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Kanchipuram Sightseeing

AttractionArea/Distance
Kamakshi Amman TempleLocated one kilometer away from the Kanchipuram Railway Station close to the Raja Veedhi Street
Kailasanathar TempleLocated in the proximity with the SVN Pillai Street at the distance of about 3 kilometers from the Kanchipuram Railway Station
Ekambareswarar Temple Situated close to the Car Street in the northern Kanchipuram
Kumarakottam TemplePositioned along the west Raja Street just half a kilometer to the northwest of the city bus stand
Varadharaja Perumal TempleLocated in ‘Vishnu Kanchi’ area along the Kanchipuram Chengalpat Road close to the Tollgate Bus Stop
Tiruparamechura Vinnagaram - Sri Vaikuntha Perumal Temple
Devarajaswami Temple Positioned towards the eastern periphery of the Kanchipuram City
Thiruparuthikundram Jain TempleSituated close to the Thiruparuthikundram Primary School about 3 kilometers away from the heart of the city
Kanchi MathaParked adjoining the Raja Veedhi Street just half a kilometer from the Kamakshi Amman Temple
Kanchi Kudil Located at the Sangeetha Vidwan Nainar Pillai Street of Kanchipuram
Jeevanandam StatueInstalled at Tambaram about 54 kilometers from Kanchipuram.
Uthiramerur Located at the distance of about 28 kilometers from Kanchipuram
MadurantakamSited about 60 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Kolavai Lake Sited in the eastern Chengalpattu Town adjacent the Chennai-Tiruchi railway line about two kilometers away from the heart of the civic and just 38 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Muttukadu Positioned at the distance of about 76 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Mamallapuram Stationed about 67 kilometers away from the Kanchipuram City
Dakshina Chitra Set up on the eastern coastal road in Muttukadu on the way to Mahabalipuram from Chennai
SriperumpudurSited just 33 kilometers from Kanchipuram
KalpakkamPositioned along the Coromandel Coast about 69 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary Situated close to the Madurantakam Lake about 44 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Arignar Anna Zoological Park Located in Vandalur about 51 kilometers away from Kanchipuram
Crocodile Bank Stationed on the Chennai-Mahabalipuram Road approximately 14 kilometers from Mahabalipuram and about 80 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Arignar Anna Illam Located at 54, C.N.A. Street, Chinna Kanchipuram
Sakunthala Jagannatham Museum of Folk Art Located within the premises of the Brahma Mandiram close to the Ekambareswarar Temple of Kanchipuram
Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Located at Sriperumbudur close to the city bus stand
Anna Memorial Situated at Anna Square to the North of the popular Marina beach of Kanchipuram
Queens Land Sited between Sriperumbudur and Poonamallee on the Chennai Bangalore Trunk Road
War Cemetery Located along the Mount-Poonamallee Road, Nandambakkam


Kamakshi Amman Temple

Location: One kilometer away from the Kanchipuram Railway Station close to the Raja Veedhi Street
The Kamakshi Amman Temple of Kanchipuram located one kilometer away from the Kanchipuram Railway Station close to the Raja Veedhi Street is one of the most prominent Hindu shrines of the city dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi; a manifestation of Goddess Parvati. Revered in the lines of the Meenakshi Temple of Madurai and the Akilandeswari Temple of Thiruvanaikaval, the Kamakshi Amman Temple is estimated to be built in 6th century AD under the patronage of the Pallava Kings of Kanchipuram. The presiding deity of the temple; Goddess Kamakshi is portrayed sitting in the Padmasana posture and holding a sugarcane bow and a bouquet of flowers in her two lower arms while she holds a pasha (lasso) and an ankusha (goad) in her two upper arms. A parrot can be seen perched close to the flower bunch the Goddess is holding. An astounding fact is that, there is no other Parvati temple in Kanchipuram apart from the Kamakshi Amman Temple.
Framed in the Dravidian order of temple architecture, this shrine of Goddess Kamakshi depicts a Gayatri Mandapam (sanctum sanctorum) that is roofed with a gold-plated vimana and is supported by 24 upright pillars. A mango tree that is sited right outside the main shrine is regarded to be the place where Goddess Parvati (Kamakshi) had worshipped a Shiva Lingam to win Lord Shiva’s hand in marriage. Four Poojas are offered at the Kamakshi Temple everyday while the annual temple festival is celebrated in the Tamil month ‘Masi’ (March or April). The annual festival comprises the Chariot Festival known as ‘Ther’ and the Lake Festival called ‘Theppam’. Navaratri, Aadi Pooram, Aippasi Pooram, Sankara Jayanthi, Vasanta Utsavam, etc are some of the worth mentioning festivals celebrated at the Kamakshi Amman Temple.
Some believe that the Adi Peeteswari or the Adi Peeta Parameswari Temple of Kanchipuram was the original Kamakshi Temple while the present day Kamakshi Temple is the later addition. Adi Peeteswari is defined as the Yoga Peeta while the new Kamakshi Temple is described as the Bhoga Peeta.

