Dedicated to Siva, Kailasanatha is one of the earliest
temples. It was built by the Pallava king, Rayasimha, in the late 7th
century, though its front was added later by his son, King Varman III.
It is the only temple at Kanchi which isn't cluttered with the more
recent additions of the Cholas and Vijayanagar rulers, and so reflects
the freshness and simplicity of early Dravidian architecture.
Fragments of the 8-th century murals which once graced the alcoves are a
visible reminder of how magnificent the temple must have looked when it
was first built. The temple is run by the Archaeology Department and is very interesting,
Quite unusually, non-Hindus are allowed into the inner sanctrum.
The Sri Ekambarnathar
It is dedicated to Siva and is one of the largest
temples in Kanchipuram, covering nine hectares. Its 59 m high
gopuram and massive outer stone wall were constructed in 1509 by
Krishna Devaraja of the Vijayananagar Empire, though construction was originally started by the Pallavas
and the temple was later extended by the Cholas. Inside are five separates
enclosures and a 1000- pillared hall.
temple's name is said to be a modified form of Eka Amra Nathar
-- the Lord of the Mango tree. and in one of the enclosure is a very old
mango tree with four branches representing the four Vedas. The fruit of
each of the four branches is said to have a different taste, and a plaque
nearby claims that the tree is 3500 years old.
Kamaskhi Amman Temple
Dedicated to the goddess Paravati, this important temple is the site of
the annual Car Festival, held on the 9th lunar day in February -March.
When not in use, the ornately carved wooden car is kept partially
covered in corrugated iron halfway up Gandhi Rd. The temple has a golden
gopuram in the centre.