Kanchipuram(75 kms from Chennai) is one of the
seven holy cities in the country, and a visit is believed to bestow salvation. Kanchipuram
once had over a thousand temples. Today, there are more than a hundred extant, and
all are worth a visit. Kanchipuram also has some notable churches and mosques.
Ancient Kanchipuram is the city of thousand temples and
is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centres for the Hindus. This city is also
known as Kanchi. There now remain about 126 temples in Kanchi and a few more in
its outskirts. The city was the capital of the early Cholas and it was the Pallava
capital between the 6th and 8th centuries.
Kanchipuram is a major seat of Tamil learning as well
as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Saivite Hindus. Apart
from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving handloom industry.
The weavers of Kanchi have settled in the temple town more than 400 years ago and
have given it an enviable reputation as the producers of the best silk and cotton
sarees in the country. Woven from pure mulberry silk, these sarees woven in dazzling
colours are embellished with fine gold thread (zari) and are available in every
imaginable design and variety. This makes the choice of selection quite challenging
for the buyer.
Temple festivals are held throughout the year and apart
from the temple car or the ratha festivals are held in January, April and May. There
are other days when the idols are taken out in procession on their respective
vahanas or vehicles.