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| Last Updated:: 04/01/2017

Kanchipuram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kanchipuram otherwise known as Kanchi is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, 72 km (45 mi) from Chennai – the capital of Tamil Nadu.

 

 

 

In Vaishnavism Hindu theology, Kanchipuram is one of the seven Tirtha (pilgrimage) sites, for spiritual release. Hindus regard Kanchipuram to be one of the seven holiest cities in India; the Sapta Puri. According to Hinduism, a kṣhetra is a sacred ground, a field of active power, and a place where final attainment, or moksha, can be obtained. The Garuda Purana says that seven cities, including Kanchipuram are providers of moksha. The city is a pilgrimage site for both Saivites and Vaishnavites. It has close to 108 Shiva temples.

 

 

 

The city houses some of the major Hindu temples in the state. Of the 108 holy temples of the Hindu god Vishnu, 14 are located in Kanchipuram.  It is the headquarters of the Kanchi matha, a Hindu monastic institution believed to have been founded by the Hindu saint and commentator Adi Sankaracharya. Another mutt which was famous in ancient times was the Upanishad Bramham Mutt, located near Kailasanathar temple, Kanchipuram. It has the Mahasamadhi of Upanishad Brahmayogin, a saint who wrote commentaries on all the major upanishads in Hinduism. It is said that the great Sage, Sadasiva Brahmendra took to sanyasa at this mutt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Kamakshi Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is an ancient Hindu Temple dedicated to Kamakshi, one of the forms of Goddess Parvati. The Temple was most probably built by the Pallava kings, whose capital was Kanchipuram.

 

 

 

The Image of the main Deity, Kamakshi, is seated in a majestic Padmasana, an yogic posture signifying peace and prosperity, instead of the traditional standing pose. Goddess holds a sugarcane bow and bunch of flowers in the lower two of her arms and has a pasha (lasso), an ankusha (goad) in her upper two arms. There is also a parrot perched near the flower bunch. There are no other Parvati temples in the city of Kanchipuram, apart from this temple, which is unusual in a traditional city that has hundreds of traditional temples. There are various legends that account for this fact.

 

 

 

 

One of them according to Kamakshivilasa is that Goddess had to absorb all the other shakthi forms to give a boon to Kama, the Vedic angel of desire. Another legend attributes it to the Raja Rajeswari pose of the deity that signifies an absolute control over the land under her control. Legend has it that Kamakshi offered worship to a Shivalingam made out of sand, under a mango tree and gained Shiva's hand in marriage.

 

 

 

 

Ekambareswarar Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ekambareswarar Temple in northern Kanchipuram, dedicated to Shiva, is the largest temple in the city.Its gateway tower, or gopuram, is 59 metres (194 ft) tall, making it one the tallest temple towers in India. The temple is one of five called Pancha Bhoota Stalams, which represent the manifestation of the five prime elements of nature; land, water, air, sky, and fire. Ekambareswarar temple represents earth.

 

 

 

 

Kailasanathar Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kailasanathar Temple, dedicated to Shiva and built by the Pallavas, is the oldest Hindu temple in existence and is declared an archaeological monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. It has a series of cells with sculptures inside. In the Kamakshi Amman Temple, goddess Parvati is depicted in the form of a yantra, Chakra or peetam (basement). In this temple, the yantra is placed in front of the deity. Adi Sankara is closely associated with this temple and is believed to have established the Kanchi matha after this temple.

 

 

 

 

Muktheeswarar Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muktheeswarar Temple, built by Nandivarman Pallava II  and Iravatanesvara Temple built by Narasimhavarman Pallava II  are the other Shiva temples from the Pallava period. Kachi Metrali – Karchapeswarar Temple, Onakanthan tali,kachinekatangapadam,Kuranganilmuttam, and Karaithirunathar Temple in Tirukalimedu are the Shiva temples in the city reverred in Tevaram, the Tamil Saiva canonical work of the 7th–8th centuries.

 

 

 

 

Kumarakottam Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kumarakottam Temple, dedicated to Muruga, is located between the Ekambareswarar temple and Kamakshi Amman temple, leading to the cult of Somaskanda (Skanda, the child between Shiva and Parvati). Kandapuranam, the Tamil religious work on Muruga, translated from Sanskrit Skandapurana, was composed in 1625 by Kachiappa Shivacharya in the temple.

 

 

 

 

Varadharaja Perumal Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Varadharaja Perumal Temple, dedicated to Vishnu and covering 23 acres (93,000 m2), is the largest Vishnu temple in Kanchipuram. The temple features carved lizards, one platted with gold and another with silver, over the sanctum.Clive of India is said to have presented an emerald necklace to the temple. It is called the Clive Makarakandi and is still used to decorate the deity on ceremonial occasions.

 

 

 

 

Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram is the birthplace of the azhwar saint, Poigai Alvar. The central shrine has a three-tier shrine, one over the other, with Vishnu depicted in each of them.

 

 

 

 

Ashtabujakaram, Tiruvekkaa, Tiruththanka, Tiruvelukkai, Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tiru pavla vannam, Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple are among the divyadesam, the 108 famous temples of Vishnu in the city. There are a five other divya desams, three inside the Ulagalantha Perumal temple, one each in Kamakshi Amman Temple and Ekambareswarar Temple.

 

 

 

 

The city has two mosques; one near the Ekambareswarar temple was built during the rule of Nawab of Arcot in the 17th century, and another near the Vaikunta Perumal temple shares a common tank with the Hindu temple. Muslims take part in the festivals of the Varadarajaswamy temple. Christ Church is the oldest Christian church in the city.

 

 

 

 

Trilokyanatha/Chandraprabha temple is a twin Jain temple that has inscriptions from Pallava king, Narasimhavarman II and the Chola kings Rajendra Chola I, Kulothunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola, and the Kanarese inscriptions of Krishnadevaraya. The temple is maintained by Tamil Nadu archaeological department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kanchipuram has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAY - Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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