Kanchipuram, also known as Kanchi, is an ancient city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is home to many popular temples in south India and is considered a holy pilgrimage site by Hindus across the state.
Kanchipuram has many religious and historically significant temples and monuments. Here are some of the popular ones:
- Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple – Possibly the most popular temple in the city; dedicated to goddess Kamakshi.
- Varadharaja Perumal Temple – A temple built in the 10th century (by Vijayanagar kings).
- Ulaganatha Perumal Temple – One of the 108 Divya Desams (Most significant Vishnu temples in the universe).
- Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple – A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and built in Dravidian style architecture.
- Ekambaranatha Temple.
- Vaikunda Perumal Temple - dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
- Kachapeshwarar Temple.
Kanchipuram is mostly populated and visited by Hindus, and most Hindu festivals are celebrated in the city, apart from various temple festivals. Some popular festivals here include:
- Navarathri (a 9-day Hindu festival, where people worship goddess Durga -falls in the month of October mostly)
- Dussehra (grand celebration on the 10th day, at the end of Navarathri)
- Pongal – A harvest festival celebrated in January
- Deepawali – Festival of lights
- Brahmotsavam – A temple festival celebrated at the Varadaraja Temple in the month of May every year
Kanchipuram is known for its amazing silk and Pattu sarees. They are known as Kanchi Pattu sarees and the city has been popular for these for years. Many people across south India visit this city for bridal saree shopping and shopping sarees for other special occasions. Some popular shopping spots in the city are:
- AS Babu Sah store
- Kancheepuram Silk Sarees Store
- SSK Handloom Silk
- Komathi Silks
- Pachaiyappas Silk
- Vasthu Bhagavan Shopping Mall
Kanchipuram has a large number of vegetarians, and so the food here is mostly vegetarian. Some popular foods in Kanchipuram include:
- Kancheepuram Idli – Steamed cakes made with fermented rice and black gram batter flavored with asafoetida, ginger powder, green chillies, ginger and Bengal gram.
- Masala Dosai – Fermented rice crepes with potato curry inside, served with Chutneys and Sambar.
- Uthappam – Fermented rice pancakes (thicker than Dosai) topped with vegetables like onions, tomatoes, carrots, etc.
- Sundal (a boiled chickpea or legume dish stir-fried with some tempering – usually contains shredded coconut, mustard seeds and curry leaves).
Here are some of the best restaurants and eateries in Kanchipuram to try the aforementioned dishes and other meals (restaurants are often called Hotels in the state):
- The Dakshin
- Hotel Saravana Bhavan Kanchipuram
- Sangeetha Vegetarian restaurant
- Upashana Hotels
- Hotel Sri Maha Ganapathy
- Manoj Bhavan
- Meet Me Ice Cream Parlour (delicious ice-creams)
Kanchipuram has many hotels (both high-end and affordable) and resorts for a comfortable stay. Some great places to stay in Kanchipuram are:
- Regency Kanchipuram by GRT Hotels
- Hotel Adhi Residency
- MM Legacy
- Pine Tree Hotel
- GSR Residency
- Hotel SSK Grand
- Kanchipuram city STD Code – 044 (to be used before dialling numbers from a device that is not locally registered)
- Police – 100
- Women’s helpline – 1091
- Child helpline - 1098
- Fire – 101
- Accident helpline - 103
- Railway reservation enquiry - 132
Tamil is the most spoken language in Kanchipuram.
- What's your name? - Unga peranna?
- My name is - En peru
- Where are you from? - Nienga engirundhu varrienga?
- Congratulations! - Paaraattukkal
- Good night and sweet dreams! - Nalla thoungunga!
- What Is This? - Idhu enna?