Welcome to Kanchipuram


Kanchipuram is easily visited in a day trip from Mamallapuram or Chennai, but it's worth seeing some of the temples after dark.


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Kanchipuram activities

$125 Day Trips & Excursions

Silk Saree weaving and Temples of Kanchipuram, Day Trip from Chennai

Our guide will pick you from your hotel lobby and we will drive 75Km towards the ancient town of Kanchipuram.  Kanchipuram was the capital of the medieval South Indian Kingdom of Pallavas. The Pallavas were instrumental in the transition from rock-cut architecture to stone temples. We visit Ekambareswarar and Kailasanathar temple of Pallava dynasty to appreciate these  architectural wonders  built in 600 AD. Next in our agenda is to meet the legendary Silk Saree Weavers of Kanchipuram.  Kanchipuram is renowned for its magnificent Silk Sarees. Silk Sarees are a cultural icon in South India. Ranging in length from 6-9 yards, these Sarees are worn by women during auspicious occasions like a wedding or a birthday. There are more than 5000 families who are into the business of silk weaving. The sarees are weaved from pure mulberry silk thread.  The traditional loom is an incredible machine used by the silk weavers to magically convert the silk threads into a beautiful Kanchipuram Silk Saree. We will visit one such Weaver and it will be a memorable experience. It will be a fascinating experience to see how the sarees are weaved from pure mulberry silk thread. The journey back to Chennai would take around 2.5 hrs. The tour ends  after we drop you back to Chennai.

$49 Day Trips & Excursions

Chennai Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram Temples, Caves Private Tour

Your tour will begin with a pickup between 6:30-7:00 AM from your hotel in Chennai and proceed for full-day guided tour. To kick off the tour, your guide will brief you about the history of Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram. Chennai to Mahabalipuram is aproximately 36 miles. Mahabalipuram is the former capital of the Pallava Kings and is famous for its splendid 7th and 8th-century art and architecture, especially the stone carvings. You will start your tour by visiting the 7th-century magnificent Shore Temple which is surrounded by lush gardens. Next, you will visit Arjuna's Penance, a 1900-square-foot rock block and rock cut caves from the 6th and 7th centuries. Later visit the 7th- century Five Rathas Shrine which has the world's largest stone relief. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant at your own expense and then drive to Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is known as the golden city of a thousand temples. It is one of seven sacred cities of India and has some of the most grand and majestic temples. With their striking architectural marvel, these temples reflect architectural experimentation, restructuring and refinement that was completed during different dynasties. Kanchipuram was the capital of the Pallava, the Chola and the Vijayanagar kings. Visit historic temples like the Kailasanatha Temple, Vaikunda Perumal Temple, Kamaskhi Amman Temple and Ekambareshvara Temple. All of these are excellent sites of the architectural splendor of the medieval period. When the tour ends, you will be driven back to Chennai and dropped off at your hotel. Imp Dress code for temple visit – Men and women must be fully covered.  Jeans pants, sleeveless shirts are not allowed.   Ladies must wear Dhupatta for their Salwar

$21.22 Cultural & Theme Tours

Ancient Temples Tour to Kanchipuram from Chennai

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Kailasanatha Temple, Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadubuilt by the Pallava Dynasty during the first quarter of eighth century with red sandstone and has innumerable carvings of Pallva art, of which the Urdhva Thandava dance of Siva and the laughing face of Parvathi are worth seeing. Duration: 1 hourStop At: Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduVaradharaja Perumal Temple is one of the most famous architectural pieces built by the Cholas in 11th century. The Ornamental rings carved out of single stone at the Four Corners of the mandapam in the form of a chain are a delightful spectacle.There is a 100 pillared hall which has sculptures depicting of ramayana and mahabaratha.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Ekambareshvara Temple, Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduThe present masonry structure was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, this temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period, the pillars sculpted with intricate figures indicating various legends and avatars of Shiva.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Kamakshi Amman Temple, Chennai (Madras), Chennai District, Tamil NaduKamakshi Amman Temple was most probably built by the Pallava kings, It is sacred as one of the three Sakti peethas of India. Kamakshi is said to be the Supergoddess, Parasakti, having Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. Adi Shankaracharya, the famous 8th century CE scholar and saint, re-established the Sri Chakra in this Kamakshi Devi temple.Duration: 20 minutes

$61.25 Private & Custom Tours

Private Tour: Day Trip to Kanchipuram Temple City from Chennai

After pickup from your hotel in the morning by air-conditioned vehicle, your private guide will take you to Kanchipuram, located about 45 miles (72 km) southwest of Chennai. Coined ‘The City of Thousand Temples,’ Kanchipuram is considered by the Hindus of India as one of the country’s seven holiest cities. With your guide, visit several temples and learn about the importance of the Hindu goddess Shiva. Explore Sri Ekambareswarar Temple, the city’s largest temple and one of the five major Shiva temples that each represents a natural element. Built around 600, this temple symbolizes Earth. Then, visit Kailasanathar Temple, the oldest temple in Kanchipuram, built in the early 8th century. Explore this sandstone compound and admire the fascinating carvings, including half-animal deities that were popular during the period of early Dravidian architecture. Next, head to Varadaraja Perumal Temple, one of the Divya Desams -- the 108 Vishnu temples believed to have been visited by the 12 poet saints, or alwars. Built in 1053, this astounding temple complex contains 32 shrines and 389 pillared halls. After spending 30-45 minutes at each temple, stop by the nearby silk shop -- Kanchipuram is famous for its hand-woven silk sarees – to see a silk-weaving demonstration. Watch local artisans take pure mulberry silk of various dazzling colors and create beautiful sarees embellished with fine gold thread. In between sightseeing, you’ll enjoy an authentic Indian lunch in Kanchipuram at a restaurant carefully chosen by your guide. After your enlightening full-day tour, you’ll be taken back to your Chennai hotel.