Kailasanathar Temple

Location: In the proximity with the SVN Pillai Street at the distance of about 3 kilometers from the Kanchipuram Railway Station
The Kailasanathar Temple of Kanchipuram located in the proximity with the SVN Pillai Street at the distance of about 3 kilometers from the Kanchipuram Railway Station is one of the oldest existing sanctuaries of this ‘city of thousand temples’. Established under the benediction of a great Pallava King Narasimhavarman II (also known as Rajasimhan) approximately in 8th century AD, the Kailasanathar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is yet another specimen of the Dravidian Order of Temple Architecture that illustrates the close resemblance with the temples found in Mahabalipuram. The Kailasanathar Temple is fabricated in red sandstone while the stockades are festooned with fresco-style paintings and the sculptures depicting lions, Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva in various forms and postures. The central shrine where the extraordinary 16 sided Shiva Lingam made out of black granite is placed is flanked by 58 smaller shrines on all the sides.
The low- stung sandstone compound that encircles the temple is adorned with intriguing carvings and the motifs of many half-animal deities prevalent during the early epoch of Dravidian Architecture. The vimana of the temple designed in multilayered panels represent Lord Shiva in the form of Nataraja. The Kailasanathar Temple was originally christened as the ‘Rajasimha Pallaveswaram Temple’ after the founder king Rajasimhan, however, the renowned Chola King Raja Raja Chola I named this temple as ‘Kachipettu Periya Thirukatrali’ (meaning the stone temple of Kanchipuram) during his visit to Kanchi. Many archaeologists believe that the King Raja Raja Chola I was inspired by the Kailasanathar Temple and he modeled the Brihadeeswarar Temple of Tanjore after the Kailasanathar Temple of Kanchi. Presently, this ancient Shiva Temple of Kanchi is under the maintenance and safeguarding of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Ekambareswarar Temple

Location: Close to the Car Street in the northern Kanchipuram
The Ekambareswarar Temple of Kanchipuram, also reckoned by the epithet the ‘Ekambaranathar Temple’ is a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva; the consort of Goddess Kamakshi. Situated close to the Car Street in the northern Kanchipuram, the Ekambareswarar Temple is deemed amongst the five Pancha Bootha Sthalams, each of them representing one of the five natural elements. The Ekambaranathar Temple represents ‘Earth’ and it is also reckoned as one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams. Originally built during the ascendancy of the Pallava Kings in 6th century AD, the present day Ekambareswarar Temple delineating the Dravidian style of architecture has undergone several restorations and renovations undertaken by various rulers and historical dignitaries of Kanchipuram including the later Chola Kings, Adi Sankara, Vijayanagara kings, Vallal Pachiyappa Mudaliar, Nattukottai Chettiar, and so on. Covering an extensive area of 23 acres, this temple is honored to be the largest of all the Kanchipuram group of temples.
Not only that, the temple gopuram measures about 59 meters in its height which accounts to be one of the tallest gopurams of the country. The most noteworthy feature of the Ekambareswarar Temple is its ‘Aayiram Kaal Mandapam’ i.e. the thousand pillars hall that was built under the patronage of the Vijayanagara Kings. The inner walls of the temple are bedecked with an array of 1008 Shiva Lingams in total. There are five prakarams (courtyards) and the holy Kampai Tirtha having an underground water source. Separate shrines are dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu and other deities; nonetheless, an independent shrine is not allocated to Goddess Parvati. A majestic Shiva Lingam is enshrined in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. A 3500 years old mango tree is sited inside the premises of the Ekambareswarar Temple which is believed to be yielding four different types of mangoes from its four branches. Panguni Uthiram Festival celebrated in the month of March or April is the temple festival of the Ekambareswarar Temple which is commended as the most popular temple festivals of Kanchipuram.

