The gorgeous sarees available here become a major attraction for those who love sarees

Several forms of transportation are available to get you to Kanchipuram, including:

By air: Kanchipuram is located about 55 kilometres from Chennai International Airport, which is the closest airport. To get to Kanchipuram from the airport, use a bus or a taxi.

By train: Kanchipuram has a railway station that is easily accessible from other major Indian cities. There are direct trains from Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, and other significant cities.

By bus: Kanchipuram has good road connections to all the major Tamil Nadu cities. The city is easily reachable by road because of the regular services provided by both state-run and private buses.

By cab: Another option for getting to Kanchipuram is to take a taxi from Chennai or another neighbouring city. For individuals who choose a more comfortable means of transportation, this is a practical choice.

No matter how you decide to get to Kanchipuram, it is advised that you organise your trip beforehand to guarantee a smooth and delightful journey. While you're touring the city, grab a plate of Kanchipuram idli. If you're tired of touring Kanchipuram, take a bus to visit a few blue flag beaches in India, some of which are located in Tamil Nadu.


Photo: Shutterstock

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