Kanchipuram- authentic silk and centuries-old​ holy temples

Kanjeevaram Silk Collection- Designs & Variety

Kanchipuram, also known as Kanchi, is an ancient city in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state. Kanchipuram is famous for its rock-cut temples and lustrous Kanjeevaram silk. The sole source of livelihood in Kanchipuram is the silk industry and thus silk weaving is a ritual in every household. You can explore actual handloom wholesale shops to see the collection, can directly buy from handloom-weavers or check retail shops. Few famous brands are Prakesh silks, Babu sha, and Pachaiyappas Silk though these brands are expensive and crowded, they have a good collection.

The collection is unique in terms of designs, colour combinations, patterns. Each shop has an exclusive range of traditional, heavy work, bridal, plain and modern silk patterns. The range starts from Rs.7000/- till Rs. 3 lacs and more. One has a scope of bargaining in wholesale shops but retailers don’t offer much discount. I was so charmed with the glittering beauty that I ended up buying five exclusive pieces.

Kanchipuram in Tamil literature is composed of two words: ka and anchiKa means Brahma and anchi means worship, showing that Kanchi stands for the place where Lord Varadharaja Perumal Temple was worshipped by Lord Brahma.

Varadharaja Perumal Temple

The temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and one of the greatest Hindu scholars of Ramanuja is believed to have resided in this temple. The temple along with Ekambareswarar Temple and Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram is popularly known as  Mumurtivasam (abode of trio).

Kailasnathar temple

The Kailasnathar temple is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram. The temple was built from 685-705 AD by a Rajasimha(Narasimhavarman II) ruler of the Pallava Dynasty. It is dedicated to the Lord Shiva and is known for its historical importance.

Kailasnathar temple – Oldest structure of Kanchipuram

The sandstone contains a large number of carvings, including many half-animal deities which were popular during the early Pallava architectural period. The structure contains 58 small shrines which are dedicated to various forms of Shiva.

Carvings in Sandstone

Kamakshi Amman Temple

The last stop amongst temples is the famous Kamakshi Amman Temple. This temple has the maximum number of footfalls and is open till late night and thus I preferred to cover this place in the night.

Kamakshi Amman Temple (Night View)

The aura of the temple is simply beautiful, peaceful with the scent of pure sandalwood amidst beautiful artifacts. The temple has a small water reservoir at the back that is used for washing the deities. This temple is for Goddess Lakshmi.

Kanchipuram temples open early around 4.00 am and are closed post afternoon and then re-open in the evening around 4.00 pm and are usually open till late 9.30-10.00 pm and thus the perfect time for shopping is the heat of the afternoon. You must reserve 5-6 hours for shopping. 

Temples of Kanchipuram have a different charm for tourists, though the place hasn’t been branded much except for the silk sarees. In my opinion, every visitor must reserve 1.5-2 days for this place and Tamil Nadu Government must invest in promoting kanchipuram at par with Mahabalipuram.

List of must visit temples

Ekambareswarar Temple, Kailashnath temple, Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadaraja Perumal Temple,Chitragupta Swamy Temple

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