$34.65 Cultural & Theme Tours

Half Day Tour Mahabalipuram History Walk

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Sea Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduShore Temple, Mahabalipuram OverviewBuilt during the 7th century, Shore Temple is one of the oldest South Indian temples constructed in the Dravidian style and depicts the royal taste of the Pallava dynasty. It is a testimonial to the heritage of India. It is located in Mahabalipuram and is one of the most photographed monuments in India located on the shores of Bay of Bengal. The work of the temple has been listed amongst the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.The Shore Temple's name originated as a result of its overlooking the shore of Bay of Bengal. It is built with blocks of granite which can be dated back to the 8th century AD. It comprises of three shrines, where the prominent ones are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. In the Sanctum Sanctorum an image of Shivalinga is present. Towards the end, two shrines facing each other can be spotted. One shrine out of this is dedicated to Ksatriyasimnesvara and the other one to Lord Vishnu. The image shows Lord Vishnu reclining on the 'Seshanag' which depicts "consciousness" in Hinduism. The Shore Temple is no more a living temple. It was constructed as a work of art. The Pallavas, who were known to be great patrons of art wanted to create a temple in their own style of architecture. At present, Shore Temple is made the background of the Mahabalipuram Dance Festival which is held in January/February every year. The festival marked as well as promoted the traditional dance as well as tourism in Mahabalipuram. The temple looks beautiful due to the lights during weekend evenings.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Mahabalipuram Beach, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduMahabalipuram Beach, Mahabalipuram OverviewAlso known as Mamallapuram by locals, the Mahabalipuram Beach is situated at a distance of 58 km from the Chennai city in Tamil Nadu. The beach lies on the shore of Bay of Bengal and comprises of some rock-cut sculptures which are pleasing to the eyes. It is also famous for caves, massive rathas, chariots and temples which offer a great spot for holiday. The Mahabalipuram beach is a perfect place to relax and give yourself a break from the deadlines and work pressure on a daily basis. People from near and far flock to the beach especially to enjoy the natural sunbathing offered by the beach. The windsurfers and swimming lovers are bound to have an amazing time at the beach for they are seen doing just that on the shores of the beach. So as to attract tourists, the beach also has interesting places to offer including a crocodile bank with about 5000 crocodiles belonging to 6 different species, a school of art & sculpture and a snake venom extracting centre. There are also numerous resorts along the beach offering delicious food joints to fill the empty bellies of visitors. The scintillating beach has golden sand all along the stretch surrounded by rising hills and the sparkling sea. Mahabalipuram is a town mostly known for its shore temples which were constructed by Rajasimha, the king of Pallavas in old times. Therefore, the strategic location of the beach amidst the rocks and lagoon makes it a perfect combination of history, tourism and beaches ideal for vacation. The beach stretches for about 20 km and there are numerous lovely beaches present all along the coastline perfect for a little relaxation. Also, at this captivating beauty of Mahabalipuram a dance festival is organised by the Department of Tourism of the Government of Tamil Nadu every year where one can get to see extremely talented classical dancers performing against the backdrop of the sea. Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduFive Rathas, Mahabalipuram OverviewThe Five Rathas, also known as Panch Rathas, is a exemplary set of rock temples. They are excellent examples of the evolution of Dravidian style architecture.These temples are built in the same shape as pagodas, and greatly resemble Buddhist shrines and monasteries. The rathas are associated with the great epic Mahabharata. The first ratha that is located right by the entrance gate is Draupadi's Ratha. It is shaped like a hut and is dedicated to the goddess Durga. Next comes Arjuna's Rath. This one has a small portico and carved pillar stones and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are no carvings inside this temple, but many are on the outside. Directly in front of Arjuna's Rath is the Nakula Sahadev Rath. This ratha has some huge elephant sculptures included that are a huge draw for the Five Rathas. It is dedicated to the God of Rain, Lord Indra. The Bhima Rath is huge. It measures 42 ft in length, 24ft in width, and 25ft in height. The pillars there do contain lion carvings even though the ratha as a whole is incomplete. The largest of the Five Rathas is the Dharamraja Yudhistar's Rath.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduArjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram OverviewThe Arjuna's Penance is an enormous rock-cut relief, one of the largest in the whole world, situated in Mahabalipuram of Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu. It is also known by the name 'Descent of the Ganges' because the structure depicts either or both of these two significant and symbolic events of Hindu mythology; thus making this attraction spot a favourite among historians, scholars, academics as well as tourists who are enthusiastic about the cultural past of India.Not just historically, the structure is a fine specimen of this unique form of art of carving and sculpting on rock forms, that has roots way back in the 7th century South India. Most of these rock forms, including Arjuna's Penance, owe its existence to the Pallava dynasty that ruled over the region south of Vindhyas from 4th to 9th century. Till date these sites bear the legacy of the Pallava art, now being protected by ASI and UNESCO. People gather here throughout the year, not only to experience the unimaginable efficiency of the craftsman of that era that made such a creation possible only with basic tools like hammer and chisel; but also to learn about the interesting stories that hide behind its interpretation. It is a crowd favourite in Mahabalipuram and represent one of those attraction sites in South India where culture meets history to create a great opportunity for explorers.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Alamparai Fort, Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduAlamparai Fort, Mahabalipuram OverviewMany do not know the significance of the captivating fort as this long forgotten trading post is spoken about quite infrequently. In fact, the fort was listed in the International Tourism Fair in Berlin as one of the twenty lesser known tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu by The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC). No matter what the present condition of the Alamparai fort is, the view is sure to take your breath away. As you walk across the enthralling fort, you'll find surprising traces of life in the form of shrubs, creepers, bushes and trees even on the walls. It almost looks like they are supporting those parts of the structure and help them stand strong even today. The Alamparai Fort exudes a gloomy yet attractive vibe that is irresistible for many. Some may condemn the state of the fort, and some may still find beauty in its existence. The enchanting location of the fort has been used for many outdoor advertisement and movie shootings including a Tamil movie named Pithamagan, starring Suriya and Vikram, famous actors in Tollywood. References to this beautiful location and the trading post are also made in Sangam Literature, Cirupanarruppatai. Alamparai served as a sea port in ancient times. It was also known as Alamparva and Alampuravi. The fort was constructed during the rule of the Mughals extending from 1736 CE to 1740 CE. It was first under the control of the Nawab of Arcot Doste Ali Khan. However, it was later given to the French.After the Carnatic war had taken place, French lost to the British which is how the British began exercising direct control over the fort and then the fort got demolished in 1760. Before the war, the fort was ruled by Nawab Doste Ali Khan in 1750, and for the services provided by the French commander Duplex to Subedar Muzarfarzang, the fort was handed over to them. Duration: 1 hourStop At: Mahabalipuram Beach, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduSadras, Mahabalipuram OverviewSadras is an exquisite beach resort that has taken full advantage of the beautiful landscape. The beaches that surround Mahabalipuram are beset by beautiful, green casuarinas groves.The contrast of the vibrant green with the sparkling white beaches is breathtaking, and a sight that is a delight to everyone who has to will to enjoy it. This beach resort is located 13 kilometers outside of Mahabalipuram. There is an old ruined Dutch Fort and a Dutch cemetery with finely embossed headstones. It is intruging to explore some of the Dutch history in the region as well as that of India itself.Duration: 45 minutes

