Urban weekend retreats are the new thing now. Everybody is doing it and you also should be a part of this new revolution in India.The place that I want to propose for travel is Kanchipuram(well I know the name of the place is a little uncommon but its totally worth it).
Kachipuram(also Kanchi),is a small habitat away from the busy bustles of the metropolitian city of Chennai.Kanchipuram is a beautiful city known for its magnificient temples and its successful weaving industry.A perfect place to visit for a retreat from the monotonous though vibrant life of Chennai.
The town is well connected by both train and road transport services from almost all major cities around like Bangalore,Chennai,Vellore,Tirupathi,Thiruthani,Salem,Coimbatore, Pondicherry and many more.If you are travelling from Chennai it will take you around 1 hour 45 minutes.Around the year thousands of pilgrims visit the holy city which is considered one of the seven Tirtha(pilgrimage)sites for spiritual release by the Hindus.
Upon reaching Kanchipuram a ideal plan would be to start the tour early in the morning.An early bird is a good policy for every traveler!!The Ekambareshvara temple around 7-7:30 AM looks grand in the morning light to inspire the day for you.It is believed that Devi Parvati got Lord Shiva under a mango tree in this temple which is around 3500 years old.The Kailasanatha temple is also a very good spot for some morning devotion after this.This 8th century sandstone temple has a sanctuary that only one worshipper can enter at a time,through a tight tunnel which quite interesting as well as fun!!After this travellers(with a good apetite) might stop for amazing South Indian breakfast dishes like Idli,Vada,Dosa around any corner around the city(surprisingly, they all make the same quality of food as if they were from the same family!!).After a mighty South Indian breakfast,the next destination should be of a divine Vishnu temple,the Varadharaja Perumal temple known for its art and scripts as well as its stunning cravings all around the temple which should please every pious soul.After the devotion part is done for lighting the mood one has to visit enchanting Vedanthangal bird sanctuary.Entering the village around the sanctuary one would feel bored but be patient to reach the lake because it sure will please your mind.The sanctuary is home to thousand varieties of migratory birds of so many colours.If you have a child with you he is bound to love all those colourful birds in the sky.Next on this trip the Adhi Kamakshi Amman temple depicts the brilliant and impressive South Indian architecture is among the popular places in Kanchipuram.
Kanchipuram is famous for its Hindu,Buddhism,Jai but Christianity also is a significant religion,a very evident proof is the divine Mount Carmel church which is around 30kms from Chennai,a little outside the boundary of Kanchipuram.More than 200 years this spacious church offers a peace of mind for all devotes.By this time a proper lunch must be in the minds of all travelers.Travel back to the city to try the “fourteen Idli” dish comprising of 14 delicious yummy idlis and spicy sambhar(recommended less intake from my own experience!!).Another good option would be the local favorite called Kovil Idlis with dry garnishing of pepper,ginger and cumin,also a very yum yum dish.You might want to have your lunch leisurely and comfortably because all temples remain closed between 1-4PM.
Post lunch itinerary starts with Vaikuntha Perumal temple which is mostly less crowded.Lord Vishnu is said to said to have appeared at Vaikuntha temple to bless the sons of the King of Vidarbha-Pallavan and Vallavan who performed the Ashwamedha Yagam( you may be wondering what this is as well as I am lets just say a horse fire ritual from the vedic times)here.If one wishes to visit the Jainism heritage sites one can visit Thiruparuthikundram,which is a village on the bank of Palar river,a little off the Pillaiyar Palayam suburbs of Kanchipuram.
After this just before you think Kanchipuram has been explored by myself....tick!wait a minute cause its not yet over for the classic heritage Kanchi Kudhil museum will take you on a walk through the life of people of Kanchipuram from the yesteryears. Explore its treasure trove of handicrafts,information on Kanchipuram’s history and temples to the melody of traditional music.
You might want to relax after this with a nice warm cup of tea or coffee and watch the sun set on the beautiful city of Kanchipuram.If you are coming from Chennai and you leave the city around 6-7PM,you can easily reach back around 9PM.The peace found in Kanchipuram will remain in the memories for you to cherish forever.A must visit for every devoted soul out there.