Kanchipuram/Kancheepuram or Kanchi is known as ‘City Of Thousand Temples’. Now 126 temples remain.
Kailasanathar temple is the oldest temple in Kanchipuram. Kailasanathar Temple. Kanchipuram is on the banks of Vegavathy river.Other than temples it is well known for its silk sarees (Kanchi is also known as Silk City)
The Kailasanatha temple in Kanchipuram (685 A.D. to 705 A.D) and the Shore Temple of Mahabalipuram are built by Pallava King Narasimhavarman II(Rajasimhan).
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.
Kailasanathar temple was constructed using sandstones for most of the sculptures. All the walls around and inside the temple are filled with great sculptures.
In Hindu mythology, Kanchipuram is one of the seven Indian cities in which to reach final attainment. The Garuda Purana enumerates seven cities as giver of Moksha. Can you guess the other 6 holy cities in India?
Sapt Puri — The Seven Holy Cities
“Ayodhya Mathura Maya Kasi Kañchi Avantika I
Puri Dvaravati chaiva saptaita moksadayikah II -
Garuda Purana I XVI .14”
The Garuda Purana enumerates seven cities as providers of moksha, namely Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar(Mayapuri), Varanasi (Kasi), Ujjain(Avantika), Dvaraka and Kanchipuram.
Seven sacred cities in Hindu India are: Varanasi and Haridwar on the river Ganges, Ayodhya, the birthplace of lord Rama; Mathura, Lord krishna’s Birthplace; Dwarka, where the adult Krishna ruled as a king and where the krishna Vasudeva was born; Kanchipuram, the great Shaivite temple city of Tamil Nadu; and Ujayini (Avantika), site every twelve years of Kumbha Mela.
Ekambaranathar Temple or Ekambareswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in Kanchipuram.
Reaching a height of 59 meters, the temple’s Raja gopuram (the entrance tower to the temple) is one of the tallest in South India.
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 five prime elements of nature are- land, water, air, sky and fire.
The other four temples in this category(Pancha Bootha Sthalams) are …
Wait, here is a clue: All these temples are located in South India with four of these temples at Tamil Nadu and one at Andhra Pradesh. Any guesses?
The other four temples in this category(Pancha Bootha Sthalams) are Trichy Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Chidambaram Natarajar (Sky), Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire) and Kalahasti Nathar (wind).
Once Parvati, the consort of Shiva was doing penance under the temple’s ancient Mango tree near Vegavathi river.The God here came to be known as Ekambareswarar or “Lord of Mango Tree”.
Until recently there was a mango tree in this temple, which was about 3500 years old. The tree has perished about 2 years ago due to its age. It is believed that Goddess Kamakshi Amman, whose temple is about 1/2 km away from here, worshipped Lord Shiva under this mango tree.