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Kanchipuram City Guide

Kanchipuram is known as one of India’s Seven Sacred cities. Kanchipuram was, one of India’s seven sacred cities. Kanchipuram was the historical capital of the Pallavas. It was under the Pallavas from 6th to 8th century A.D and later became the citadel of Cholas, Vijayanagar Kings, the Muslim and the British. It has been a centre of Tamil learning, cultural and religious background for centuries.

Kanchi is also known centre of the finest silk sarees made in the country. Kanchi has magnificent temples of unique architectural beauty bearing eloquent testimony to its glorious Dravidian heritage. Adi Sankara established his episcopal seat (Kamakotipeetam). Kanchipuram is the birth place of C.N. Annadurai, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu affectionately called as “Anna” by the people of Tamil Nadu.

Kanchipuram, the Golden City of a thousand temples, is the capital of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Royas of Vijayanagar. During the 6th and 7th centuries, some of the best temples in the city were built by the Pallavas. The city was also a great seat of learning. Sri Sankaracharya, Appar, Siruthonder and the great Budddh ist Bhikku lived, and worked here. Today, it is known not only for its temples, but also for its handwoven silk fabrics

Forts & Monuments Kanchipuram

Ekambareswarar Temple:

Originally built by the Pallavas, this large Siva temple was later reconstructed by the Chola and Vijaynagara kings. Here, Lord Siva is worshipped as Earth or Prithivi, which is one of the five elements. The dimensions of this temple are reflected in its 20 – acre spread and its tall south gopuram which soars to a height of 58.5m.

The eleven-storey structure which is adorned with beautiful sculptures is one of the tallest temple towers in South India. The ancient mango tree in the courtyard is revered by childless couples. They faithfully strung small cradles to the branches of the tree and leave with the hope that their desire for an offspring will be fulfilled. Also in the temple, is a small panel depicting the story behind the temple’s existence. Parvathi incurred Siva’s wrath when she made the mistake of playing a mischievous prank on him by covering his eyes for a second. Since even that one second of hindering Siva’s vision led to years of darkness for the mortals, Siva bade her to perform penance to obtain forgiveness. The temple is said to have been built at the spot where the lord forgave her.

Tanjavur

Tanjavur town is the headquarters of Tanjavur district. It is situated on the eastern coast of central Tamil Nadu. This ancient city’s history goes way back to the Sangham Age. Between 10th and 14th century this Chola capital reached the zenith of its glory. Thanjavur has about 75 temples and the most famous of them all is the Brihadeswarar temple.

Brihadeswarar temple: Rajaraja Chola built this great monument of Chola architecture that is acclaimed as the grandest temple in South India. This Saivite temple’s tower over the sanctum rises to a height of 65.4m and has a monolithic cupola on the top that weighs 80 tons. A gigantic monolithic Nandi, the second largest of its kind in the country guards the portals of the shrine.


The Palace: This palace with huge corridors, spacious halls, arsenal towers and shady courtyards was partially constructed by the Nayaks of Madurai in 1550 and partially by the Marathas. The Royal Museum in the palace has a collection of royal memorabilia and an art gallery. It has a collection of over 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts. The Sangeetha Mahal in the palace is an acoustically perfected music hall.

Archeological Museum: This is on the southern side of the temple courtyard. The museum has some unique sculptures and photographs those show the temple before restoration. It is worthwhile to have a peek at the exhibits of the museum.

Thiruchirapalli

This city of ancient history before the Christian Era is 319km from Chennai. Located on the banks of River Kaveri, Thiruchirapalli is the headquarters of the district. It was a Chola citadel during the Sangham age. Though the Cheras, Cholas, Pallavas, Pandyas, Chalukyas and Vijayanagar Empire contributed to the monuments of Trichi, the Nayaks of Madurai built most of them. The city is connected with other parts of the state by rail, road and air.

Rock Fort Temple : Thiruchirapalli’s most famous landmark is the Rock Fort Temple. The Nayaks of Madurai built the spectacular fort on an 83m high massive rock. The temple dedicated to Shiva is located at halfway. The 344 rock-cut steps take one to the Uchipillayar temple dedicated to Vinayaka, located at the top.

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