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  1. Kanchipuram a otherwise known as Kanchi (previously romanized as Kanchipuram, Conjevaram) is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, 72 km (45 mi) from Chennai the capital of Tamil Nadu.
  2. The city covers an area of 11.605 km2 (4.481 sq mi) and had a population of 164,265 in 2001. It is the administrative headquarters of Kanchipuram District. Kanchipuram is well connected by road and rail. Chennai International Airport is the nearest domestic and international airport to the city, which is located at Tirusulam in Kanchipuram district. Located on the banks of the Vegavathy River, Kanchipuram has been ruled by the Pallavas, the Medieval Cholas, the Later Cholas, the Later Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Carnatic kingdom, and the British.
  3. The city's historical monuments include the Kailasanathar Temple and the Vaikunta Perumal Temple. Historically, Kanchipuram was a centre of education and was known as the ghatikasthanam, or "place of learning". The city was also a religious centre of advanced education for Jainism and Buddhism between the 1st and 5th centuries.Kanchipuram based Buddhist institutions were instrumental in spreading Theravada Buddhism to South East Asia. In Hindu theology, Kanchipuram is one of the seven Indian cities to reach final attainment. Thc cith houses Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, and Kumara Kottam, which are some of major Hindu temples in the state.
  4. The city is a holy pilgrimage site for both Saivites and Vaishnavites. Of the 108 holy temples of the Hindu god Vishnu, 14 are located in Kanchipuram. The city is well known for its hand woven silk sarees and most of the city's workforce is involved in the weaving industry.
  5. Kanchipuram is administered by a Special grade municipality constituted in 1947. It is the headquarters of the Kanchi matha, a Hindu monastic institution believed to have been founded by the Hindu saint and commentator Adi Sankaracharya, and was the capital city of the Pallava Kingdom between the 4th and 9th centuries. The history of Kanchi can be traced back to several centuries BCE. The place finds its name in Patanjali's Mahabhashya, written in the 2nd century BC. Manimekalai, the famous Tamil classic, and Perumpanattu Padai, a great Tamil poetical work, vividly describe Kanchipuram city, as it was at the beginning of the Christian era. Pathupattu, one of the sangam literatures, reads that the king Thondaiman Ilandirayan ruled this town around 2500 years ago. Kancheepuram District had been administered by the Pallavas, Cholas, Vijayanagar rulers and the British before Independence. It was a part of Tondaimandalam, a division of the ancient Tamil country, roughly comprising the present day districts of Kancheepuram, Chennai, Tiruvallur, Vellore and Thiruvannamalai.
  6. The capital of Thondaimandalam was Kancheepuram city. From the 3rd to the 9th century AD. Kanchi was the capital of the Pallavas who ruled over the territory extending from the river Krishna in the north to the river Kaveri in the south. The Pallavas fortified the city with ramparts, moats, etc., with wide and well laid out roads and fine temples. They were a great maritime power with contacts with far-off China, Siam, Fiji, etc., through their chief Port Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram). The Cholas ruled this region from the 10th century to the 13th century. Kings of Vijayanagar dynasty ruled from 14th century to 17th century. Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Kalidasa has described it to be the best among the cities (Nagareshu Kanchi), just as Jati (jasmine) is the sweetest amongst the flowers, Rambha the most beautiful amongst women and Grihasthasrama the most ideal amongst the four asramas of human life. One of the kings of Kanchi, Mahendravarman-I, was a great scholar and musician, a man of great intelligence and also a great playwright. Yuan Chwang, the great Chinese traveler, visited Kanchipuram city in the 7th century and said that this city was 6 miles in circumference and that its people were famous for bravery and piety as well as for their love of justice and veneration for learning. He further recorded that Buddha had visited the place. As regards learning, Kanchi stood second in glory only to Banaras. Once the seat of learning and religious fervour, it started its climb down with the Mughal invasions followed by three centuries of colonial rule under the British The British coined the name Conjeevaram, the anglicised version of Kancheepuram. Under the British regime, a Collector to the district was appointed for the first time in 1788 AD. The district was further split up into two divisions, Northern and Southern, and was placed under the administration of two Collectors. The Collectors during 1790's were Clerk and Balfour. Lionel Place, the Collector in 1794-1799, created the posts of Sharistadars, who came under the control of the Collector. Clerks were also appointed to assist the Sharistadars. The famous Madurantakam and Uthiramerur tanks were created by Place. Hodgson, who was Head Assistant to Place, succeeded him as the Collector. The place he resided at Kancheepuram is still known in the name of Hodgsonpet. In 1800, Hodgson was succeeded by his Senior Assistant, Greenway. In the 19th century, Karunguzhi became the headquarters of the district and it remained so up to 1859 when it was shifted to 'Home Garden' Saidapettai, except for a short spell from 1825-1835 during which Kancheepuram served as the district headquarters. From 1859 to 1968, the Collector's office was located in Saidapettai. Post Indian Independence, Kancheepuram city became the headquarters of Chengalpattu district with effect from 1 July 1968. Then the Chengalpattu-MGR district was split into two as Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur Districts from 1 July 1997. Thus the new Kancheepuram District was formed from 1 July 1997, consisting of 8 Taluks, viz, Kancheepuram, Sriperumbudur, Uthiramerur, Chengalpattu, Tambaram, Tirukalukundram, Madrandakam and Cheyyur.

 

 

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