The temple town of Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu is one of seven sacred cities in India. Of the original 1000 temples, a staggering 200 are left. By the 3rd century AD, Kanchipuram was reputedly a sophisticated city with diverse cultures, arts, languages and social infrastructure, making it one of the oldest cities in south India. Today, Kanchipuram is not only an important temple city and pilgrimage site but also an important centre of commerce and famed for its beautiful hand-woven silk.
The weavers of Kanchipuram have been famous since ancient times and have maintained a reputation for producing some of the best silk woven saris in India, if not the world. Kanchipuram’s numerous silk merchants are located in the narrow lanes around Gandhi Road. Here you can watch the intricacies of the weaving process, as well as buy the finished product.
Dedicated to Shiva, Kailasanatha Temple is the oldest temple in Kanchipuram and for some, the most beautiful. It was built in the 7th century by the Pallava king, Rayasimha. Fragments of 8th century murals are a visible reminder of how amazing the original temple must have looked. Non-Hindus are allowed in the inner sanctum.
Sri Ekambaranathar Temple is dedicated to Shiva and is one of the largest temples in Kanchipuram, covering some 12 hectares. It is easily identifiable by its colossal whitewashed gopuras, which rise to almost 60 metres.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...