Kanchipuram, Kanchi, or Kancheepuram is a temple city and a municipality in Kanchipuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a temple town and the headquarters of Kanchipuram district. In ancient times it was called Kachi and Kachiampathi.
Kanchipuram is located on the Palar River, and known for its temples and silk sarees.
There are several big temples(including some of the greatest Vishnu Temples and Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu) like Varadharaja Perumal Temple for Lord Vishnu and Ekambaranatha Temple which is one of the five forms of abodes of Lord Siva, (it is the earth abode here, other abodes include Chidambaram (Sky), Sri Kalahasti (air), Thiruvanaikaval (water) and Tiruvannamalai (fire)), Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kumara Kottam, Kachapeshwarar Temple, Kailasanathar Temple and many more.
Kanchipuram is also called as "City of 1000 Temples". Kanchipuram is also famous for its silk sarees, which are hand woven.
Bodhidharma and martial arts: Bodhidharma (A.D. 520), who went to China to spread Buddhism, is said to be from Kanchipuram. He stayed at the Shaolin Monastery and preached Buddhist ideologies. At that time he trained the local people in the art of Varmakkalai. The art underwent many changes and came to be known as Shaolin kung fu or boxing.
In Japan it came to be known as karate and judo. But it is interesting to note that the Chinese school agrees with the southern school of this art in that it has the same 108 varma points.
Kanchi Matha: Kanchipuram is also the seat of the Kanchi maţha, a hoary Hindu institution that became influential and famous under the leadership of Shri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati. This maţha says that Adi Shankara settled in Kanchipuram after establishing four Āmnāya maţhas in the four corners of India and that this gave rise to the Kanchi maţha. However this claim is disputed by other mathas who claim the Kanchi matha is only a branch matha. The followers of Kanchi Math however claim that, due to Muslim invasions, this Matha was temporarily shifted to Kumbakon
Kanchi Silk Sarees: Today, apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving hand loom industry. Kanchipuram town is also known as Silk City since the main profession of the people living in and around is weaving silk sarees, more than 5,000 families are engaged in this industry.
In 1997, research indicated that the number of child laborers in the silk-weaving industry in the district of Kanchipuram exceeded 40,000. This included children who were bonded laborers to loom owners. The Rural Institute for Development Education undertook many activities to improve the situation of child laborers. Working collaboratively, RIDE helped reduce the number of child laborers to less than 4,000 by 2007.
In 2008, noted director, Priyadarshan, made Tamil film, Kanchivaram, about silk weavers' of the town, during in the post-independence period, it won the Best Film Award at the annual National Film Award.