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Kanchipuram, popularly known as the 'City of Temples', is one of the sacred cities of India and is famous the world over for its exquisite temples. It is believed that Kanchipuram once had almost a thousand temples. The temples in Kanchipuram were not built by any one ruler but by different dynasties each providing its own style and ideas to further enrich the architecture and beautify the temples. One can see the three different sects in healthy blend with each other at Kanchipuram. Vishnu Kanchi is around the Varadaraja Temple, Shiva Kanchi around the Ekambareshwar Temple and the Shakti worship around Kamakshi Amman Temple.

Temples in Kanchipuram:

Kailashnatha Temple
The Kailashnatha Temple in Kanchipuram, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the oldest temple in Kanchipuram. The Pallava king Rajasimha built this temple in one of the earliest styles of Dravidian temple architecture. The temple was built in the late 7th century AD and Rajasimha's son added the front portion of the temple later. The remains of the friezes of the 8th century AD within the temple complex still look beautiful and reminds of its original grandeur. There are several small shrines within the temple premises dedicated to Lord Shiva, his consort Goddess Parvati and their sons Ganesh and Murugan.

Sri Ekambaranathar Temple
The Sri Ekambaranathar Temple in Kanchipuram, another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the largest temples in the city of Kanchipuram. The entire temple complex is spread over 12 hectares of area. The origin of the temple can be traced to the Pallava Dynasty while the Chola Rulers made their contribution by adding to the temple. Krishnadevaraya, the king of the Vijaynagar Empire, extended the temple by adding a 59 m high gopuram or the gateway and outer walls in the early 16th century AD. The most pronounced feature of this temple is the thousand-pillared mandapam or the hall.

Kamakshi Amman Temple
The Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram, dedicated to Goddess Parvati, was built by the Cholas in the 14th century AD. Goddess Parvati is worshipped in the form of Goddess Kamakshi or the Goddess of Love. The spire or the vimana of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is plated with gold. The sanctum of the temple is accessible a large mandapam or the hall supported by elaborate pillars. The Golden Chariot of the temple is taken out for the procession around the temple on every Friday evening around 7.00 pm. One can also look around the Art Gallery in the temple presenting the history of Sri Adi Shankaracharya and the Shankara Mutt.

Devarajaswami Temple
The Devarajaswami Temple in Kannchipuram, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, was built by the rulers of the Vijaynagar kingdom. The temple features an elegantly sculpted pillared hall and marriage hall built to commemorate the wedding of Lord Vishnu with Goddess Lakshmi. The most remarkable thing in the temple is an enormous chain hewned out from a single piece of stone. The huge water tank within the boundaries of the temple has a 10 m high statue of Lord Vishnu immersed in water. The water of this tank is drained out within a period of every 40 years, so that the statue may be viewed by the devotees.

Vaikuntha Perumal Temple
The Vaikuntha Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, was built soon after the construction of the Kailashnatha Temple. The main shrine of Lord Vishnu is on three different levels with images of the god in three different postures, namely, standing, sitting and reclining postures. Lion pillars support the covered passages within the outer walls of the temple. The sculptures within the temple depict the history of the temple, with explanatory details in an eighth century script.

Varadaraja Temple
The Varadaraja Temple in Kanchipuram, originally known as Attiyuran, is also known as Hastigiri. One of the celebrated Vaishnava Divya Desams, The main deity of the temple is the Varadaraja Perumal in a standing position. Varadaraja Temple displays elaborate art form on the walls of the temple. Famous Hindu saint, Sri Ramanuja used to serve here.

Kumara Kottam
Kumara Kottam is located in between the Kamakshi Temple and Ekambareshwar Temple in the Somaskanda formation. The temple with two Prakarams has complete pantheon of Parivara Devatas enshrined in their respective holy places. Only honey is used here for ablutions.

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