Temples of Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram temples – The temple town of Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram also known as the temple city of Tamilnadu is known for thousand of temples which exists in this city. Kanchipuram temples are famous across the world and this temple town is one of the most visited temple towns.

Kanchipuram is one of the most ancient city of Tamil Nadu and India and its history dates back to 2nd Century BCE.

so friends, let us look at the some famous Kanchipuram temples of the he temple town Kanchipuram!

Kanchipuram – One of the Sapta Puri Cities

Kanchipuram is also one of the Sapta Puri cities of India. Cities which are considered to be so holy that visiting them provides path to moksha. These are Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Varanasi, Kanchipuram, Ujjain and Dwarka.

Such is the importance of Kanchipuram. As par Garuda Puran this is a place to attain moksha!


What does the name Kanchipuram signifies

Kanchipuram is a tamil word, which means a place where Lord Vishnu is worshipped. Lord Varadharaja Perumal Temple is where Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Lord Varadharaja and is one of the most famous temples of Kanchipuram.

In sanskrit Kanci means girdle and it is said that the city is like a girdle to the earth.


Kanchipuram temples – Famous temple of Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram is a famous temple town, but let us look at some of the most famous temples of Kanchipuram

Shri Varadharaja Perumal Temple

One of the most famous Kanchipuram temples, Shri Varadharaja Perumal Temple, also called as Hastagiri or Attiyuran is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

It is located in a suburb of Kanchipuram known as the Vishnu Kanchi which has many famous Vishnu temples.

It is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu. The temple along with Ekambareswarar Temple and Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram is popularly known as Mumurtivasam Kanchipuram

Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple is known as: ‘Perumal Koil’.

Shri Varadharaja Perumal Temple - Kanchipuram temples
Shri Varadharaja Perumal Temple

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This is one of the most sacred places for Vaishnavites. The fourth of the Divya Desams that completes this series is Melukote–which is known as Thirunarayanapuram.

Vaishnavites believe that visiting all four places without a break will guarantee one a place in paramapadam.

Shri Ekambareswarar Temple

Ekambareswarar Temple is temple dedicated to shiva and is the largest temple in city.

Located in the main town (city center) this temple is very important to the shivaities and also is one of the temple associated with the five element the panch bhota stalams and signifies earth (Prithvi Lingam)

Shri Ekambareswarar Temple - famous Kanchipuram temples

Contributed by Sriram mt

Its gopuram, is 59 metres (194 ft) tall, making it one the tallest temple towers in India. The temple is one of five called Pancha Bhoota Stalams.

Shri Kailasanathar Temple

A very very famous Kanchipuram temples, Kailasanathar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built by the Pallavas.

It is one of the oldest Hindu temple in existence here and is declared an archaeological monument by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Kailasanathar Temple - famous Kanchipuram temples
Kailasanathar Temple

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Adi Sankara is closely associated with this temple and is believed to have established the Kanchi math after this temple

Interestingly, it was built in the 8th century by Pallava king Narasimhavarman II, who also built the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram.

The main shrine has a 16 sided Shivalinga in black granite stone deified in the sanctum sanctorum. Within the walls of the main shrine there is main pedestal with very elegantly carved images of gods. Nandi as in all Shiva temples is giving guard to the deity.

On each face of the outer walls of the main shrine there are many carvings of deities.

It’s said that a secret tunnel, built by the kings, was used as an escape route & is still visible..

This is an ASI protected monument and a must visit temple if you are in Kanchi.

Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple

Another very very important center for worship in Kanchipuram, the temple is dedicated to Ma Parvathi and is worshiped here as Kamakshi Amman. There is three major Kamakshi temples, one in Madurai , the Meenakshi temple, the other one as Akhilandeshwari temple in Thieuvanakaval and this one. The temple was built during Pallavas period.

Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple
Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple

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Ma Kamaskhi Amman is seated in padmasana position in this temple which signifies peace and prosperity. This is the only Shakti temple is Kanchipuram. Spread over an area of around 5 acres, this temple is magnificent and must visit if you are in the city.

Shri Muktheeswarar Temple

Shri Muktheeswarar Temple
Shri Muktheeswarar Temple

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Another very old Shiva temple in Kanchipuram built during the times of Pallavas.

It is a small temple but with nice carvings dating back to Pallava period.

Very near to bus stand is often missed, but should be on your list if you are visiting the city.

The main deity here is Sri Muktheeswarar and Goddess Sri Dharmasamvardhani Ambaal.

It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.

Sri Kumarakottam Temple

Another very famous temple in the city, dedicated to Muruga. This temple is located on main Raja Street and is between the Ekambareswarar temple and Kamakshi Amman temple.

Divya Stambha at Sri Kumarakottam temple
Divya Stambha at Sri Kumarakottam temple

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So the temple located to Lord Murga, who is son of Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati is located between the two temples, the Ekambareswarar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Kamakshi Amman temple dedicated to Ma Parvathi. .

This temple is one of the major temples of city and an important religious destination.

Shri Chitragupta Swamy Temple

There are not many temples dedicated to Shri Chitragupta. The patron deity of all Kayasthas in India. The Sri Chitragupta Swamy Temple in Kanchipuram is one of them.

A very small but beautiful temple, maintained by ASI, this temple should be on your list if you are visiting the city. One of the must visit temples for all Kayasthas.

Shri Chitragupta Swamy Temple
Shri Chitragupta Swamy Temple

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This is one of the few temples in Kanchipuram which was buitl during Cholas period.

