From Guindy RS. There is a TMLP, Tirumalpur train that goes to Kanchipuram. The train arrives at Guindy at 0730 and we reached by 1000. We got down at Kanchipuram station not to be confused with Kanchipuram East railway station which comes before the Kanchipuram station.
1.Kanchi Kamaakshi Amman Temple – Sakthi peeda with the eyes of the goddess. Big temple. Timings : 0500 – 1200 and 1600 – 1800. Lot of shops around. Good traffic for the road of the size available there. Elephant at the gate will bless. Queue was moving smoothly, quick entry can be at INR 100 with the watchman. The tample announces that no payment is required for the entry inside. We followed queue, which had fans hanging from sides to let out the heat. Kumkumam is given. There is lot of scope to take photos outside the main deity, inside the huge temple premises. People beg for various reasons. Toilet facility available outside the premise.
2.Ulaga Alanda Perumal Temple – Very close to Kamaakshi Amman, Ulaga Alanda Perumal is a smaller temple. The sculpture is huge, showing the Ulaga(world) Alanda (measured) god. This was possibly the first instance of measurement in the workd of mythology, hence the God of measurement and Instrumentation in my eyes. Very cute premises with considerate priests.
3.Vilakoli Perumal Temple – Somewhat at a distance from the previous temple. Journey made by Auto, took us fast. The Temple had some portions being renovated. Some neglected areas. Anyways wonderful small temple.
4.Ashtabujaswami with pushpavalli Temple : Pretty good temple, with not much crowd and friendly priest.
5.Yatoktakari Perumal Temple : Huge perumal in lying posture made of the same black elements of art that is used in Vilakoli perumal temple and Ulaga Alanda Perumal temple.He lies with head on the right facing us and feet on the left. There is a story behind this.
6.Varadaraja Perumal Temple with the Lizard: Varadaraja Perumal tested our patients with us standing in queue for a long time. We had entered at sharp closing time 1200. So this was expected. People who had contacts with security could take an easier route. Others should engage themselves in conversation, devotion or muse over the scribbling in tamil , telugu and kannada on the stones and steps. Lot of steps had to be climbed to see the tall Perumal. Then another long queue and ticket of INR 2 per head to touch the lizard on the ceiling, and get rid of sins. There is a golden big lizard, silver small lizard and sun and moon in round golden plate like things attached to the celing, proper stairs are provided so that we can easily touch the figures on the ceilings. Coming out, we met the Prasadam stall, very inviting for our hunger, Puliyogarai and laddu we tasted, there were other options too. Annadanam stall was closed. There was a small structure which listed price for camera and video but man at the door did not let us in.
We took tonnes of photo near the pond and other stone structures. There was lot of interesting locations to act as background.
7.Kanchi Kamakoti Peedam :Run by the Kanchi Mutt of which Sree Sankara was part of. Had maps of temples at Kanchi and information on Mutt activities. There was big halls were we could rest. One of the hall was inside were there were photos of the prominent Mutt activists. Mutt related books and articles could be purchased in the inside hall. There was a small Ganesa sitting happily at on corner when we took a round around. It is INR 2 per footwear safeguarding.
8.Ekambaranathar Temple: Seeing the HP Petrol Pump we take a right turn to see Ekambaranathar Temple. Has a double entrance. We walk opposite to the Kanchi Kamakoti Peedam and see huge temple gateway. Again moving inside we see some shops and an entry were Camera has to get its tickets. A lone Nandi sits outside. Inside we have a huge temple to visit. RO water is available just before this entrance. The temple depicts an illustration of Parvathi devi hugging on to Sivalinga under a mango tree. This is the inspiration for some Kolu sculptures and paintings. There is a glass casing showing the bark of a 3500 year old Mango tree. We went inside to see a Mango tree which was of much less size than this bark. Telugu version of announcement says that Parvathi devi got married here. While the Tamil version says that Siva presented himself before Devi here. This temple has many carvings and idols. On a raised platform there are the Navagrahas, On farther end there is Venkateswara and family in full regalia. 108 Sivalingams in addition to many idols. Lot of stone art to be seen on the temple carvings. Scope of lot of photography, flash is a must for photography inside, due to limited light.