Kumarakottam Temple

Location: Along the west Raja Street just half a kilometer to the northwest of the city bus stand
The Kumarakottam Temple of Kanchipuram positioned along the west Raja Street just half a kilometer to the northwest of the city bus stand is a scared Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan or Lord Subramanian; the elder son of Lord Shiva and the commander of the heavenly army of the Gods. As the legend goes, ‘Sage Kachiappa Sivachariyar’ composed the ‘Skanda Puranam’ in the honor of Lord Murugan at the Kumarakottam Temple. It is said that Kachiappa used to write the narrative of Lord Murugan’s life, career and miracles and deposit the day’s work inside the Mulasthanam of Lord Kartikeya here. Each night, mysteriously, the Lord Himself would come and correct the mistakes and modify the manuscript. Thus, the Skanda Puranam is the absolutely authentic account of Lord Murugan’s life blessed by the stamp of approval by the Lord Murugan Himself. In the Kumarakottam Temple of Kanchipuram, Lord Kartikeya is enshrined in the form of the creator God Lord Brahma.
The anecdote that would justify this demeanor of Lord Subramanian suggests that Lord Kartikeya after having punished Lord Brahma due to his unawareness of the implication of the Pranava Mantra assumed his form and took up his creation duties. An interesting feature is that, all the deities of Kanchipuram Temples must pass in front of the Kumarakottam Temple during the Car Festivals and other annual processions. The unique location of Kumarakottam Temple put up between Lord Ekambareswarar Temple and Goddess Kamakshi Amman Temple symbolizes Lord Kartikeya seated flanked by his parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Tuesday and the Krittikai Day are the most auspicious days of Lord Murugan. Skanda Shashti and Vaisaka Festival are the two most important festivals celebrated at the Kumarakottam Temple.

Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Location: In ‘Vishnu Kanchi’ area along the Kanchipuram Chengalpat Road close to the Tollgate Bus Stop
The Varadharaja Perumal Temple of Kanchipuram located in ‘Vishnu Kanchi’ area along the Kanchipuram Chengalpat Road close to the Tollgate Bus Stop is a renowned Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Also known as ‘Hastagiri Temple’ or ‘Attiyuran Temple’, this shrine is recognized as one of the 108 ‘Divya Desams’ of Lord Vishnu praised by the Alwar Saints. Moreover, the Varadharaja Perumal Temple along with the Ekambareswarar Temple and Kamakshi Amman Temple of Kanchi is acknowledged as the ‘Mumurtivasam’ meaning ‘the abode of the trinity’. Sri Ramanujacharya; the greatest Vaishnava Philosopher and the advocate of the VisishtAdvaita doctrine is believed to have dwelt in the Varadharaja Temple of Kanchi. Regarded to be originally established by a Pallava King named Nandivarman II, the present day Varadharaja Temple was built under the patronage of the Chola Kings in 1053 AD. Afterwards, the temple was further expanded during the supremacy of the great Chola Sovereigns Kulottunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola.
During the British Raj, Robert Clive had attained the Garuda Seva Festival of the Varadharaja Temple and offered a priceless necklace at the feet of Lord Vishnu. Covering the total area of about 23 acres, the Varadharaja Temple presents an epitome of the ancient Dravidian Architecture practiced and propagated by Vishwakarma Sthapathis. The temple consists of 3 outer precincts, 32 shrines, 389 pillared halls adorned with the Yali motifs, 19 vimanas and several holy water tanks. The chief sanctum is set up facing towards west and the seven tiered Raj Gopuram that leads to the sanctum measures around 130 feet in its height. The temple architecture is particularly distinguished for its huge stone chain sculpted out of one single rock and the brilliantly carved lizards plated with gold those bejewel the sanctum. The hundred pillared hall of the temple bears the sculptures illustrating the episodes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The annual festivals celebrated at the Varadharaja Temple include the Brahmotsavam, Garuda Seva and Ther Festival.

Tiruparamechura Vinnagaram - Sri Vaikuntha Perumal Temple

Location:
The Tiruparamechura Vinnagaram Temple, also identified as the ‘Sri Vaikuntha Perumal Temple’ is yet another holy shrine of Kanchipuram dedicated to the God of Sustenance i.e. Lord Vishnu. Deemed amongst the 108 Divya Desams, this temple worships Lord Vishnu in the form of ‘Paramapadanathan’ or ‘Vaikunthanathan’ meaning the Lord (Nath) of Vaikuntha. The consort of Lord Vaikunthanathan viz. Goddess Lakshmi is venerated here as ‘Vaikunthavalli Thayar’. Estimated to be erected in late 8th century AD during the tenure of a Pallava King named ‘Nandivarman II’, this paradigm of early Dravidian order of temple architecture acted as the prototype for the later temples constructed all over the state of Tamil Nadu. The Vaikuntha Perumal Temple is especially noted for its inscribed sculpture panels delineating the coronation ceremony of King Pallavamalla and the external pergola festooned with impressive lion pillars that served as an archetype for the thousand pillared halls of other temples in Kanchipuram. The temple comprises several sub shrines wherein different images of Lord Vishnu are enshrined in distinct postures such as standing, sitting, reclining and so on.

