Kanchipuram, or Kanchi, is a town which is well known for its ancient temples and has gained immense fame for its silk sarees that are regarded as one of the best and purest forms of authentic silk sarees.
Kanchipuram has a very long history to look into, which begins with the Pallava dyansty, the Cholas, the Vijayanagar empire and eventually it landed in the hands of the British.
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The British called the place as Kancheevaram, which can be heard even today. The town has a great importance when it comes to religion. It is home to the well known temple dedicated to Kamakshi Amman, the Kailasanathar Temple, which is the oldest in the region, followed by the Vaikunta Perumal Temple and the temple of Ekambareswarar.
The ancient city was a learning center of religious advanced education for the Jains and the Buddhists, which dates back to a time period between the 1st and 5th centuries.
Starting Point: Bengaluru
Best Time To Visit: October to April
How To Reach
By Air: Kanchipuram does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is the Chennai International Airport, which is approximately around 72 km away from here. The airport is well connected to all the major cities in the country and abroad.
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By Train: The main railway station here is the Kanchipuram Railway Station, which is linked to all the major towns and cities in the country such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, etc.
By Road: Kanchipuram is very well connected by roads. The total driving distance from Kanchipuram to Bengaluru is around 282 km. There are plenty of buses which ply between Bengaluru and Kanchipuram in regular intervals.
Route 1: Bengaluru - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Ambur - Vellore - Arcot - Kanchipuram, via NH 48
Route 2: Bengaluru - Hoskote - Kolar - Mulbagal - Palamaner - Chittor - Arcot - Kanchipuram, via NH 75 and NH 69
Route 3: Bengaluru - Hoskote - Chintamani - Punganur - Palamaner - Chittor - Arcot - Kanchipuram, via Kadapa-Bangalore Highway
For those who are opting to travel using Route 1, it would take you approximately around 4 to 5 hours to reach Kanchipuram via NH 48. The route takes you through the well known towns of Ambur and Vellore.
The roads are well maintained, which helps cover the distance at a good pace and the destination is about 281 km through this route.
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If you opt for Route 2, it would take you approximately 6 hours to cover a total distance of 266 km from Bengaluru to Kanchipuram via NH 75 and NH 49. On Route 3, it would take you around 7 hours to cover the distance of 311 km via the Kadapa-Bangalore Highway to reach Kanchipuram.
The journey can be planned as a weekend drive. So, one can opt to leave on a Saturday morning and after spending about one and half days, one can start to Bengaluru either on a Sunday afternoon or evening and reach the city by night.
Krishnagiri is one of the most preferred places to stopover for a filling breakfast for those who start early from the city to beat the city traffic. There are plenty of options to have a filling breakfast alongside the highway and proceed towards Ambur.
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The very name of Ambur is common among those who love biryanis, hence it would be an ideal stopover for lunch and visit to one of the numerous eateries and relish the tasty biryanis of Ambur and proceed towards the destination of Kanchipuram, which is around 120 km and would take about an hour or two to cover the distance.
As Kanchipuram is famous for its temples, do make it a point to visit the temple dedicated to the goddess Kamakshi. This temple dates back to the 7th century, and once you are inside the temple complex, make sure you visit the gallery that depicts the life of Adi Shankaracharya.
The next stop in the town are the temples of Kailasanathar, Ekambareswarar and Vaikunta Perumal, which have their own set of stories to narrate to their visitors. The Kalisanathar temple is the oldest amongst all the temples in the town, which is known for its carvings and architecture.
Next rush to the shops which sell the famous silk sarees, and one would find people making a beeline to visit the shops for purchasing pure silk sarees. The sarees here are handwoven with utmost care, given to each saree.
A popular choice in the numerous shops here is the A. S. Babu Sah where one can witness a large crowd to enter the place. Get into the line and become proud owners of a traditional and authentic Kanchipuram Silk Saree!