Thursday, June 2, 2016

KANCHIPURAM - CITY OF TEMPLES

Thursday, 26May2016





Our house group of 6 people, except Sundaresans, left from DAE Township, Kalapakkam at 6.30am to KanchiPuram, a distance of 60 km, reached around 9 am after having breakfast at ChengalPet. Mr Srnivasan hired a an Innova car for all of us to accomodate.

Kanchipuram was the capital of Pallava Empire in the 4th Century, and it was the height of power during the 7th Century AD.

It is believed that the name Kanchi is derived from "Ka" referring to Hindu God Brahma and "Anchi" referring to his worship of Lord Vishnu at this place. The earliest inscriptions were from the Maurya period (325 - 185 BCE).

The VijayaNgara Empire ruled Kancheepuram from 1361 to 1645. The earliest inscriptions attesting to VijayaNagar rule are those of KumaraKampanna, which were found in the precincts of the KailasaNathar and VaradaRaja Perumal Temples.


The Mughals defeated the Marathas under Sambaji, the elder son of Shivaji in a battle near KanchiPuram in 1688. Soon after Priests at Vardaraja Perumal, Ekambareshwarar and Kamakshi Amman Temples shifted the idols to Southern TamilNadu and restored them after the death of Aurangazeb in 1707.

There are number of temples, huge ones and to see all of them, you need several days. We manage to see see briefly three of them.

1. Vardaraja Perumal Temple : Is the largest. huge Vishnu Temple, covering an area of 23 acres, built by Cholas in 1053. The features carved lizards, one plated with gold and another with silver over the sanctum.It took about 45 minutes in the line of crowd to get darshana and see the lizards and touch them. The temple has three outer Prakarams, 32 shrines and 19 vimanams and 389 pillared halls, most having liom type of sculpture.



2. Kamaskhi Amman Temple: The temple dedicated to Kamakshi, one of the forms of Goddess Parvathi, seated in padmasana, posture signifying peace and prosperity. There were lot of devotees waiting in the queue and it took about 30 minutes to have darshanam and the temple was under full renovation.



3.  Ekambareshwarar Temple: The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the largest temple in the town. The temple Gopuram is 59m tall, one of the tallest gopurams in India. There is no shrine for Parvathi within the complex. There is small shrine for Vishnu and prayed as VamanaMoorthy. The temple tree is believed to be 3500 years old mangoetree whose braches are said to yield four different types of Mangoes.



We also visited Adi Shankaracharya Mutt where the present Swamiji was about to leave after pooja at the mutt.

After visiting all these temples and mutt, we had lunch at SaravanaBhavana and headed back to Kalpakkam. 

It's amazing that such beautiful, huge temples were built in those days. One wonders about the architecture, sculpture and the dedication.

written on Thursday 2ndJune 2016







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