Devarajaswami Temple

Location: Towards the eastern periphery of the Kanchipuram City
The Devarajaswami Temple of Kanchipuram also known as the ‘Arulmigu Devarajaswami Temple’ and positioned towards the eastern periphery of the Kanchipuram City is a sacred Vaishnava shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Built during the governance of the Vijayanagara Kings, this ancient sanctuary is predominantly celebrated for its elaborately carved pillars embellishing the interiors as well as the exteriors of the Devarajaswami Temple. A most noteworthy feature of this shrine is its grandiose marriage hall that was built to commemorate the celestial betrothal of Lord Vishnu with Goddess Lakshmi. A large water tank is sited within the premises of the Devarajaswami Temple where a 10 meter tall wooden effigy of Lord Vishnu is preserved inside a silver box under water. The water of this Tirtha Kund is drained once in every 40 years and the idol of Lord Vishnu is put up for the darshana of the devotees for next 48 days. Later, the idol is again immersed into the water. Last time the figurine of Lord Vishnu was taken out of the water in 1979 AD so the next darshana of Lord Devarajaswami will happen in 2019 AD. The temple receives hordes of pilgrims especially during those 48 days once in 40 years. Other than that, this architectural marvel of the bygone era is frequently visited by the devotees, tourists and those interested in architecture and archaeology all round the year.

Thiruparuthikundram Jain Temple

Location: Close to the Thiruparuthikundram Primary School about 3 kilometers away from the heart of the city
Thiruparuthikundram Jain Temple situated close to the Thiruparuthikundram Primary School about 3 kilometers away from the heart of the city is a twin Jain Temple dating back to 9th century AD. Constructed during the dominion of the Pallava Kings and christened as Trilokyanatha Temple and Chandraprabha Temple, these twin Jain Temples testify the Jain existence in this part of the country since the primordial era. This precinct of Kanchipuram set up in the suburban area of the city on the banks of the river Palar is reckoned far and wide by the epithet; ‘Jina Kanchi’. The Thiruparuthikundram Jain Temple enshrines Lord Mahaveer as its presiding deity and the idol of Lord Mahaveer painted in bright pink and portrayed in the sitting posture is flanked by two attendants colored in bright red and bright green and bedecked with dazzling golden ornaments. This 9th century temple built in yellow sandstone is primarily famed for its inscriptions belonging to the Pallava Sovereign; Narasimhavarman II, Chola Rulers Rajendra Chola I, Kulothunga Chola I & Vikrama Chola and the Kanarese inscriptions of the Vijayanagara King Krishnadevaraya. Additionally, the Thiruparuthikundram Jain Temple also houses some outstanding paintings from 17th century AD. Presently, this Jain Temple of Kanchipuram is preserved under the custody of the Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department.

Kanchi Matha

Location: Parked adjoining the Raja Veedhi Street just half a kilometer from the Kamakshi Amman Temple
The Kanchi Matha of Kanchipuram parked adjoining the Raja Veedhi Street just half a kilometer from the Kamakshi Amman Temple is a Hindu monastic institution claimed to be founded by Adi Shankaracharya in 9th century AD. Formerly reckoned by the title ‘Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham’ and also well-known as the ‘Shankara Mutt’, the Kanchi Matha is acknowledged amongst the five Pancha Mahabhuta Sthalas those represent the five natural elements. The Kanchi Matha gained considerable prominence post 18th century AD and today this Hindu monastery is exalted as one of the foremost religious congregations in Southern India. It is believed that Adi Shankara originally christened the mutt as ‘Dakshina Moolamnaya Sarvagnya Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham’ and as Adi Shankara was the first head of the Matha; all the succeeding heads were conferred upon the laurel of ‘Shankaracharya’ itself. His Holiness Jayendra Saraswati Swami is the present Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Matha and 68 other Shankaracharyas have preceded him till today.

Kanchi Kudil

Location: At the Sangeetha Vidwan Nainar Pillai Street of Kanchipuram
Kanchi Kudil, located at the Sangeetha Vidwan Nainar Pillai Street of Kanchipuram is a heritage house where the ancient social, cultural, religious, architectural and sculptural legacy of Hinduism is conserved and exhibited. Kanchi Kudil is a 90 years old house characterized with traditional architecture that tenders a glimpse of the life of an agricultural family in a small town. The house is divided into several quarters such as the master’s chamber, the room for the women and children, Pooja room, open air courtyards, Verandahs, the backyard housing the agricultural gear and so on. Here tourists can get the feel of the pastoral life as lived at Kanchipuram in olden days. Apart from that, the replicas of the temples and monuments of Kanchipuram add a religious, historical and architectural dimension to the Kanchi Kudil. The history of Kanchipuram city and its temples and the authentic account of the cultural life are illustrated here with the help of the detailed printed descriptions. The art and craft exhibition and the live demonstrations performed by the craftsmen and artisans against the backdrop of the traditional music here create a truly fascinating appeal for the visitors. Tourists can also buy exquisite handicrafts and souvenirs from the Kanchi Kudil. What is more, Kanchi Kudil also operates a food court where one can relish the traditional South Indian food items. A visit to Kanchi Kudil will certainly give you an insight into the conventional South Indian lifestyle and culture.

