by Madhav Srinivasan on Sep 27, 2011
Kanchipuram, the temple town, instantly evokes memories of a bygone era in tourists and is mainly popular for this very reason. With its quaint old buildings and bustling culture, the place is an ideal spot for historians, pilgrims and shoppers alike.
History claims Kanchipuram to be one of the oldest cities in South India. Various documentations by Kalidas highlight Kanchipuram, which was then known as Kanchi, to be a city to be one among the best in the medieval times.
Kanchipuram saw their first rulers from the Pallava dynasty, which lasted from 4th to 9th century. The great Husan Tsang is known to have visited this city during the reigns of the Pallavas, who are credited for building the temple attractions of the city. The famous Sanskrity writer Dandin and the founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma were born here.
Accordint to historians, Hsuan Tsang visited Kanchipuram in the 7th century, when the city was only 6 miles in circumference. The people of those times were known for their bravery and piousness along with their love for learning. Buddha is also said to have visited this town.
After the downfall of the Pallava’s empire, Cholas took over the reigns of the city and ruled here from 10th to 13th century. Further the Vijayanagar dynasty ruled on the city from 14th to 17th century, during which they built the architectural splendours of Ekamabaranadhar temple and 100-pillar Mandabam in Varadaraja Perumal temple.
After regular invasions by the Mughals, the city finally slipped into the hands of the British, who establishes their empire and ruled for nearly 3 centuries.
Reference of Kanchipuram can be found in Patanjali's Mahabhashya written in the second century B.C. Manimekalai, the famous Tamil classic and Perumpanatru Padai a great Tamil poetical work have also given a vivid description of the city before the advent of the Christian era.
Travel within city
Travelling around Kanchipuram is quite easy, as there are many buses and auto rickshaws available for travel. Kanchipuram is a very interesting town, with a lot of temples and other tourist favorites.
Buses are the best mode of transport available in Kanchipuram, and you can reach any part of the town by taking a bus from the main bus stand. Buses in Kanchipuram are not very crowded, and the commute can be comfortable as well. You should ensure that you know the general layout of the town while travelling by bus, just to make sure that you figure out the stops in a right manner. You can also ask the conductor for help, in case you need to know where to disembark. Bus fares are minimal, and you will need to spend around Rs 3 to 5 in order to reach any destination within the town.
Auto rickshaws are another popular mode of travel in Kanchipuram, and the auto rickshaws in Kanchipuram do not run on meter. Auto drivers may demand any fare that they deem fit, so it is better to talk to the locals and fix up a particular rate without backing down. Travelling through auto rickshaws in Kanchipuram is not really necessary unless it’s an emergency as most of the places are covered by buses. Auto fares may range from Rs 20 to 40. Auto rickshaws are safe for night time travel and there are no night fares involved.
You can find 9 hotels in Kanchipuram
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