Kamakshi Amman temple, which is located about 0.5 km from Kanchipuram bus stand and Kanchipuram railway station, is the center of attraction for Kanchipuram city. Whoever comes to Kanchipuram on pilgrimage would not generally miss to visit this holy temple of Kamakshi Amman. The south Indians consider Kamakshi Amman as one of the three most goddess forms – Madurai Meenakshi, Kanchi Kamakshi, and Kasi Visalakshi.
Kanchi Kamakshi temple is situated at about 5 acres of land and has four entrances. There is a Srichakra Yantra (Sri Kamakoti Peetam) established by Jagadguru Sri Adisankaracharya in front of the Goddess deity. There is also a temple tank inside the premises. Kamakshi temple has a close relation with the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and its successive Sankarcharyas. The temple has a gallery of Adisankarcharya’s Life history inside the temple premises itself. Goddess Kamakshi is the main deity and the temple is one of the fifty one Shakti peetas.
The temple in the present form was built by the Cholas during 14th centuary A.D. The temple is spelled as Nabisthana – Ottiyana peetam. The temple also has a golden Gopuram on the sanctorum of the Goddess Kamakshi deity which is visible to all devotees. The layout of the temple is rather complicated.
History reveals that Goddess Kamakshi was praying under a mango tree with a Shiva lingam made of sand to marry the great Lord Shiva. After a long duration of dedicated and devoted meditation to Lord Shiva, Lord Shiva appeared before her and married the Goddess Kamakshi, a divine form of Parvati. There are no traditional Parvati or Shakti shrines in the city of Kanchipuram, apart from this temple, which adds even more legend to this temple. In spite of the large number of temples in Kanchipuram, this is the only temple to Parvati. This is most unusual. There are several legends about this. One of them states that the goddess had to absorb all the other shakti (energy, or strength) forms to give a boon to Kama, the Hindu god of love.
The temple faces east and has a big beautiful tank inside. Images to Vishnu (Ninraan, Irundaan, Kidandaan) are seen near the temple tank. The temple’s plan is quite unlike that of other temples, and the circuit is such that one cannot go round the sanctum but has to retrace the way in the same path after a darshan. The sanctum is located in the middle of the Gayatri Mandapa supported by 24 pillars. Wielding Pasa, Ankusa, Bow of Sugarcane and flowers arrows in her four arms, she is seated in padmasana.
You can find a shrine for Swarna Kamakshi (golden Kamakshi) without the idol in this temple. During the Muslim rule, there was a riot in Kanchipuram. Due to this, the golden idol was shifted to a temple in Tanjore. The Navarana puja on full moon days, the Annual Brahmotsavam during the month Masi and the festival of Navaratri are magnificent festivities. Epigraphs about Thula Purusha danam, Sahasra Godanam, Mahabooda Kati danam, Nitya dhanam are very interesting.
Darshan Timing : 6.00am-12.30pm & 4.00pm-8.30pm