Of the five South Indian Shiva temples associated with the five elements, this 12-hectare precinct is the shrine of earth. You enter...
Kamakshi Amman Temple
This imposing temple, dedicated to Kamakshi/Parvati, is one of India's most important places of shakti (female energy/deities) worship,...
Kanchipuram's famous silk-weaving industry has traditionally depended heavily on child labour. The NGO RIDE has been a leader in...
A reliable veg restaurant with a welcome AC hall, and thalis on the 1st floor.
Kailasanatha Temple information
Kanchi's oldest temple is its most impressive, not for its size but for its weight of historical presence and the intricacy of its stonework. As much monument as living temple, Kailasanatha is quieter than other temples in town, and has seen a lot of restoration. Dedicated to Shiva, it was built in the 8th century by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman II, who also gave us Mamallapuram's Shore Temple.
The low-slung sandstone compound has fascinating carvings, including many of the half-animal deities in vogue in early Dravidian architecture. Note the rearing lions on the outer walls. The inner sanctum is centred on a large 16-sided lingam, which non-Hindus can view from about 8m away. The tower rising above it is a precursor of the great vimanas of later Chola temples. An autorickshaw from the centre costs ₹40, but walking is nice.