Kamakshi Amman Temple


This imposing temple, dedicated to Kamakshi/Parvati, is one of India's most important places of shakti (female energy/deities) worship, said to mark the spot where Parvati's midriff fell to earth. It's thought to have been founded by the Pallavas. The entire main building, with its gold-topped sanctuary, is off limits to non-Hindus, but the compound itself is beautiful, including a square tank with a shrine in the middle. It's wonderfully lit at night, making that the best time to visit.

The small, square, 16th-century marriage hall, to the right inside the temple’s southeast entrance, has ornately hewn pillars.

No cameras allowed. Each February/March carriages bearing the temple deities are hauled around Kanchipuram.