20 Things To Do In Kanchipuram

Things To Do In Kanchipuram

Nestled in the heart of Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram, or Kanchi, is a treasure trove of spiritual heritage, historical architecture, and cultural vibrancy. Known as the city of a thousand temples, this sacred town offers more than just spiritual solace; it invites visitors to immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of experiences that encapsulate the essence of South Indian tradition. From exploring ancient temples to witnessing the art of silk weaving, Kanchipuram offers a myriad of activities that make it a must-visit destination. Whether you’re a history buff, a spiritual seeker, or a curious traveler, this guide to the top things to do in Kanchipuram will help you discover the city’s most enchanting sights and activities.

Things To Do In Kanchipuram

  1. Explore the Kanchipuram Temples

Kanchipuram is famously known as the “City of Thousand Temples.” Among these, the Kailasanathar Temple stands out for its architectural beauty and historical significance. Built in the 8th century by the Pallava dynasty, this temple features intricate sandstone carvings and a distinctive pyramidal tower. A visit here is like stepping back in time. Take your time to admire the detailed sculptures and the serene atmosphere of this sacred site.

  1. Visit the Silk Weaving Workshops

Kanchipuram silk sarees are cherished worldwide for their vibrant colors and exquisite craftsmanship. Visiting local weaving workshops allows you to witness the artistry behind these sarees. You can watch skilled weavers at their looms, transforming fine silk threads into beautiful sarees. It’s an opportunity to learn about the traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. Don’t forget to pick up a saree as a memorable souvenir from your trip.

  1. Stroll Around the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Just a short drive from Kanchipuram, the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers. The best time to visit is during the migratory season from November to March, when thousands of birds flock here. The sanctuary features walkways and viewing platforms, making it easy to observe and appreciate the diversity of avian life. Bring a pair of binoculars for a closer look at the myriad of bird species that make this sanctuary their home.

  1. Sample Local South Indian Cuisine

No visit to Kanchipuram is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. South Indian staples such as idli, dosa, and vada are served with delicious, freshly made coconut chutney and sambar. For a unique local flavor, try the ‘Kanchipuram idli,’ which is seasoned with cumin, pepper, and ginger. Local eateries and street vendors offer these delights at very reasonable prices, providing a taste of Tamil Nadu’s culinary heritage.

  1. Discover the Kamakshi Amman Temple

Dedicated to the goddess Kamakshi, an incarnation of Parvati, the Kamakshi Amman Temple is at the heart of Kanchipuram’s spiritual life. This temple is not only a religious site but also a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. The golden chariot procession, held on special festival days, is a spectacular event to witness. Visitors are struck by the peaceful yet powerful ambiance of the temple, making it a profound spiritual experience.

  1. Relax at Kanchi Kudil

For a taste of traditional life in Kanchipuram, visit Kanchi Kudil, which means “house in Kanchi.” This old heritage home has been turned into a museum that showcases the lifestyle and architecture of a bygone era. The house features beautifully carved wooden pillars and traditional décor. Kanchi Kudil aims to preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage of the town, and visiting here offers a quaint and educational experience. Engage with the demonstrations of local customs and possibly even traditional games.

  1. Experience the Thrill at Muttukadu Boat House

Located on the way to Kanchipuram from Chennai, the Muttukadu Boat House offers a variety of water sports and boating options. You can enjoy rowing, speed boating, and wind surfing in the backwaters of the Bay of Bengal. The boat house is an excellent place for a day trip, where you can also relax by the water and enjoy a quiet picnic. It’s perfect for families and groups looking to add a touch of adventure to their trip.

  1. Walk Through the Devarajaswami Temple

The Devarajaswami Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is famous for its massive and intricately carved 100-pillar hall. This temple showcases the architectural brilliance of the Vijayanagar Dynasty. One of the main attractions here is the gigantic chain carved out of a single stone and the remarkable temple tank. The temple tank is known for its holy water and is believed to have medicinal properties that cure ailments.

  1. Browse the Local Markets

Kanchipuram is not only about temples and silk sarees. The local markets here are vibrant and full of life, offering a variety of goods from fresh produce and spices to handmade crafts. Walking through these bustling markets, you can absorb the local atmosphere and culture. Don’t miss the chance to buy some sandalwood carvings and incense, which are popular among tourists as well.

