Monday, January 24, 2011

This place is very famous for its Silk Sarees and the Kanchi Mutt. However, the art and architecture of the temples have not been so much discussed about. Let us know a bit about this place before we move on.

Kanchipuram, Kanchi, or Kancheepuram is a temple town in ancient times it was called Kachi and Kachiampathi. It is said that more than thousand temples existed once, but we can see just more than hundred now. Kanchi is also referred in the greatest epic of all times, the Mahabharata. The rulers of Kanchi were mentioned to have taken the side of Kauravas during the Kurukshethra war.

It is one of the oldest cities in South India, and was a city of learning. Kanchi was believed to be visited by Xuanzang (Hsuan Tsang) in the 7th century A.D. Xuanzang, in his records mentions this city was 6 miles in circumference and that its people were famous for bravery and piety as well as for their love of justice and veneration for learning. He further recorded that Buddha had visited the place. DSC00181

It was during the reign of Pallava dynasty, from the 4th to the 9th centuries that Kanchipuram attained its limelight. The Pallavas fortified the city with ramparts, moats, etc., with wide and well laid out roads and fine temples. They were a great maritime power with contacts with far-off China, Siam, Fiji, etc., through their chief Port Mamallapuram, the modern Mahabalipuram. The Cholas ruled this town from 10th century to 13th century. Kings of Vijayanagara dynasty ruled from 14th century to 17th century. The founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma was born here, as was the famous Sanskrit writer Dandin.

Robert Clive, of the British East India Company, who played a major role in the establishment of British rule in India, is said to have presented an emerald necklace to the Varadaraja Perumal (the Clive makarakandi, still used to decorate the Lord on ceremonial occasions).


Anonymous said...

Hari, Really happy to read Kanchipuram posts. After reading these posts, my interest is slowly diverting towards history.This reminded all my social studies lessons which I studied duirng my schooling.Each & every post is creating interest to read your next post.I m sure we are getting the information which is worth to know as an Indian.

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