Jeevanandam Statue

Location: Installed at Tambaram about 54 kilometers from Kanchipuram.
P Jeevanandam, also fondly known as ‘Jeeva’ was a political leader, social reformer, orator, laureate and one of the pioneers of the communist and socialist movements in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Apart from being a socio-political leader and a relentless fighter for the underprivileged, P Jeevanandam was also a cultural theoretician, a journalist and a critic. He was an extremely down to earth man and was held in high esteem amongst the general public as he spent his entire life in struggling for the rights of deprived and neglected. He denoted simplicity of Gandhism and symbolized unsurpassed passion for social equality. He revealed insuperable Marxist spirit and fought for the eradication of exploitation and inequality. P Jeevanandam won the MLA election from Chennai’s Washermenpet Region and served as a Great Parliamentarian during the early years of the Independence of India. P Jeevanandam died of ill health on January 18, 1963 at his humble home in Tambaram near Chennai. The Jeevanandam Statue is installed at Tambaram that is located about 54 kilometers from Kanchipuram.

Uthiramerur

Location: At the distance of about 28 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Uthiramerur located at the distance of about 28 kilometers from Kanchipuram is a Panchayat Town of Kanchipuram District that was originally founded during the ascendancy of a Pallava Monarch ‘Nandivarman II’ in 750 AD approx. Reigned by the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, Sambuvarayars, Vijayanagara Rayas and Nayaks over the centuries, Uthiramerur is famed far and wide for the stone edicts ( Uthiramerur Kalvettu) and engravings discovered here those indicate the evidences of the self governance of Uthiramerur during the supremacy of the Chola Kings (mainly the King Parantaka Chola in 920 AD). The elections were held here according to a system known here as ‘Kudavolai’. The judicial commands and guidelines can be seen inscribed on the walls of the ‘Grama Sabha Mandapa’ i.e. village assembly. The relics of the ‘Village Assembly’ suggest that it was built in granite slabs in a rectangular shape. The inscriptions attest that the village had a self sufficient electing system which was undertaken according to the rules prescribed in the written constitution. Apart from that, Uthiramerur is also noted for its famous Kailasanathar Temple which has been recently revamped.

Madurantakam

Location: About 60 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Madurantakam, sited about 60 kilometers from Kanchipuram is a modest township of Kanchipuram District revered pole to pole as a leading pilgrim destination of Southern India due to its numerous ancient temples and churches. Some of the most noteworthy places of worship to be found in Madurantakam include Aeri Katha Ramar Temple, Thiru-Venkateswarar Temple, Renukaparameswari Amman Temple, Chelliyamman Temple, Anjaneya Temple, Prasana Venkateswarar Temple, Simpson Memorial Church, St. Mary’s Church, and so on. The Aeri Katha Ramar Temple dedicated to Lord Ram is assumed to be about 1300 years old. The temple enshrines Lord Ram in the form of ‘Sri Kodanda Ram’ or ‘Yeri Katha Ram’ while the consort of Lord Ram i.e. Goddess Sita is worshipped here as ‘Sri Janaki Valli’. Other sub shrines of the Aeri Katha Ramar Temple are dedicated to Sri Lakshmi Narasimha, Sri Hanuman, Sri Ramanuja, Sri Chakrathalwar, etc. Madurantakam happens to be one of the sacred places blessed by the lotus feet of St. Ramanujacharya. A remarkable fact is that the idol of Ramanujacharya found here is dressed in white while all other temples depict him dressed in ochre.

Kolavai Lake

Location: In the eastern Chengalpattu Town adjacent the Chennai-Tiruchi railway line about two kilometers away from the heart of the civic and just 38 kilometers from Kanchipuram
The Kolavai Lake of Chengalpattu sited in the eastern Chengalpattu Town adjacent the Chennai-Tiruchi railway line about two kilometers away from the heart of the civic and just 38 kilometers from Kanchipuram is one of the largest lakes of the Kanchipuram District second only to the Madurantakam Lake. Distinguished as a perennial water lagoon, Kolavai Lake never dries up, not even in summer. The lake even supplies water to the industries functioning in Chennai when the tarns in Chennai go dry and the city is sans water. However, the Kolavai Lake is facing some serious pollution threats presently owing to the swift industrial progress and the speedy urbanization of Chengalpattu. Apart from its basic role of supplying water to the surrounding regions and its industrial standing toady, the Kolavai Lake has been developed as a favorite tourist destination and a popular picnic spot of Kanchipuram District. Tourists pay a visit to the Kolavai Lake during the vacations and also on the weekends and spend some leisurely time with their loved ones away from the hubbub of daily city life. An adventure water sports center and a boating center have been set up adjacent the lake and the visitors can enjoy boating and the joy rides here.

