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Artist Villages in India: Kanchipuram

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Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
Entirely hand woven from pure mulberry silk, each Kanchipuram Silk Saree is quite unique, it is dyed with silk yarn with interleaved designs made with 'Zari' - a silk thread twisted with thin Silver wire and then gilded with pure Gold. The silk thread used for weaving Kanchipuram Sarees is made up of three single threads twisted together.
| Art & Craft | Places to See | Places to Stay | How to Reach |

Kanchipuram is primarily known as a city of temples, which indeed is the case if one looks at the numerous temples that dot the city. Kanchipuram is however also a busy commercial centre, well known for producing some of the finest silk in the world. It is well known for its silk sarees. Kanchipuram has a thriving handloom industry with an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk sarees in India. The silk weavers here are believed to have settled more than 400 years ago.

There are thousands of handlooms and skilled weavers that make Kanchipuram Silk Sarees one of the best in the world. About 75% of Kanchipuram's population is dependent on the handloom industry, either directly or indirectly. The city does not manufacture silk or any other raw material that goes into the making of silk sarees. The silk industry in Kanchipuram is entirely made up of handloom weavers and merchants.

Kanchipuram is located on the banks of the Pallar River and is one of India’s seven mokshapuris, sacred cities that are givers of salvation, and perhaps the only one in South India. Kanchipuram is often called as the golden city of a thousand temples. Though, there may not be thousand temples in the area but the city for sure has a wide array of beautiful temples around.

Art & Craft
Kanchipuram Silk Sarees

Kanchipuram enjoys an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk sarees in the country.  The tradition of producing silk sarees at Kanchipuram can be traced back to more than 400 years ago when the silk weavers first settled down here, since then the temple city has become one of the best repository of silk products in the country.

The Kanchipuram Silk Saree is generally hand woven with dyed silk yarn and has interleaved designs made with ‘Zari’. This Zari is made of three single threads of silk which is twisted with a thin Silver wire and then gilded with pure Gold. This makes the yarn very stronger and accounts for the long life of the Kanchipuram saree.

A Kanchipuram saree usually comes in bright or earthy colors such as scarlet, emerald green, black, ochre, purple, steel blue, peacock blue, turquoise and even in the traditional favorites of red and white. Traditional pyramidical temple borders, checks, stripes and floral "buttas" are the characteristic designs associated with a Kancheepuram Saree.  In a genuine Kancheepuram Saree, the border, body and pallav are woven separately and then interlocked together. The joint is woven so strongly that even if the saree tears, the pallav (or border) will not detach and this unique feature probably accounts for its high price.

Places to see
Kanchi Kamakshi Temple

Temples are major attractions in Kanchipuram. Kanchi Kamakshi Temple is the most popular temple in Kanchipuram that should not be missed.  One of the major features of the temple is the larger than life sculpture of Kamakshi. It is situated within the Gayatri Mandapam, supported by 24 pillars synchronising with the 24 letters of the Gayatri Mantra.  

Another well known temple in Kanchipuram is Devarajaswami Temple, which was built by the Vijaynagar kings. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Devarajaswami Temple has elaborately carved pillars that can be seen throughout the temple. One of the highlights of the temple is a marriage hall that is built to symbolise the marriage between Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. Ekambaranatha Temple, a must-visit is the largest temple in Kanchipuram. The temple is spread over an area of 20 acres. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and was built by the Pallavas and then in turn was altered both by the Cholas and the Rayas.

Other two important temples in Kanchipuram are Kachapeshwarar Temple and Vaikunda Perumal Temple.

Places to Stay

There are a number of hotels in Kanchipuram, which offer fine accommodation to tourists and pilgrims visiting Kanchipuram. Hotels in Kanchipuram include various budget hotels, luxury hotels and mid-range hotels. Check hotels in Kanchipuram

How to reach Kanchipuram

By Air: Chennai is the nearest airport city, 75 km away from Kanchipuram.

By Train: Kanchipuram is well connected to Chennai, Puducherry (Pondicherry), Nagaercoil and Madurai.

By Bus: Regular buses are available from Chennai to Kanchipuram. State owned public transport system connects Kanchipuram to many cities in and around Chennai.

About Kanchipuram: Kanchipuram Information and Fact File
Altitude 85 meters
Summer 37 (Max) & 21 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Winter 29 (Max) & 19 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Best time to Go September – Feb
Monsoon June - September
Summer March – May
Winter November - February
Clothes Cottons in summer and light woolens in winter
Nearest Airport Chennai – 75 km
Nearest Railway Station Kanchipuram
Bus Station Kanchipuram
Hospital & Doctor

Government Hospital, Railway Road, Kanchipuram, Contact No: 04112-2264246

Places to see Kamakshi Temple, Devarajaswami Temple, Ekambaranatha Temple…
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