Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kanchipuram- Temple City

KANCHIPURAM

INTRODUCTION:
           Kanchipuram a otherwise known as Kanchi (previously romanticized as Kāñci-pura, Conjevaram) is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, 72 km (45 mi) from Chennai – the capital of Tamil Nadu. The city covers an area of 11.605 km (4.481 sq mi) and had a population of 164,265 in 2001.It is the administrative headquarters of Kanchipuram District. Kanchipuram is well-connected by road and rail. Chennai International Airport is the nearest domestic and international airport to the city, which is located at Tirusulam in Kanchipuram district.

          Kanchipuram is administered by a Special grade municipality constituted in 1947. It is the headquarters of the Kanchi matha, a Hindu monastic institution believed to have been founded by the Hindu saint and commentator Adi Sankaracharya, and was the capital city of the Pallava Kingdom between the 4th and 9th centuries.

LOCATION:

              Located on the banks of the Vegavathy River, Kanchipuram has been ruled by the Pallavas, the Medieval Cholas, the Later Cholas, the Later Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Carnatic kingdom, and the British. The city's historical monuments include the Kailasanathar Temple and the Vaikunta Perumal Temple. Historically, Kanchipuram was a centre of education and was known as the ghatikasthanam, or "place of learning". The city was also a religious centre of advanced education for Jainism and Buddhism between the 1st and 5th centuries. Kanchipuram based Buddhist institutions were instrumental in spreading Theravada Buddhism to South East Asia.

RELIGION:

            In Hindu theology, Kanchipuram is one of the seven Indian cities to reach final attainment. The city houses Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, and Kumarakottam Temple, which are some of major Hindu temples in the state. The city is a holy pilgrimage site for both Saivites and Vaishnavites. Of the 108 holy temples of the Hindu god Vishnu, 14 are located in Kanchipuram. The city is well known for its hand woven silk sarees and most of the city's workforce is involved in the weaving industry.

CLIMATE:

         Kanchipuram generally experiences hot and humid climatic conditions throughout the year.Temperatures reaches an average maximum of 37.5 °C (99.5 °F) between April and July, and an average minimum of 20.5 °C (68.9 °F) between December and February.The daytime heat during summer can be oppressive; temperatures can reach 43 °C (109 °F).Relative humidities of between 58% and 84% prevail throughout the year.The humidity reaches its peak during the morning and is lowest in the evening. Relative humidity is higher between November and January and is lowest throughout June.

ECONOMY:

           The major occupations of Kanchipuram are silk sari weaving and agriculture.As of 2008, an estimated 5,000 families were involved in sari production.The main industries are cotton production, light machinery and electrical goods manufacturing, and food processing.There are 25 silk and cotton yarn industries, 60 dyeing units, 50 rice mills and 42 other industries in the Kanchipuram.Another important occupation is tourism and service related segments like hotels, restaurants and local transportation

          Kanchipuram is a traditional centre of silk weaving and handloom industries for producing Kanchipuram Saris. The industry is worth INR 100 cr (US$18.18 million), but the weaving community suffers from poor marketing techniques and duplicate market players. In 2005, "Kanchipuram Silk Sarees" received the Geographical Indication tag, the first product in India to carry this label.The silk trade in Kanchipuram began when King Raja Raja Chola I (985–1014) invited weavers to migrate to Kanchi.The craft increased with the mass migration from Andhra Pradesh in the 15th century during the Vijayanagara rule.The city was razed during the French siege of 1757, but weaving re-emerged in the late 18th century.


TRANSPORT:
             Daily bus services are provided by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation to and from Chennai, Bangalore, Villupuram, Tirupathi, Thiruthani, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Salem, Coimbatore and Pondicherry.There are two major bus routes to Chennai, one connecting via Guindy and the other via Tambaram.Local bus services are provided by The Villupuram division of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation.As of 2006, there were a total of 403 buses for 191 routes operated out of the city.The city is also connected to the railway network through the Kanchipuram railway station. The Chengalpet – Arakkonam railway line passes through Kanchipuram and travellers can access services to those destinations.The nearest domestic as well as international airport is Chennai International Airport, located at a distance of 72 km from the city.

