Kanchipuram Travel Guide

Generally known as the Golden City of Thousand Temples, Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu is one of the most popular tourist destinations of South India. There are ample places to visit in Kanchipuram and those with a wanderlust can explore a multitude of temples dotting the region along with forts as well as sanctuaries. With the Palar River flowing through its western fringes, the scenic beauty of the city is further enhanced. While pilgrims can probably have the best possible time in the temple city, nature lovers and history buffs can have their fair share of fun exploring forts and sanctuaries. The city is also well-known for the famous Kanjivaram Sarees. Boasting of an architecture spanning over a millennium, the places to visit in Kanchipuram are endless. Historical records reveal that the city is more than thousand years-old and was once reigned by the Cholas and the Pallava Dynasty. After which the Vijaynagar Empire took over before Kanchipuram was succeeded by the British. Today, lying at a distance of roughly 74 kilometres from Chennai, Kanchipuram happens to be a prominent weekend getaway for the people of the south. Owing to its strategic location, it makes for an ideal weekend destination for the people of south, especially Chennai. While it comes to the places to see in Kanchipuram, travellers and pilgrims can choose from ample options.

Be it the wide range of temples, generously sprinkled all over to the sanctuaries and fort-Kanchipuram has something or the other in its platter to offer everyone. One of the most popular tourist attractions of Kanchipuram happens to be the Kamakshi Amman Temple. Dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi (a form of Durga), the temple is believed to date back to the first millennium CE. The architecture of the temple is so grand that travellers remain awestruck by its beauty. Another major attraction of Kanchipuram happens to be the Vedanthangal Sanctuary, located in the outskirts of the city. The sanctuary is home to a large number of avifauna. Apart from that, the Alamparai Fort also makes for a major tourist attraction in Kanchipuram, which is flocked by culture and history buffs. The fort was built by the Mughals in the 17th century which was later taken over by French commander Dupleix and after that the British captured the citadel. Other than these, places of worship and other must visit places in Kanchipuram include the Varadaraja Temple, Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Vaikunda Perumal Temple, the Chitragupta Swami Temple and others. Our Kanchipuram Travel Guide provides every detail about the best places to visit and things to do in Kanchipuram.

Best Time to Visit Kanchipuram

A tropical climate is characteristic of Kanchipuram throughout the year. Therefore, summers get exceptionally hot and monsoons lend a heavy humid weather to the place. However, the best time to visit Kanchipuram is during the winter months when the temperature is cool and the weather pleasant.

  • Summer

    Summer

    Summers in Kanchipuram are hot and humid. Usual temperature ranges between 30 degree Celsius and 37 degree Celsius. At times the temperature at times even crosses 40 degrees making it somewhat unbearable for the tourists. Therefore, one will find somewhat less number of tourists visiting Kanchipuram during summers.

  • Monsoon

    Monsoon

    Kanchipuram experiences moderate to heavy rainfall during the months of July and August. The weather becomes considerably humid lending a heaviness to the air. While some natural spots can probably be experienced at its best, do remember to keep gears like raincoats and umbrella handy with you.

  • Winter

    Winter

    Winters are the best time to visit Kanchipuram as the weather becomes cool and pleasant. October to February is the best time when travellers flock to Kanchipuram. Since the temperature ranges between 16 degree and 22 degree Celsius, the weather becomes cool and pleasant, thereby making it ideal for travellers to soak in the beauty of Kanchipuram.

Popular Tourist Attractions and Places to Visit in & around Kanchipuram

The temple city of Kanchipuram can turn out to be an ideal tourist destination for pilgrims, travellers and history buffs alike. Sprinkled with a dozen Hindu temples and sanctuaries, the city is indeed a must visit in Tamil Nadu.

  • Sri Ekambareswar Temple

    Dedicated to Lord Prithvilingam, a form of Lord Shiva, the Ekambareswar Temple is the most popular and the largest temple in Kanchipuram. It is said that the temple dates back to nearly 600 to 700 years and three major dynasties the Chola, the Pandavas and the Vijaynagar Empire contributed towards the construction of this temple. The temple is also considered as one of the Pancha Bhootha Sthalam (five elements) temple existing in Tamil Nadu.

  • Kailasanatha Temple

    Built in limestone, the Kailasnatha Temple is one of the oldest places of worship in Kanchipuram. The presiding deity here happens to be Lord Kailashnathar, a form of Lord Shiva. The temple was built by the King Rajasimha of the Pallava Dynasty. Later his son Mahendra built the gopuram of the temple. Upholding an astonishing Dravidian architecture, the Kailasnatha Temple is a must visit if you are on a tour of Kanchipuram.

  • Varadharaja Perumal Temple

    History lies deep within every wall of the Varadharaja Perumal Temple-a major reason as to why it is considered one of the must visit places in Kanchipuram. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple was built by the Vijaynagar Empire in the 10th century. The temple is famous for its 1000 pillared-hall known as Kalyanamandapam. Each of these pillars reiterate the life of Lord Vishnu with the intricate carvings adorning it.

  • Kamakshi Amman Temple

    One of the first memories that a traveller would cherish making on a trip to Kanchipuram is a visit to the Kamakshi Amman temple. The presiding deity here is Goddess Kamakshi, who is found to be in a seated position here. Adi Sankaracharya is also associated with the temple, whose portrait is placed inside the shrine. The astounding Dravidian architecture of the temple leaves travellers and pilgrims absolutely awestruck!

  • Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

    One of the oldest bird sanctuaries in India, the mangroves of Vedanthangal are replete with avifauna. Beyond the isles full of mangroves, the birds perch on the trees that line the banks. The Barringtonia mangroves of the sanctuary offers a floating habitat for a host of migratory birds. Nature lovers and bird watchers can have a jolly time spotting darter, egrets, pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, spot-billed duck and many more species of birds.

  • Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

    Associated with Sri Sankaracharya, the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham or temple, is a Hindu monastic institution. Built in the of 8th Century, the temple's presiding deity happens to be Goddess Kamakshi, a form of Durga. Apart from offering simple homage, one can visit the gurukul (school system) supported by the temple authorities. While the architecture might not exude grandeur, the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham is worth a visit, at least for an experience.

  • Sri Ulagalandar Temple

    If you are on a tour of Kanchipuram and want to visit all the religious shrines, then the Sri Ulagalandar Temple is a must visit for you. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is thronged by devotees every day. The presiding deity, Lord Vishnu is projected in Vamana form in the temple. However, the statue of Lord Vishnu's Vamana avatar is so gigantic that, devotees are often left in awe of it.

  • Vaikuntha Perumal Temple

    One of the popular tourist destinations of the temple city Kanchipuram happens to be the religious shrine Vaikuntha Perumal Temple. It is one of those temples that attract both travellers and pilgrims alike. The temple was built in the 7th century by the Pallava King Nandivarman II and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The architectural brilliances of the temple comprise several lion-pillared cloisters with beautiful inscriptions narrating tales from mythology.

  • Chitragupta Swamy Temple

    Built in the 9th century during the Chola Dynasty rule. This temple is one of the rare religious shrines dedicated to Chitragupta, the chief accountant of Lord Yama, the Hindu God of death. The idol here is seen in a sitting posture holding a pen in the right hand and palm leaf on the other. There is also the Utsava Panchaloka version of Chitragupta seen along with his consort Karnikambal.

  • Thennangur Panduranga Temple

    Another major place of worship one can visit while touring Kanchipuram is the Thennangur Panduranga Temple. Situated in the locality of Vandhavasi, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. However, the presiding deity here is Vishnu's Vamana avatar. The statue is 12 feet tall and has standing posture. It magnificence often make travellers and pilgrims stare at it in awe. Interestingly, the architecture resembles that of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri.

  • Devarajaswami Temple

    Lying on the eastern edge of Kanchipuram, the Devarajaswami Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. One of the older temples in the region, the shrine was built during the Vijaynagar Empire. The presiding deity is Varadaraja, a form of Lord Vishnu meaning King who bestows benediction. The temple is known for its jewels and one of them is a huge necklace carved out of stone. It attracts lot of devotees round the year.

  • Kachapeshwarar Temple

    If you want to make memories of your trip to Kanchipuram, a visit to the Kachapeshwarar Temple is a must. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is a unique one. It is where one can find Lord Vishnu worshipping Lord Shiva in the form of a tortoise. Just like other south Indian temples, it is also built in the Dravidian style of architecture and leaves travellers in awe of its grandeur.

  • Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple

    A popular religious shrine in Kanchipuram, the Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple attracts a lot of devotees and tourists round the year. The presiding deity here are the three major Hindu Gods-Lord Shiva with his consort Shakti is seen sitting on his left with their son Subramaniya sitting in between them. A revered place of worship, this temple is a must visit while on a tour of Kanchipuram.

  • Alamparai Fort

    A lesser-known historical wonder, the Alamparai Fort is considered one of the must visit places in Kanchipuram. Covering an area of 15 acres, the fort was built in the 17th century during the Mughal Era. The dockyard of the fort once measured 100 metres in length, stretching literally into the sea. From here, export of several materials like zari cloth, salt, ghee and other products took place. Today, the ruins of the fort are worth visiting.

Where to Stay in Kanchipuram?

Tourists from all strata of the society will find accommodation as per their choice and budgetary means. Be it high-end hotels or just simply bread and breakfast, they are all there in Kanchipuram to welcome the tourists. From budget hotels to mid-range and luxury ones to villas tourists will be spoilt for choice. Other types of staying options in Kanchipuram include budget guest houses and travellers' hostels as well. Nowadays, online booking at most properties is easily available.

How to Reach Kanchipuram?

Lying at a distance of 74 kilometres, Chennai happens to be the closest airport as well as the nearest railhead to Kanchipuram. Other major cities from where Kanchipuram can be covered within a few hours' time include Madurai, Coimbatore and even Bengaluru. Once tourists have made it to Kanchipuram, they can easily avail a host of public and private transport to explore in and around the city.

  • By Air

    The nearest airport to Kanchipuram is Chennai which is 74 kilometres away. Chennai is very well-connected with all major Indian cities through all major airlines. From Chennai airport, buses and cabs can be easily availed by tourists that can drop them at Kanchipuram.

  • By Rail

    Just like the airport, again, the nearest railhead happens to be Chennai. Once at the Chennai central station, tourists can avail buses, cabs and other mode of transport that can drop them Kanchipuram.

  • By Road

    Kanchipuram is very well-connected by roadways from Chennai, Madurai and even Coimbatore. Road conditions in this part of South India happen to be very good and tourists can choose from a wide range of public and private buses including AC and non-AC ones that ply on a daily basis.

Tamil Nadu Travel Information at a Glance

There's an abundance of culture, tradition, art, craft, nature, and wildlife experiences awaiting in Tamil Nadu. Choose from our wide array of Tamil Nadu travel packages and get that incredible holiday experience at this colour palette kind of a destination. We design the finest tour packages keeping your likes and dislikes in mind so that you are guaranteed a holistic travelling experience that too in a budget of your choice.