Kanchipuram, the old capital city of the Pallava Dynasty in Tamil Nadu, is one of seven holy pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The Pallava, Chola and Pandyan Dynasties all occupied the area, each trying to outdo the others with bigger and better shrines, and the result is a fascinating study in Dravidian architectural development from the eighth century onward.

The nickname ‘Golden City of 1,000 Temples’ is well earned, and travelers who make the 45-mile (72-kilometer) trek from Chennai will be rewarded with a veritable treasure trove of Shaivite and Vaishnavite temples. The most notable, the Devarajaswami Temple dedicated to Vishnu, includes a 96-pillar marriage hall and a huge chain carved from stone.

Most of the temples open in the morning and again during the late afternoon and evening hours, but the cooler morning hours are typically a much more pleasant time to visit. For a memorable photo opportunity, give a rupee or two to one of the temple elephants. After passing your donation to the handler, the elephant will offer you a blessing by touching your head with its trunk.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Tour: 5-Night South India Tour of UNESCO Heritage Temples

Travel around the temples of South India. The journey starts from Chennai and takes you to the holy places where Hindu religion developed its identity. Next, ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 6 days (approx.)

From USD $455.00

Private Tour: Day Trip to Kanchipuram Temple City from Chennai

Discover a mix of India's religious culture and architectural heritage on this private tour to Kanchipuram, ‘The City of Thousand Temples,’ from Chennai. With ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $61.25

Private Tour: Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Caves and Temples Day Tour from Chennai

Explore the City of Mahabalipuram, known for its outstanding historic specimens and an incredible architectural invention. Explore the grand temples and ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.00

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