Kanchipuram, formerly Conjeeveram, city (1991 pop. 171,129), Tamil Nadu state, S India. Sacred to Hindus, it is known as the "golden city" and the "Varanasi of the south." Several temples in the Dravidian style survive from the period when it was the capital of the Pallava empire (3d-8th cent.) of S India and Sri Lanka and a center of Brahmanical and Buddhist culture. Still considered one of the important sacred Hindu cities, it has more than 100 Hindu temples. The city was captured (8th cent.) by the Chalukya dynasty and subsequently passed to the Chola (11th-13th cent.), to the Vijayanagar (early 15th cent.), and to the Orissa (late 15th cent.) kingdoms. After 1481 it fell to several different Muslim sultanates. A base of French power in India, it was captured by Robert Clive in 1758. Its ancient name was Kanchi.

Kanchipuram, Kanchi, or Kancheepuram is a city and a municipality in Kanchipuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a temple town and the headquarters of Kanchipuram district. In ancient times it was called Kachi and Kachiampathi.

Kanchipuram is located on the Palar River, and known for its temples and silk sarees. There are several big temples, like Varadharaja Perumal Temple for Lord Vishnu andEkambaranatha Temple which is one of the five form of abodes of Lord Siva, (it is the earth abode here, other abodes include Chidambaram (Sky), Sri Kalahasti (air), Thiruvanaikoil (water) and Tiruvannamalai (fire)), Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kumara Kottam, Kachapeshwarar Temple, Kailasanathar Temple and many more. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silk sarees, which are woven manually. These sarees are considered to be of the highest quality; almost every relatively well-off South Indian woman has a Kanjivaram sari in her collection. The Kanjivaram sarees woven at Kanchipuram are also prized in North India.


As of 2001 India census, Kanchipuram had a population of 152,984. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Kanchipuram has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 69%. In Kanchipuram, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.


The term "nagareshu Kanchi" in the above verse attributed the famous Sanskrit poet, Kalidasa, means that Kanchi was the best amongst the cities of medieval India.

Kanchipuram is one of the oldest cities in South India, and was a city of learning for both Tamil and Sanskrit, and was believed to be visited by Xuanzang (Hsuan Tsang). It was during the reign of Pallava dynasty, from the 4th to the 9th centuries that Kanchipuram attained its limelight. The city served as the Pallava capital, and many of the known temples were built during their reign.

The king of Kanchi, Pallava Mahendravarman I was a great scholar and musician, a man of great intelligence and also a great playwright. Xuanzang, the great Chinese traveler, visited the city in the 7th century and said that 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. As regards learning, Kanchi stood second in glory only to Banaras.The history of Kanchi can be traced back to several centuries before the advent of the Christian era. The place finds its name in Patanjali's Mahabhashya written in the second century BCE Manimekalai, the famous Tamil classic, and Perumpanatru Padai, a great Tamil poetical work, vividly describe the city as it was at the beginning of the Christian era. Pattupattu, one of the sangam literatures records that the king Thondaiman Ilandirayan ruled this town around 2500 years ago.

From the 3rd to the 9th century CE Kanchi was the capital of the Pallavas who ruled over the territory extending from the river Krishna in the north to the river Kaveri in the south. 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 temple tower, 192 feet height in Ekamabaranadhar temple and 100-pillar mandabam (building) in Varadaraja Perumal temple in this town are famous for the architectural techniques of Vijayanagara dynasty. 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 this temple (the Clive makarakandi, still used to decorate the Lord on ceremonial occasions). Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Once the seat of learning and religious fervour started its climb down from the Mughal invasions followed by three centuries of colonial rule under the British.

Bodhidharma and martial arts

Bodhidharma (A.D. 520) went to China from Kanchipuram to spread Buddhism. He stayed at the Shaolin Monastery and preached Buddhist ideologies. At that time he trained the local people in the art of Varmakkalai. The art underwent many changes and came to be known as Shaolin kung fu or boxing. In Japan it came to be known as karate and judo. But it is interesting to note that the Chinese school agrees with the southern school of this art in that it has the same 108 varma points.