9.Pandava Perumal Temple: We go opposite to the Ekambaranathar temple entrance and take second right. Thanks to the administrators all streets are named after the temple it leads to, making the search process very easy. Pandava perumal temple has a huge statue of perumal in sitting posture. Not very crowded and the premises are under renovation. There is a small temple pond. The roof and structures around are hangouts for variety of birds, parrots, doves in –white spots, brown and white and grey and pure white. Chakrathalwar has his presence next to perumal. We walked straight opposite to the entry point to enter the raja veedhi and took a right and crossed the road for meeting Kandasamy temples colourful tower. On the distance in the same direction we see a creamy coloured tower of Kachapeswarar temple.
10.Kumarakottam Kandasamy Subrahmanya Temple : This temple is easy reach and on the raja veedhi. Kandasamy a.k.a Subrahmanya swamy had many cocks outside resting on benches. Temple seemed newly constructed compared to others. Some designs resembled that of previous temples, but there seemed to be a kind of machine finishing or polishing of some kind. We had entered the temple by some puja time, we had to wait for the darsan. Took a round around to meet Navagraha, Saraswathy devi and other deities.
11.Kachapeswarar temple: It had a giant doorway, closed parking area for temple chariot inside, a huge temple pond full of water and lot of free space to move about. Kachapeswarar was as busy as Kandasamy and we waited. The Nagaswaram and temple bugle sounded with the temple bells and that signaled the opening for darsan. This was a huge temple with many Sivalingams installed. We saw many bats which were disturbed by the sounds made. Just after exiting on the left there are a few deities. A rare sight was noted by a friend. It was Sivalinga with a face on it, and rudraksha beads arranged in a manner above the Sivalingam giving it a very divine and antique look.We got sweet mix of some assorted cut fruits.
12. Kailasanathar temple: After exiting from Kachapeswarar we enquired for Kailasanathar temple. We were told that it was 1 km from there and we took a left and walked straight. There were a few shops, Kanchi Kudil (Kanchi hut) and a junction where buses stopped and took people. All Chennai buses went this way. Chennai was 78km from there. Kailasanathar temple was straight. We walked some distance without seeing a glimpse of temple. Another junction passed and there was a small temple on the left a small lake on the right and a tower of temple all lighted up in full glory was visible. We walked straight with the street lights flooding the road. We reached the ASI maintained Kailasanthar Temple. People and families were having a happy time playing and joking on the premises. There was a huge Nandi on stone there. This temple is supposed to have resemblance to the shore temple of Mahabalipuram. It was found to be true. Many carving were found restored and smoothed out, may be with plaster of paris and cement. The cariving were sophisticated and intricate. The light was not good inside. We were told that it was closing time, Yes! It was near 2000 hours. The deity could not be seen , the door was closed and time , we were told was 0900-1230 and 1600-1800 hours. We got permission to roam around for a few minutes and we roamed. Fascinating art work was visible even in the dim light of outside flood and street lights. We marked it on the list of must visit back on daylight. Happily we backed the way we came. Met with the tower of kachapeswarar.
Yes we did some shopping at some saree shop. Got to know difference between silk sarees and prices.
Eat: Restaurants charged the same high price as in Chennai.
Some Foreigners were seen in many places. Carrying camera and taking picture of anything on the way.
Walked straight again to see Kamrajar statue, many restaurants, familiar brands of HSB and A2B were there in addition to many other restaurants. We crossed the road to get to bus stand. Bus stand was also marked with sign board showing us the way. 576 to T Nagar, 576C and Poonamallee buses were in abundance. When inquired the 576 Volvo conductor said this was not the last bus to T Nagar.