Published on : Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Till a decade ago, a visit to Chennai meant a one-day tour package through the temple town of Kancheepuram and stopover at Mamallapuram to enjoy the architecture and culture of the region. However, over the years, the lack of promotion and infrastructure to attract tourists has pushed Kancheepuram behind as the Shore Temple and Brihadeeshwarar temple at Thanjavur has been considered easier to get to.
Currently, the district is famous as a pilgrimage site but chiefly in the southern part of the country. Navigating through the town’s narrow bylanes full of color and flavors need patience and strength of mind as most temples do not have an approach road. Many of the temples lack proper maintenance, barely providing information to tourists who are not familiar with Tamil culture. The recent announcement of 11 ancient temples in Kancheepuram finding entry in UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage sites has opened an avenue for the region to grab a place on the tourism map. This will ensure better care of the structures.
Built by the Pallavas and Cholas between AD700 and AD1200 the 11 temples submitted by the Union culture ministry to UNESCO on April 13 are: Kailasanathar, Piravatneswara, Iravathanesvara, Parameswara Vinnagaram Vaikunta Perumal, Muktesvara, Arulala or Varadharaja Perumal, Ekambaresvara (Thirukachiekambam), Jvaraharesvara, Pandava Dootha Perumal, Yathothkari Perumal and Ulagalanda Perumal.