The Kanchi mutt

Kanchipuram is also the seat of the Kanchi maţha, a religious institution that became influential and famous under the leadership of Shri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati. This maţha says that Ādi Sankara settled in Kanchipuram after establishing four Āmnāya maţhas in the four corners of India and that this gave rise to the Kanchi maţha. However this claim is disputed by the four original mathas who claim the Kanchi matha is only a branch matha. The followers of Kanchi math however claim that this Matha was temporarily shifted to Kumbakonam because of which it was known as Kumbakonam Matha for sometime, and that later the Matha shifted back to Kanchipuram.

Kanchi Silk Sarees

Today, apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving hand loom industry. Kanchipuram town is also known as Silk City since the main profession of the people living in and around is weaving silk sarees, more than 5,000 families are engaged in this industry. 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. Woven from pure mulberry silk and have an enviable reputation for texture, lustre, durability and finish. The sarees in dazzling colours are available in every imaginable design and variety, which can make the job selection quite challenging.

Also using computer desining done in kanchipuram silk sarees.So many arts,and pictures weaving in silk sarees.

Educational institutions

Kanchipuram in history was also been known as the ghatikasthanam or place of learning. Today several educational institutions offer courses in engineering, arts and science, and medicine, in and around Kanchi. Notable among them is Meenakshi Medical College & Research Institute located near Enathur, about 6 km from Kanchipuram. Since the Meenakshi Medical College was established in 2003, it has developed into a respectable institution of medical education. The Meenakshi hospital, which handles over 1000 outpatients every day, was established with modern infrastructure and facilities and providing service to many people in this area.

Former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Mr. Annadurai, studied in Pachaiyappa's Higher Secondary School, and today more than 1500 students are studying in this institution.

Asia's biggest international library is located in Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Viswa Mahavidhyalaya deemed university in kanchipuram. Arrupadai institute of technology..under vinayaka mission university is also doing their best in the field of engginering..and management..

List of Temples

Kanchipuram is a major temple city of Tamilnadu. Vishwakarma Brahmin Sthapathis has shown their excellent architecture cognizance in planning the architecture and sculpting the numerous temples at Kanchipuram. The list gives the consolidated list of temples in and around Kanchipuram revered by the hymns of [Alwars] as well as Saiva Kuravars.

List of Vaishnava Temples

  • Varadharaja Perumal Temple
  • Ashtabujakaram - Sri Adhikesava Perumal Temple
  • Tiruvekkaa - Sri Yathothkari Temple
  • Tiruththanka - Sri Deepa prakasa Perumal Temple
  • Tiruvelukkai - Sri Azhagiya Singar Temple
  • Tirukalvanoor - Sri Adi Varaha Swami Temple
  • Tiru oorakam - Sri Ulaganatha Swami Temple
  • Tiru neeragam - Sri Jagadeeshwarar Temple
  • Tiru kaaragam - Sri Karunagara Perumal Temple
  • Tirukaarvaanam - Sri Tirukaarvarnar Temple
  • Tiru paramechura vinnagaram - Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple
  • Tiru pavala vannam - Sri Pavala Vanar Temple
  • Tiru paadagam - Sri Pandava thoodar Temple
  • Tiru nilaaththingal thundam - Sri Nilathingal Thundathan Perumal Temple
  • Tirupputkuzhi - Sri Vijaya Raghava Perumal Temple
  • Parithiyur-Kalyana Varadharaja Perumal Temple

List of Saiva Temples



S.S.K.V Groups of Schools has completed his 100th year anniversary

  • Pachaiyappa's Higher Secondary School
  • Anderson Higher Secondary School
  • S.S.K.V Boys Higher Secondary School
  • S.S.K.V Girls Higher Secondary School
  • Mamallan Matriculation School
  • Victoria Matriculation School
  • Sangford Schools
  • Annie Besant Matriculation School
  • Dr P.S.S MPL Higher Secondary School


  • Sri Sankara Arts & Science College
  • Pachaiyappa's College for Men
  • Pachaiyappa's College for Women
  • Pallavan Engineering College
  • Bhaktavatsalam Polytechnic College
  • Arulmigu Meenakshi Amman College of Engineering


Kanchipuram assembly constituency is part of Chengalpattu (Lok Sabha constituency).


External links


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