Ekambareswarar Temple – One among Shiva’s homes in Kanchipuam

Ekambareswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu's Kanchipuram District, India. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

“A day-off has to be a day well-spent”. That is my motto for life. Thus, began my journey to one of Tamil Nadu’s ancient temples.

Ekambareswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu's Kanchipuram District, India. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

Ekambareswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram District, India. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

I was yearning to visit the Ekambareshwarar temple situated in the state’s Kanchipuram district. Having heard a lot about the structure from a colleague, it was indeed a part of my bucket-list.

The decision to do so was rather spontaneous. Fortunately, my friend’s younger brother obliged to keep me company throughout the trip.

Ekambareswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu's Kanchipuram District, India. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

Ekambareswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram District, India. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

The journey

We began our journey at 8.00 am from Chennai’s Egmore station. The lack of information about the ideal means of transport compelled us to resort to a local train (from Egmore to Mambalam), a bus from the T.Nagar Bus Terminus to Ponamallee, and another bus from Poonamallee to Kanchipuram. Surprisingly, the journey lasted only three hours.

The temple was situated approximately 800 metres from the bus stand. Funny enough, this place is a pilgrim’s paradise. We were tempted to explore every temple our way. Each one seemed more fascinating by the other. Personally, I enjoyed walking through the streets of Kanchipuram and observing the simple lifestyles around me.

A brief history

Constructed during the reign of the Chola Dynasty, the temple is known for its large gopurams (entrances) with intricate architecture. It also houses an ancient mango tree. The legends behind the temple are many. But this over 25-acre temple complex is impressive.

Things to remember:

  1. Try to visit the temple before 12 noon or after 4 pm. The temple closes by 12.30 pm upon the completion of a few rituals.
  2. Carry two or three bottles of water with you (especially in the summers). The heat could take a toll on your health.
  3. You could pack your own meal or resort to curd rice at the Indian Coffee house situated exactly 400 metres from the temple. It is one of the safest options for food.
  4. Public transport is your best friend. While hiring a private vehicle could be helpful, parking is a matter of concern in this tiny town.
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