Places of Interest
Tourism Places in Kancheepuram District
The Kanchi Kailasanathar temple is the oldest structure in Kancheepuram dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Shiva lingam in this temple is 10 feet high.
Kanchi Kailasanathar temple was built in 7th century AD by a Pallava king named Rajasimha known as Narasimhavarman II. It is famous for its magnificient Vimana, the gopuram over the sanctum sanctorum.
It speaks volumes of architectural beauty that flourished in the reign of Pallava king. The foundation of the temple is laid on granite tones while the superstructure is carved out of sandstone. Currently the temple is well maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The temple is open from 6.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
By bus Kailasanathar Temple is 3 kms.from Kancheepuram bus stand. Nearest Railway station: Kancheepuram. From Kancheepuram Railway station the temple is 2.7 km away. Private taxi are available to reach this temple. From Chennai the temple is 75 kms away.
It is called as Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and belived to be established by Adi sankara himself as Moolamnaya Sarvajana Peetam. Kanchi Mahaswami Sri Chandrasekarendhra Saraswathy Swamigal, the 68th pontiff of this Mutt lived for 100 years and his Brindavanam is located inside the Mutt’s premises. Sree Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal and Sankara Vijayendra swamigal are the 69th and 70th pontiffs of this mutt respectively.
KAMAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE
It is a 12th century temple in the heart of the town. “Ka” means Goddess Saraswathi ( God of Education), “ Ma” means Goddess Lakshmi (God of Wealth), “Akshi” means Eye. The name in full refers Kamakshi with Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi as her both eyes. It is an important Sakthi Sthalam called as the “Nabisthana Ottiyana Peetam”. The temple also has a golden Gopuram on the Sanctorum of Goddess Kamakshi deity which is visible to all devotees.
Goddess Kamakshi is in a sitting posture in the temple. There are no traditional Parvati or Shakthi shrines in the city of Kancheepuram, apart from this temple, which adds even more legend to this temple.
Phone: +91 44 27233433- 27221214.
The temple is in the heart of Kancheepuram with adequate travel facilities from all parts of Tamilnadu.
It is one of the five major Shiva temples of Pancha Bootha Sthalams ( each representing a natural element) representing the element – Earth. The Single Mango tree in the outer court is revered as most sacred and it is believed, if worshipped by childless couple will be blessed with a child. Reaching a height of 57 metres, the temple’s Raja Gopuram (the entrance tower to the temple) is one of the tallest in south India and was built by the Vijayanagar king Krishnadevaraya. One notable feature of the temple is the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam, or the “hallway with a thousand pillars” which was built by the Vijayanagar kings. The temple’s inner walls are decorated with an array of 1008 Siva lingams. Timings: 6.00a.m. to 12.30 p.m. 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Phone: +91-44-2722 2084. The temple is at the centre of the town and is too close to the bus stand. It can be reached by walk from there.
SRI VARADARAJA PERUMAL TEMPLE
Sri Deveraja Swamy Temple, popularly known as Sri Varadarajar Temple is situated at the eastern corner of Kancheepuram. A 23 acre temple complex, with 19 vimanams and around 400 pillared halls is dedicated to Varadarjaperumal or Varadaraja Swamy. One of the 108 Divya Desams, all the 12 Alwars have visited and have sung hymns in praise of the lord. The Bhramotsavam during (May/June) is the main festival of the temple. This palatial temple was constructed at various stages centuries ago by various kings. The hundred pillared Mandapam was built by the Vijayanagar kings. This has become a centre of attraction to the foreign tourists with exquisite carvings and delicate works of art. The Tiruppanies done by Alam Kheer Basha of Delhi during 1645 was inscribed on the walls of the temple.
Timings – Morning: 6.00a.m. – 12.30 p.m. Evening: 3.30p.m. – 8.30 p.m. Phone: 044 27269773, Nearest Railway station: Kancheepuram.
VAIKUNTA PERUMAL TEMPLE
It is one among the 108 Divyadesams dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Vaikunthanathan(Lord Paramapadanathan) and his consort Lakshmi as Vaikundavalli. It was built by Pallava King Nandivarman in the 8th century. This temple presently is under the care of Archaeology Department, Govt. of India.
It consists of three tiers. On the first tier, Moolavar vaikunda Perumal graces in his sitting posture facing west. On the second tier, Araganadha Perumal places his head towards north and showers his grace in his reclining posture. On the third tier, Paramapadanadhar graces in his standing posture. Thus Perumal graces his devotees in his three postures of sitting, reclining and standing in this temple of three tiers.
The temple tank is called Airammadha theertham and the Vimanam is known as Mukunda Vimanam. Vaikunda Ekadasi is the most important festival of the temple. The temple is at a walkable distance from the Kancheepuram bus stand. The temple is open from 7.30a.m. to 12.00 noon and from 4.30 p.m. till 7.30 p.m.
The Nityakalyana Perumal Temple more than 1000 years old is situated on the East Coast Road between Chennai and Mamallapuram. The beautiful deity here is Varaha Perumal, otherwise called Nitya Kalyana Perumal. The deity is believed to bestow marital bliss to the unmarried devotees who worship him.
SAKUNTHALA JAGANATHAN MUSEUM OF FOLK ART
SRINIVASA PERUMAL TEMPLE, SEMMANJERI
Timings: Morning 7.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m., Evening 4.00 p.m. to Night 8.00 p.m.
The Crocodile Bank is situated at around 44 km away from the capital city of Tamil Nadu, near Mahabalipuram. It extends over an area of about 3.2 hectares, comprising a wide range of Indian and African crocodiles, alligators and other reptiles including turtles and snakes. Here the crocodiles are kept in their natural habitat. Founded by Romulus Whitaker, the German Biologist in 1976, to conserve the species of crocodiles and alligators wich are endangered, it is provided with lush tropical vegetation for giving ample shade to these reptiles. At the time of its establishment, the total population of the crocodiles was only 30. Presently, it has 14 varieties of crocodiles, 12 specriesof turtles and 5 types of snakes, with total number of 2,400 reptiles in the Crocodile Bank.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 7.00 p.m. – 8.30 p.m.