  1. Visit the Ekambareswarar Temple

Another jewel in Kanchipuram’s crown is the Ekambareswarar Temple, one of the largest temples in Kanchipuram. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is noted for its towering gateway and the thousand-pillar hall, each intricately carved with depictions of the epic stories from Hindu mythology. The temple’s mango tree is over 3500 years old and has four branches representing the four Vedas, offering a unique blend of nature and divinity.

  1. Tour the Jain Temples in Tirupparuthikkundram

Located on the outskirts of Kanchipuram, the ancient Jain temples at Tirupparuthikkundram, also known as Jina Kanchi, provide a fascinating insight into the Jain community’s historical presence in the region. These temples date back over a thousand years and feature beautiful stone carvings and sculptures. Visiting these temples offers a peaceful retreat and a chance to learn about Jain philosophies and art.

  1. Enjoy the Serenity at Thennangur Panduranga Temple

Thennangur Panduranga Temple is a newer addition to the religious landscape of Kanchipuram but has quickly become a must-visit for its unique blend of North and South Indian architectural styles. The temple is especially vibrant during festivals, with elaborate decorations and musical performances. The peaceful setting and the beautifully crafted idol of Lord Panduranga make this temple a serene place for meditation and worship.

  1. Experience the Annual Car Festival

Participating in the annual car festival held at the Varadaraja Perumal Temple is a truly unique experience. During the festival, the temple deities are placed on massive, elaborately decorated chariots and pulled through the streets by thousands of devotees. This event is a significant cultural spectacle in Kanchipuram, filled with music, dance, and communal joy. It’s a fantastic opportunity to witness Hindu religious traditions in action.

  1. Visit the Kanchipuram Eco Park

For nature lovers, the Kanchipuram Eco Park offers a tranquil escape with its lush greenery, walking trails, and small lakes. The park is ideal for picnics, leisurely walks, or simply relaxing in the shade of its many trees. It’s a great spot for families to unwind and for individuals to enjoy the calmness away from the city bustle.

  1. Explore the Varadharaja Perumal Temple

The Varadharaja Perumal Temple is one of the most important Vishnu temples in South India. Renowned for its golden and silver lizards on the ceiling, believed to absolve one of sins when touched, the temple complex is vast and filled with architectural wonders, including a massive 100-pillar hall. The temple’s annual festival attracts devotees and tourists alike, making it a lively place of celebration and spiritual activity.

  1. Visit the Sri Ulagalandar Temple

The Sri Ulagalandar Temple in Kanchipuram is renowned for its towering statue of Vishnu in the cosmic form of Trivikrama. Standing impressively tall, this ancient temple showcases exquisite carvings and architectural design. It’s a less crowded spot, allowing for a more introspective visit where you can truly appreciate the artistry and spiritual ambiance of the place.

  1. Attend a Silk Saree Auction

For a unique cultural experience, attend a silk saree auction, which is common in the many silk emporiums around Kanchipuram. These auctions give visitors a chance to see how local businesses and craftsmen engage in the trade of silk products. It’s also an excellent opportunity for visitors to purchase authentic Kanchipuram silk sarees at competitive prices directly from the makers.

  1. Explore the Kanchipuram Art Gallery

The Kanchipuram Art Gallery offers a glimpse into the rich artistic heritage of the region. The gallery features a collection of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that narrate the history and cultural evolution of Kanchipuram. This visit can provide deeper insights into the traditional crafts and artistic expressions that have been preserved over centuries.

  1. Take a Day Trip to Mahabalipuram

Just an hour’s drive from Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram is another ancient town with remarkable rock-cut temples and sculptures dating back to the 7th century. The UNESCO World Heritage sites here, including the Shore Temple and the Five Rathas, offer a fantastic extension to the historical exploration started in Kanchipuram.

  1. Participate in Local Festivals

Engage with the community by participating in local festivals such as Pongal (harvest festival) or Deepavali. These festivals offer a chance to see Kanchipuram at its most vibrant, with colorful decorations, traditional music, dance performances, and an array of local cuisine. Participating in these festivals provides a firsthand experience of Tamil culture and traditions.


Kanchipuram is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and nature, making it a perfect destination for travelers seeking a comprehensive cultural experience in South India. Whether you choose to explore its historic temples, participate in local festivals, or simply enjoy the natural beauty of its surrounding areas, Kanchipuram provides a memorable journey into the heart of Tamil Nadu’s heritage. As you plan your itinerary, remember that each corner of this ancient city holds a story, waiting to be discovered. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the vibrant and spiritual city of Kanchipuram, where every visit enriches your understanding of this historic place.

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