Muttukadu

Location: At the distance of about 76 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Muttukadu, positioned at the distance of about 76 kilometers from Kanchipuram is a coastal township of Tamil Nadu greatly sought after by the tourists to unwind and relax in the proximity with the Bay of Bengal and enjoy various water sports such as rowing, speed boat riding, wind surfing, water skiing etc. here. Highly praised for its serene and composed backwaters and the natural estuary created by the Bay of Bengal Muttukadu is a thriving tourist destination profuse with a wide array of leisure time activities. The affluence of aquatic life at Muttukadu turns this place a perfect fishing spot where one can squander an idyllic beach holiday in immaculate peace sunbathing and angling. The Beach Resort of Muttukadu would remind us of the legendary city ‘Kaveripoompattinam’ that was submerged under the sea during antiquity. The new Muttukadu town has been fashioned after the accounts found in a Tamil literary composition named ‘Silapathikaram’. Muttukadu, nestled amidst the tranquil and unruffled natural milieu away from the humdrum of city life offers an aesthetic pleasure and rejuvenation both to the body and mind. Tourists here can spend their vacation in perfect peace and solitude in the fondling cradle of Mother Nature.

Mamallapuram

Location: About 67 kilometers away from the Kanchipuram City
Mamallapuram , also known as ‘Mahabalipuram’ is an ancient town of Kanchipuram District stationed about 67 kilometers away from the Kanchipuram City. Burgeoning as a thriving port city and a booming center of trade & merchandise between 7th and 10th century AD, Mamallapuram is today commended as the ‘Open Air Museum’ of ancient Tamil Art and the astounding legacy of Pallava Architecture. Listed amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its extraordinary historic mementos dated back to 7th and 9th century AD, the present day Mahabalipuram; the epic poems engraved on the stones, is renowned worldwide for its stone carvings and its historical edifices. The rock cut caves, temples and monolithic rathas ornately carved out of single colossal boulders draw tourists from every corner of the country and globe. Apart from its archival and architectonic bequest, Mamallapuram positioned on the Coromandel Coast facing the Bay of Bengal is equally popular amongst the tourists for its alluring sandy beaches skirted by the charming casuarinas tree fringes. Today Mamallapuram forms the legendary ‘Golden Tourism Triangle’ along the Coromandel Coast with Chennai and Kanchipuram and is regarded as one of the most frequented tourist destinations of the state of Tamil Nadu.

Dakshina Chitra

Location: Set up on the eastern coastal road in Muttukadu on the way to Mahabalipuram from Chennai
Dakshina Chitra, a unique heritage village set up on the eastern coastal road in Muttukadu on the way to Mahabalipuram from Chennai is developed as a model township that embodies the age old lifestyle of 19th century AD. Administered by Chennai Craft Foundation, Dakshina Chitra showcases replicas and samplings of the traditional houses and other classical artifacts of Tamil Nadu as well as the rest of the country. The tourists alighted here from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and other parts of India and globe get an authentic and memorable insight into the way of living of the diverse ethnic groups of Southern India. Apart from that, the traditional South Indian art and craft industry is presented here in its immaculate traditional form. Folk artists and traditional craft persons are depicted here working in the artificial setting of 19th century homes, streets, workshops and so on. Dakshina Chitra is located about 78 kilometers from Kanchipuram.

Sriperumpudur

Location: Sited just 33 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Sriperumpudur, sited just 33 kilometers from Kanchipuram is an industrial conurbation of Kanchipuram District renowned as the birthplace of Sri Ramanujacharya. Besides, Sriperumpudur also happens to be the locale where the then Prime Minister of India; Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in the year 1991. Originally known by the name Bhoodhapuri, Sriperumpudur is believed to be the holy city which opens the doors of heaven for those who breathe their last here. Some of the most worth mentioning tourist attractions of Sriperumpudur include the Birthplace of Saint Ramanuja, the Vallakottai Murugan Temple, the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, and the Madras Motor Sports Club and so on.

Kalpakkam

Location: Along the Coromandel Coast about 69 kilometers from Kanchipuram
Kalpakkam, positioned along the Coromandel Coast about 69 kilometers from Kanchipuram is a moderate metropolis of Tamil Nadu that constitutes a conglomerate of Puduppattinam and Sadurangappatinam villages and a DAE township. Essentially commended for its nuclear plants and affiliated research installations viz. the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam can be rightly defined as the science city of Tamil Nadu. The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research of Kalpakkam is affiliated to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Kalpakkam was one of the highly affected Tsunami regions during the Tsunami of 2004 and the city recorded about 200 loses of life. The Tsunami Memorial of Kalpakkam testifies this lethal event of Indian History.

