Ancient Kanchipuram, the city of thousand temples, is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centres for the Hindus. There now remain about 126 temples in Kanchi and a few more in its outskirts. The city was the capital of the Early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century BC and a Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries.
Given its illustrious past, it is not surprising that Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Today, apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving handloom industry. The silk weavers of Kanchi settled more than 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk sarees in the country. Woven from pure mulberry silk, the sarees in dazzling colours are embellished with fine gold thread (zari) and are available in every imaginable design and variety, which can make the job of selection quite challenging.
Temple festivals are held throughout the year and apart from the temple car (ratha) festivals, which are held in January, April and May, there are other days when the idols in the temples are taken out in procession on their respective vahanas or vehicles