TOURIST SPOTS:

1. FAIRS AND FESTIVALS:
 There are fairs and festivals all round the year at Kanchipuram. Some important festivals include the Brahmothsavam, Garudothsavam, and Car (rath) festivals, which are held in the months of January, April and May respectively. Silk Tourism Festival is organised in the Month of October.

2. KANCHIPURAM SILKS:

Today, apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving handloom industry. Kancheepuram is also known as Silk City. Since the main profession of the people living in and around is weaving silk sarees. The silk weavers of Kanchi settled more than 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk sarees in the country.





3. SRIPERUMPUDUR:

 It is 29 kms from Chennai on the way to Kanchipuram. It is the birth place of Saint Ramanujar, the Father of Visishtadvaida philosophy of Vaishnavism and hence an important pilgirim centre for the Vaishnavites.

4. THE CROCODILE BANK:

Just 14 kms from Mamallapuram is a crocodile breeding center. At this center about 5000 crocodiles of 6 different species,alligators & other reptiles are bred in captivity, kept in open, marshy enclosures. 
There is also a snake farm where anti venom is produced and there is a regular venoem extraction show.


5. ANNA MEMORIAL:

Kanchipuram is the birth place of Dr. C.N. Annadurai, the scholar statesman, affectionately called Anna -The Elder Brother - by the general public. His ancestral house located here has been converted into a memorial.



6. KANCHI KUDIL-ANCIENT HOUSE:

Kanchi Kudil was born of a desire to turn ancestral property into a place of tourist interest, that tourists may get a feel of the life as lived in a historic place as Kanchipuram. While temples and monuments index the cultural life of a city, the real soul of a place is to be found in its people and their homes.

7.TEMPLE CITY:  
  
 Kanchipuram is a Spectacular Temple city known as city of thousand temples which reflects the Glorious Traditions of South India with its noted temples. 


8. VEDANTANGAL-BIRDS SANCTUARY:

It is one of the major Water Bird Sanctuaries in India.of 48 Kms from Kanchipuram . The birds nest on the branches of submerged trees. Storks, Egrets, Cormorants, Darter, Flamingos, Pelicans, moor hens,
herons, kingfishers, sandpipers, white ibis,spoonbills, swans and grey wagtails are some of the birds which arrive here during season.The best season time is between October and March, when a large number of migratory birds visit. The birds can be viewed from the bank or from the watch tower.




9. MUTTUKKADU:

 This is a large lake formed out of the backwaters, with boating and wind surfing facilities. It is located at a distance of 80 Kms from Kanchipuram . The Backwaters of Muttukkadu have been developed by the Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation to serve as a picnic spot and a centre for water sports.
Training and demonstration programmes are organised for beginners.



10. MAMMALAPPURAM:

 Ananthasayan

  •  It was a flourishing port town during the time of Pallavas.This is one of the main tourist place in kanchipuram. 
  • The monuments of Mamallapuram are excellent specimen of Dravidian temple architecture and Pallava art. 


11. COVELONG-THE BEACH:

This is a small fishing village 40 kms from Chennai on the Mahabalipuram road. There are the remains of a fort which now functions as a luxury beach resort.Facilities for windsurfing and swimming are available here. A dargah and an ancient church are located here.


12. DAKSHINA CHITRA – a little Tamil Nadu:

DAKSHINA CHITRA has relocated 18th, 19th and early 20th century houses and re-created village streets and work places providing authentic insights into the domestic architecture, spatial organisation, life-styles and character of the essential Tamilian or Keralite or Andhrite or Kannadiga.




13.KANCHI KAMAKODI PEETHAM:

The kamakodi peetham and kammakshiamman temple are closely associated with the life of Sankaracharya.
The Kamakoti Peetham is enshrined in the Sri Chakra just in front of Sri Devi and all pujas and sacrifices are offered to the Sri Chakra. 

14. SADRAS--THE BEACH:

This fine beach is located 16 kms from Mamallapuram. Originally this was a Dutch settlement but now it is coming majorly as a beach resort.




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