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Location: Close to the Madurantakam Lake about 44 kilometers from Kanchipuram
The Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary situated close to the Madurantakam Lake about 44 kilometers from Kanchipuram is a protected haven for the migratory birds alighting here from far away regions of the globe such as Canada, Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangladesh, Siberia, Burma and so on. Spread over an extensive area of 30 hectares and dotted with small water tarns acting as the feeding grounds for the birds, the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary happens to be one of the oldest existing water bird sanctuaries of India. The term ‘Vedanthangal’ had derived from Tamil Language where it means ‘the hamlet of a hunter’. About 300 years ago, Vedanthangal Region used to be a favorite hunting terrain for the local landlords owing to its rich and diverse avifauna. The genesis of the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is rooted back in the pre independence era when the British Government apprehending its ornithological significance marked the onset of Vedanthangal’s development as a bird sanctuary in 1798 AD itself.
However, the sanctuary was formally established in the year 1858 under the command of the Chengalpat District Collector. After the independence of India, Vedanthangal was officially declared as a wildlife reserve in 1972 AD. The Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary along with its twin bird’s asylum; ‘Karikili Bird Sanctuary’ houses over 30,000 birds of over 200 distinct bird species. Some of the most noteworthy birds spotted in the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary include Cormorants, Little Egrets, Large Egrets, Darters, Paddy Bird, Moorhen, Grebes, Night Herons, Painted Stork, Sandpiper, Terns, Pintails, Shovellers, Pond Heron, White Ibis, Garganey Teals, Snake Bird, Grey Pelican, Grey Heron, Open-billed Stork, Glossy Ibis, Painted Stork, Spoonbill, Spot Bill Duck, etc. The best time to pay a visit to the bird sanctuary is from November to March when birds can be spotted building and maintaining their nests.

Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Location: In Vandalur about 51 kilometers away from Kanchipuram
‘Arignar Anna Zoological Park’ located in Vandalur about 51 kilometers away from Kanchipuram is a zoological garden where over 170 species of animals are sheltered in about 81 enclosures. Covering the total area of 602 hectares, the Vandalur Zoo is honored to be the largest zoological garden of India, the second wildlife sanctuary of Tamil Nadu State and the proud home to seven white tigers. This Zoological garden marked with the ecosystem of dry deciduous and dry evergreen scrub forest houses about 63 species of birds, 47 species of mammals, 31 species of reptiles, 25 species of fishes, 10 species of insects and 5 species of amphibians. Some of the worth mentioning residents of the zoo include sambar, barking deer, hog deer, blackbuck, nilgai, sangai, jaguar, wolf, jackal, hyena, panther, tiger, lion, elephant, monkey, giraffe, camel, llama, otter, chimpanzees, monitor lizard, Bengal tiger, white tiger, European brown bear, lemur, vulture, star tortoises, muscovy duck, emu, cassowary, and many others. The Arignar Anna Zoological Park is one of the four zoos in India that has an ostrich. This Zoo has also succeeded in its captive breeding programs and cross-breeding experiments as a part of its conservation efforts. Safari parks for lion, gaur and deer have been built here and tourists get a chance to enjoy a safari ride through the internal recesses of the sanctuary and observe animals from close quarters in their natural habitat. Some of the worth visiting sections of the Vandalur Zoo include the Butterfly House, Reptile House, Amphibian House, Crocodile Enclosure, Primate House, Small Mammals House, World of Nocturnal Animals, Aquarium, and so on.

Crocodile Bank

Location: On the Chennai-Mahabalipuram Road approximately 14 kilometers from Mahabalipuram and about 80 kilometers from Kanchipuram
The Crocodile Bank, also known as the ‘Madras Crocodile Bank’ is stationed on the Chennai-Mahabalipuram Road approximately 14 kilometers from Mahabalipuram and about 80 kilometers from Kanchipuram. This Crocodile Bank is a reptile zoo, a herpetology research station and a protected domicile for crocodiles, alligators and snakes where they are sheltered, reared and bred. Established by a herpetologist named Romulus Whitaker in the year 1976, this Crocodile Bank happens to be the largest crocodile breeding center in the whole country. A paradise for reptile lovers, the Madras Crocodile Bank houses several species of Indian and African alligators and crocodiles. Thousands of them kept in open pools can be spotted here dwelling in their natural habitat. The most important sections of the Crocodile Bank are the Crocodile Conservation Center and the Snake Farm. At the Crocodile Conservation Center the crocodiles and alligators are bred in captivity and then released in the waters of Chambal and Mahanadi rivers while at the Snake Farm the anti venom is produced. The procedure of extracting the venom from the snakes is a popular tourist attraction at the Snake Farm. Irulas, the snake catcher’s tribe of Mahabalipuram make a living here. This park carpeted by lush tropical vegetation is spread across 3.2 hectares.

Arignar Anna Illam

Location: At 54, C.N.A. Street, Chinna Kanchipuram
Arignar Anna Illam to be found at 54, C.N.A. Street, Chinna Kanchipuram was the residence of one of the ex- Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu – ‘Late Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai’. This house was converted into a memorial in C N Annadurai’s honor on September 16, 1980. Today Arignar Anna Illam exhibits several memorabilia of Late Annadurai such as his statue, photos and the account of his life history.

