This massive temple in Kanchipuram has 58 small shrines, carved in stone, dedicated to various avatars of the hindu lord Shiva. Built in the 7th century, the Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple reflects the architecture of the Pallava Dynasty, with its carvings of half-animal deities that adorn the walls. The temple is said to have been a sanctuary for royals during the times of war. They were transported there via a tunnel, which is still visible to this day.
Kanchipuram or Kanchi was considered one of the 7 sacred cities in the hindu religion. The Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple was built by the then Pallava ruler Rajasimha Pallaveswaram in 685AD, to uphold that status. Upon his death, his son completed it in 705AD. Although primarily reflecting the architecture of the Pallava Dynasty, one can notice hints of the Chola and Vijayanagara Dynasties which were more modern during the era.
Located just over 75 kilometers from Chennai, this temple lies on the banks of the Vegavathy river which runs through the ancient temple town. According to legend, the famous Brihadeeswara temple, which sits in Thanjavur and is one of the largest temples in the state, was inspired by the Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple.