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about-kanchipuram

Kanchipuram, one of the seven sacred cities in India was the historical capital of the Pallavas. Apart from the Pallava rulers the Cholas, Vijayanagar Kings, the Muslims and finally the Britishers too ruled this part of Tamilnadu. Tamil language flourished here.

It also became the seat of culture and religion for many centuries. This city is the centre of the fine and purely woven silk sarees. Tourists can see umpteen number of temples in Kanchipuram. The city is replete with a number of both salivate and vaishnavaite temples. The famous vaishnavaite temple here is Lord Varadharaja Perumal temples. It is also one of the 108 holiest vaishnavaite temples. It is also one of the (five elements of nature land, water, sky, fire, wind) five scared places of the saivites referring to five elements of nature.

Lord shiva is worshipped here in the form of Prithiv Lingam. Another famous shrine here ‘Lord Ekambareswar’ belonging to the saivite sect. The temples are a perfect example of the Dravidian architectural style. Other specialties of Kanchipuram are, this is the place where Adi Shakaracharya planted and developed his centre for religion i.e. the Kamakotipeetam and C.N. Annadurai the former chief Minister of the State, Tamilnadu.

The grand architecture of these ancient temples clearly indicates towards the South Indian style of temple architecture (Dravidian style). The temples of Kanchipuram were built by different dynasties, each enriching and refining the architecture further. The Pallava kings were great lovers of art, architecture and learning. Therefore, it was their reign, under which the first south Indian ancient stone temples were built at Mahabalipuram.

The evolution of the south Indian style is clearly visible in the temples at Mahabalipuram. Later, the Cholas, Chalukyas and Vijayanagar rulers ruled Kanchi. All these kings also built many temples and thus taking forward the building activities started by the Pallava dynasty.

The later kings built new temples and renovated the old ones. The ancient temples in Kancheepuram belong to the south Indian style of temple architecture. The city of Kancheepuram greets visitors with a cluster of temple shikharas (prominent roofs that surmount the sanctum sanctorum of the temples) and gopurams.

There are many elaborately carved temple gateways also, belonging to the typical south Indian style of building temples. It is considered as one of the seven sacred cities of India, Kancheepuram has only 200 temples remaining out of the thousand ancient temples. There are about 650 stone inscriptions in Kancheepuram belonging to different dynasties and different periods. Kancheepuram temples represents the Pallava art, also reflect the creative maturity of Chola, Vijayanagara and Chalukya kings, who decorated these temples with great dexterity.