Sakunthala Jagannatham Museum of Folk Art

Location: Within the premises of the Brahma Mandiram close to the Ekambareswarar Temple of Kanchipuram
The Sakunthala Jagannatham Museum of Folk Art located within the premises of the Brahma Mandiram close to the Ekambareswarar Temple of Kanchipuram originally belonged to the landowners of Damal; the maternal ancestors of Sir C P Ramaswamy Aiyar. This 400 years old manor dating back to 16th or 17th century AD was converted to a museum in the modern era due to its opulent bequest of exclusive and unique household collections, traditional furniture, musical instruments, stone sculptures, wall paintings, antique dolls, lamps, ancient palm leaves, puja implements, traditional clothes, silk, cotton and handloom saris, mats, jewelry, books and so on. The Sakunthala Jagannatham Museum of Folk Art has published various treatises including the Textiles of Tamil Nadu, Lamps of Tamil Nadu, Vessels of Kanchi, etc. This museum can be visited from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm all days of week but Monday. During the Panguni Uttiram Festival celebrated in the month of March or April, the Veda Parayanam is held at the Sakunthala Jagannatham Museum building when the museum is closed for 15 days.

Rajiv Gandhi Memorial

Location: At Sriperumbudur close to the city bus stand
The Rajiv Gandhi Memorial located at Sriperumbudur close to the city bus stand is the site where the then Prime Minister of India; Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on 21st May 1991 by a human bomb. Later the site was converted to the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Memorial’ by the government. Carpeted with an expansive lawn studded with tree lined pathways, this memorial site bears a stone sculpture that depicts India’s progress in various fields of science and technology. The blast site where Rajiv Gandhi fell to the suicide bomber is marked with seven tall pillars and the final steps of Rajiv Gandhi, also known as ‘the path of light’ are marked with a towering pole atop which the National Flag of India is hoisted. A stone mural has been put up at the spot of his assassination that portrays an image of Rajiv Gandhi. A stone plaque is also installed here that bears the brief account of the life history of Rajiv Gandhi.

Anna Memorial

Location: At Anna Square to the North of the popular Marina beach of Kanchipuram
Situated at Anna Square to the North of the popular Marina beach of Kanchipuram, the Anna Memorial is dedicated to the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu – ‘Late Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai’. Positioned amidst a beautifully landscaped park, this commemorative plaque comprises an arch that creates the semblance of the converging tusks of an elephant. This pillar like edifice bears a flame that is kept burning at a small tomb all the time. Spread over an extensive area of about 510 hectares, the park where the Anna Memorial has been erected also features a museum, an aquarium, a nocturnal animal house and a small safari park. The Anna Square and the Anna Memorial are reckoned as favorite picnic spots and much admired hangout destinations both amongst the local residents as well as the tourists.

Queens Land

Location: Sited between Sriperumbudur and Poonamallee on the Chennai Bangalore Trunk Road
The Queens Land sited between Sriperumbudur and Poonamallee on the Chennai Bangalore Trunk Road is an amusement park of Tamil Nadu operational since 2003. This theme park covers the total area of about 70 acres. Rs. 350 per head for adult and Rs. 250 per head for children are charged here as the entry fee. The park is open from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays and from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm on weekends and holidays. It remains closed on Mondays (except for the public holidays) for maintenance. Outside food or drinks are not allowed inside the Queens Land. This amusement park offers about 51 different rides; 33 for adults and 18 for kids. The water rides such as the Himalayan Water Ride, Alpen Blitz, Water Slides, etc. are operated between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Some of the major rides of the Queens Land include Free Fall Tower, Roller coaster, simulation theatre, octopus, Himalayan Water Ride, Bumper cars, Alpen Blitz, Centrox, Mirror House, Queens Land Fairy Train, Cable car, and many others. The Cable Car Ride of the Queens Land is the most extraordinary sky journey which happens to be the longest Cable Car Ride in the country and the ride lasts for about half an hour.

War Cemetery

Location: Along the Mount-Poonamallee Road, Nandambakkam
The War Cemetery, also known as the Madras War Cemetery and located along the Mount-Poonamallee Road, Nandambakkam is a graveyard where around 856 Commonwealth Soldiers and civilians who died in the Second World War lay buried. Established in 1952 under the direction of Imperial War Graves Commission, this cemetery is now maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in collaboration with the Government of India. A War Memorial of the First World War is sited close to the rear portion of the War Cemetery where a commemorative plaque is installed. This plaque bearing the inscription “Their name liveth for evermore” reads the names of more than 1000 British Soldiers who died in the first world war and lay buried at different places in India. The War Cemetery can be visited from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

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