Shri Ashtabujakaram temple

Another important temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is believed to be built during the period of Pallavas. Located in the area of Vishnu Kanchi, the same place where Shri Varadaraja Perumal Temple is located. It is a small temple but a prominent Vishnu temple of the area.

Shri Ashtabujakaram temple
Shri Ashtabujakaram temple / Image Source

Other important Information

The city is also popular as an important center for Buddhism and Jainism.

The original set of the Jina Kanchi institution Mutt was in Kanchipuram. There is twin jain temple in kanchipuram which is maintained by Tamil Nadu archaeological department. Trilokyanatha Temple is one such temple built during Pallavas time.

Buddhists institutions from Kanchipuram were instrumental in spreading Theravada Buddhism to the Mon people of Myanmar and Thailand


There is a lot to write about Kanchipuram. This place is one of the most important places for Hindus and is dotted with thousands of temples. The temples we have listed out are one of the most important ones if you are visiting the town.

Never miss an opportunity to visit Kanchipuram if you are visiting Tamilnadu. October to February is an ideal time to visit.

Have a blessed Darshan!

mytempletrips!

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Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

Shri Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram – One of the Pancha Bhoota Stalam temples

Hinduism places a great importance to the five prime elements of nature ie. earth, water, fire, air and space and it said that our bodies are made of these 5 elements. These elements are present every where and so we have 5 shiva temples each dedicated to one of these five elements. These temples are called as “Pancha Bhoota Stalam“. Shri Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram is one of these 5 Pancha Bhoota Stalam’s and is associated with the element of earth ie ma Prithvi


Check our video on youtube.


Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram
Contributed by Sriram mt

Which are the Panch Bhota Stalam temples

In total we have 5 Pacha Bhoota Sthalams temples ( each one a shiva temple). Each dedicated to one of the Panch Bhootas or the 5 elements. kambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram is one of them, dedicated to earth and hence also called as “Prithvi Lingam”. The complete list is as below.

ElementTemple NameCityCalled as
EarthEkambareswarar TempleKanchipuramPrithvi Lingam
WaterJambukeshwarar TempleThiruvanaikavalAppu Lingam
FireThiruvannamalaiArunachaleswara TempleAgni Lingam
AirKalahasti templeShri Kalahasti (near Tirupati )Vayu Lingam
SpaceThillai Natarajar TempleChidambaramAkasha Lingam
Pancha Bhoota Sthalam Temples

Presiding Deity of Shri Ekambareswarar Temple

The presiding deity of Shri Ekambareswarar temple is Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva is worshiped as Ekambareswarar or Ekambaranathar, and the Shiva Lingam is known as Prithvi lingam here. His consort Parvati is depicted as Gowridevi Amman. Ekambareswarar temple is one of the five temple of pancha bhoota sthalam temples and hence a very important center of Shiva Worship.

Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram
Contributed by Sriram mt

What is Shri Ekambareswarar Temple famous for?

Shri Shri Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram is one of the largest temple complexes in India. The temple complex is in more tan 25 acres and there are 4 gopurams ( entraces) on each side with the southern entrance being 55 meters tall ( 11 floors).

The temple has many big halls and the most famous of it is the “thousand pillars” hall which was built during the Vijayanagar empire.

Legend Behind Shri Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

As per local legend it is said that Ma Parvati was once cursed to become dark like Kali and to get rid of this curse she started doing penance under temples mango tree. Shiva tried to test her by distracting her. But he was not successful. Ma Parvati had made a Shiva Lingam from the sand of the nearby Vegavathi river. Finally she was able to win over Lord Shiva who was touched by her devotion.

Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram
Contributed by Sriram mt

History of Shri Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

It is said that this famous temple of Kanchipuram has been there from 600 AD. So it is one of the oldest temples in India.

This temple was further developed during the empire of Vijayanagar during 15th century. The temple is built upon the area of around 25 acres and its southern gopuram also called as Raja gopuram is one of the tallest in India.

Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram Pooja Timings

Pooja DetailsPooja Timings
Koo Pooja06:00 AM
Ukshakala Pooja06:30 to 07:30 AM
Kala Santhi Pooja07:30 to 08: 30 AM
Uchikala Pooja11:30 AM to 12:00 Noon
Pradhosa Kaalam05:00 PM to 05:30 PM
Sayaratchai Pooja06:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Arthajama Pooja08:00 PM

What you should mus see at the temple

  • Prithivi lingam : Main Shiva Linga, denoting the element earth
  • Sahasra Lingam – 1008 lingams carved in a single lingam
  • 3500 year old Mango tree,(Sthala Vriksham). Ma Parvathi prayed for Lord Shiva under the tree.
  • Thousand pillared hall (Also called as Airam kal Mandapam).
  • Nilaathingal Thundathan(Mahavishnu )

How to reach Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram is very well connected. It is 69 Kms from Chennai and 280 Kms from Bangalore.

If you are travelling by Chennai, by road is best option. Generally it takes around 2 hrs to reach.

If you are travelling from Bangalore, by road it will take around 6 hours. Roads are very good so many people tend to go by their own car. It is also better because then you can visit lots of other temple easily there.

There are ample parking space.

The route is pretty straight.

Bangalore = > Krishangii => Vellore => Kanchipuram

There are many trains from Bangalore to Kanchipuram.

Otherwise the best way is to come to Chennai by train and take a bus or cab from there.

The temple itself is around 2 kms from Kanchipuram bus stand.

So guys if you are in Kanchipuram, this temple is a must visit. A very important center of worship for all Shiv Bhakts, this temple must be on your list.

Mus visit once in in lifetime.

If you have already visited this temple. Do share your comments / feedback!

Om Namah Shivay!

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