Kanchipuram, also known as Kanjeevaram, is a small temple town in Tamil Nadu. Fondly known as the 'golden city of a thousand temples', this lovely town promises you a spiritual retreat unlike any other. This city is considered to be one of the seven holiest cities of India and it is also said that a visit to this place helps in achieving salvation. There are a number of temples here and Kanchipuram is a holy site for both Buddhists and Jains. It is divided into three distinctive sections in terms of temples. These are Siva Kanchi, Vishnu Kanchi and the Jain Kanchi. The city is on the banks of the holy river Vegavahi, which is a tributary of the Pallar River. Do visit the Kailasanathar Temple, the Ekambaranatha Temple and the Kamakshi Amman Temple. Known for their architectural brilliance, these temples are highly revered by visiting tourists. As the name suggests, Kanchipuram is known for its traditional Mulberry Silk. The sarees made of this silk are famous all over the world and are also known as Kanjivaram sarees. Most of the households here are a part of the silk industry and Kanchipuram silk is a brand name famous everywhere now, so don't forget to some sarees back!
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Sri Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple
This temple dates back to 65 years and is dedicated to a form of Goddess Parvathi. According to local tales, once the Goddess had playfully blindfolded Lord Shiva from the back and during this time the whole world was covered with darkness. Parvathi got cursed because of this and she was born on Earth as Kamakshi. Kamakshi Devi started practising sacrifice with a Shiva Idol in her hand to seek his hand for marriage. To test her Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a mighty river and Kamakshi Devi clasped to the Shiva Linga to prevent it from eroding. She even performed meditation on the tip of a needle surrounded by Panchagni or the 5 fires. During this heranger destroyed some village people but at the end Lord Shiva was pleased and offered to marry her. The second legend says that due to the increase of torture of a demon, all the gods and Goddesses of heaven came down on Earth and started living on a Champak Tree as parrots and they prayed to goddess Kamakshi. The Goddess later killed the demon called Bhandakasur and on this spot is the present Kamakshi Devi Temple.
Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple
This temple is known as Hatagiri as well as Attiyuran. It is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu who is also referred to as Varadaraja Perumal and his consort, Goddess Lakshmi. It is situated adjacent to the Vedapureswarar Temple and is maintained and looked after by the Vedapureshwar Trust too. According to legends and mythological tales, it is said that after Brahma created the universe and he wanted Lord Vishnu to come down on Earth and for that he started performing the Asvamedha Yagna. Towards the end of the sacrifice God Varadaraja Perumal appeared on earth with his consort to bless all the people on the Earth. The idol of the lord here is said to be self manifested and the temple was built mainly to preserve it during the reign of the Chola Kings in the 11th Century.
Vaikunda Perumal Temple
One of the 108 divya desams, the Ulagalantha Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is also known as Thiru Ooragam and here Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Lord Vamana. The temple is very close to the Kamakshi Aman Temple. This is an ancient temple which dates back much before the rule of the Pandyas and Cholas. The 11 storey tower of this temple is one of the largest among all the Divya Desams and the 20 ft tall idol of Lord Trivikrama is majestic. The idol is in a standing posture with his right leg lifted and touching his left leg in a right angle. He holds a lotus in one hand and a conch in another. The legend says that once a Lord Vishnu visited the house of the powerful and arrogant Mahabali Chakravarthy. Happy with his presence he asked the vamana what he would want in alms and the Lord says he needed nothing but three ft space. To this Mahabali laughed and ordered him to go ahead. Suddenly the little dwarf extended himself in height and might and put forward his first step to cover the whole land of the earth and with his second step he covered the skies. When he inquired about where he should put his third step, Chakravarthy gave down his head for the Lord to step on it.