If you had to pick a destination in South India for its religious, historical, and cultural significance, Kanchipuram would be the place for you. It is a city of a thousand temples; with the city’s glorious past reflected in their architecture. The temples testify the dominance of Dravidian rule, and their beauty only proves that the kings of the bygone era truly loved art and culture in the city.
Though Ekambareswarar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and Kamakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to Goddess Shakti are both worth visiting, one of the unmissable temples with splendid architecture is the Kailasanathar Temple. The 8th-century temple is one of the oldest structures in the city, and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Constructed by the Pallava kings; the intricate stone carvings and architectural brilliance of this temple makes it stand out among all of them.
Kanchi Kudil, is a must visit for art and history lovers. It’s a heritage museum in a century-old home, featuring traditional Kanchipuram antiques, photographs and art, that give a great insight into the cultural past of the city. Whether it’s the food that’s served or the furniture, everything here speaks of the city’s glorious past.
If you want to get away from man-made architectural wonders, head to Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary; a paradise for bird lovers. Located 48km from the city, it is amongst the oldest bird sanctuaries in India.
The Devarajaswami Temple is famous for its intricately carved pillars and exquisite sculptures. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it was constructed by the Vijayanagar Kings.
Other places to visit in Kanchipuram include the famous Mammalapuram, Muttukkadu, Covelong Beach and Dutch Fort. Also, do not forget to buy the silk saris Kanchipuram is famous for, to take back home as souvenirs.
The nearest airport from Kanchipuram is in Chennai, about 75km away.