(By advance booking only) Phone : +91 -44 27472447
ARINGAR ANNA ZOOLOGICAL PARK, VANDALUR
The work to establish the Zoological park was started in 1976. It was opened to public in 1985. It is one of the largest Zoological Complex in South East Asia sprawling over an area of 602 ha. This houses 40 varieties of mammals, 20 avian species and 14 species of reptiles, Animal Welfare, research,veterinary, horticulture and sanitation teams, apart from maintain Zoological complex, conducts awareness campaigns for the school children and teachers as a part of its education program. Separate natural habitat enclosure has been created for the Butterflies in an area of 2.7 acres, with 200 species of nectar plants at a cost of 4 crores. Timings : 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Tuesday holiday. Phone: 044 – 22751089.
MUTTUKADU BOAT HOUSE
TTDC operates a Boating centre in this ideal picnic destination with enticing green back ground and glittering blue sky and sea, with food court facility. Annual Windsurfing Regatta is organized in the month of February. Muttukadu Boat House is a water sport facility on the East Coast Road at Muttukadu, Chennai. Offering rowing, wind surfing, water skiing and speedboat riding. It is a backwater area of the Bay of Bengal located 36 kms. From the city centre and 23 kms from Adyar on the way to Mamallapuram. Phone: + 91 – 9952995827.
Operating Hours: Morning 9.00 a.m. to Evening 6.00 p.m.
ULAGALANDHA PERUMAL TEMPLE
Ulagalandha Perumal is the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu (known as Vamana Avataar). This talks about the divine happening of measuring the entire universe in one step by Lord Vishnu in the form of a Brahman, as a gift fromKing Mahabali. This temple was built by Jayam Konda Cholan.
This architecturally beautiful temple has a unique feature of having four Divya Desams in the same complex. 1. Thiru Ooragam. 2. Thiruneeragam 3. Thirukkarvanam. This is a unique feature which can’t be seen anywhere. It is a great benediction to Kanchi to have 4 “Divya Desams” in a single temple.
Ulagalanda Perumal temple is situated very near to Kancheepuram Bus Stand. The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. Phone: +91-9443597107, 9894388279, 9443903450, 9442553820, 9787414773.
Mamallapuram is a resort and tourist centre. In addition to the ancient monuments and temples. It has an extensive beach front on the ocean. It was created by the Pallava Dynasty and it was their seaport during their regime. The Pallava king Nrasimha Varman I, was a great wrestler with the title, MAMALLAN, hence it was named MAMALLAPURAM. This has an exotic and long sea shore, temples in the form of Chariots called Rathas, mandapams ( cave sanctuaries) huge open air reliefs such as the famous and excellent 100 foot long “ Arjuna Penance”. And the Temple of Rivage, with innumerable glorious sculptures of Lord Siva.
Built in Dravidian Style of architecture the shore Temple complex has one large and two small temples. It is one of the oldest structural excellence of South India and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A new and modern addition to the town of Mahabalipuram is the Open Air Museum. Sculpture and Art College, Sculpture workshops, Handicrafts long and beautiful sea shore attracts millions of tourists throughout the year. Accomodation: Hotel Tamilnadu (TTDC) Unit I, Beach Resort Complex, PH: 2744 2361-64.
Also called as Rain Drop Boat House, maintained and operated by the TTDC, it is 90 kms. from the city of Chennai and 30 kms south of Mamallapuram on the East Coast Road. This boat house has varieties of boats like Banan Boat, water scooters, speed boats to suit the taste of the visitors. Boating trip is also arranged to the nearest beach island in the Odiyur Lake.
SRI ASHTABUJA PERUMAL TEMPLE
Deviating from the normal posture with four arms, Lord Vishnu is in standing posture with 8 arms called as Ashtabuja Perumal. The temple is one o the 108 Divyadesams of Perumal. A separate Mangalasasanam (hymns) is addressed to Goddess by Azhwar only in the temple. This temple was built by Thondaiman Chakravarthy who is popularly named as Vayiramoghan.
The Perumal is in this sthalam is Sri Aadhikesava Perumal and he is seen with 8 hands. He holds Chakaram, Sword, a Flower and an Arrow on the right hands and Sangu, Bow, Kedayam and Gadha on the left.
This temple with a single prakaram covering an area of about an acre has a 3 tiered rajagopuram in its northern entrance and the temple tank is Gajendra Pushkarini. There are shrines to Bhuvaraahar, Aandal, Peyalwar and Hanuman.The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. Phone: +91-44-2722 5242. The temple is 2 kms from Kancheepuram bus stand.
SUNDARA VARADA PERUMAL TEMPLE, UTHIRAMERUR
Uthiramerur is located about 85 kms. From Chennai. This temple is about 1200 years old built by Nandhi Varma with the help of Paramesa Vathan an extremely skilled Vasthu Sasthra expert. This temple has numerous inscriptions about Chola and Vijayangaram regime. The rituals in this temple are performed as per Krishna Yajuveda Vaikasana Agamam. Sri Kamakshi Sametha Sri Kailshanathar Temple dedicated to Lord Siva is also located at Uthiramerur. The temple is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Uthiravarma Chola.ord Vishnu is generally seen in either of the 3 forms,Nindraan (Standing),Irundhaan (Sitting) or Kidandhaan (Reclining) This is one of the few tempstandingles where you can have dharshan of Maha Vishnu in all this 3 forms.