$420 Kid Friendly

DRAVIDIAN DIARIES

ItineraryDay 1: Arrival at ChennaiStop At: Chennai Citi Center, Chennai (Madras), Chennai District, Tamil NaduArrival and transfer to hotelDuration: 3 hoursMeals included: • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight in ChennaiDay 2: Exploring Chennai Stop At: Chennai Citi Center, Chennai (Madras), Chennai District, Tamil NaduChennai SightseeingDuration: 10 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight in ChennaiDay 3: Chennai → Kanchipuram →Mahabalipuram → ChennaiStop At: Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduSightseeingDuration: 3 hoursStop At: Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil NaduSightseeingDuration: 3 hoursPass By: Chennai Central Railway Station, Chennai (Madras), Chennai District, Tamil NaduBack to ChennaiMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at ChennaiDay 4: MaduraiStop At: Madurai Eco Tourism, Madurai, Madurai District, Tamil NaduSightseeing at MaduraiDuration: 10 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at a hotel in Hospet Day 5: MunnarStop At: Munnar,keralaOff to MunnarDuration: 10 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight in MunnarDay 6: Explore MunnarStop At: Mattupetty Dam, Munnar, Idukki District, KeralaSightseeing and boatingDuration: 5 hoursStop At: Kundala Dam Lake, Munnar, Idukki District, KeralaSightseeing and recreational activitiesDuration: 5 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at MunnarDay 7: Munnar → ThekkadyStop At: Thekkady ParkTransfer to ThekkadyDuration: 3 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at ThekkadyDay 8: Thekkady → AlleppeyStop At: Alleppey Backwaters, Alappuzha, Alappuzha District, KeralaTo alleppey and check in at HouseboatDuration: 3 hours 30 minutesMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight Stay at houseboat.Day 9: Alleppey → CochinStop At: Fort Kochi Beach, Kochi (Cochin), Ernakulam District, KeralaTransfer to Kochi and sightseeingDuration: 1 hour 30 minutesMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Hotel in Fort KochiDay 10: Departure from KochiPass By: Cochin International AirportLast day of trip, departure from KochiMeals included: • BreakfastNo accommodation included on this day.