Showing posts with label Kanchipuram. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kanchipuram. Show all posts

Hinduism - Where Is Kanchipuram In India?


Temple town and holy location (tirtha) located around forty miles southwest of Madras in Tamil Nadu.

As one of India's Seven Sacred Cities, Kanchipuram is significant.

Dying in one of these cities is said to provide complete spiritual liberty (moksha).

Kanchipuram was the capital of the Pallava, Chola, and Vijayanagar kingdoms at various eras, and each of these dynasties left its stamp on the city's architecture.

Kanchipuram is brimming with temples, many of which are superb specimens of the Dravida architectural style of southern India.

Kanchipuram's political prominence, as well as the concentration of temples, brahmins, and academics, made it one of the most important centers of Hindu life, learning, and religion.

Kanchipuram is also known for its temples dedicated to the Hindu gods Vishnu, Shiva, and the Goddess.

The Vaikuntaperumal Temple is devoted to Vishnu in his heavenly avatar as "Lord of Vaikuntha." Kamakshi ("desiring eyes") is the Goddess's name.

The goddess Kamakhya, whose temple in Assam is the most potent of all the Shakti Pithas, is associated with Kamakshi.

At the Kailasanatha temple, Shiva is worshipped as the "Lord of Mt.

Kailas," while at the Ekambareshvar temple, Shiva is worshipped as the "Lord of Mt.

Kailas." One of the bhutalingas ("elemental lingas"), a network of five southern Indian shrines devoted to the deity Shiva, is shown at the old location.

Shiva is revered as a linga, a pillar-shaped item that represents him in each of these locations.

The linga is said to have been generated from one of the five primordial elements (bhuta)—earth, wind, fire, water, and space—at each location (akasha).

The element of earth is related with the Kanchipuram linga, the most basic yet most important of all.

Kanchipuram's significance is also due to its long history as a center for asceticism.

The Dashanami sect has an old center in Kanchipuram's Kamakotipith.

Its leader is regarded as one of the most influential modern Hindu leaders, the Shankaracharyas.

According to local legend, the Kamakotipith was the first and most significant of Shankaracharya's mathematics, or monastic institutions, which he subsequently constructed at Joshimath, Puri, Shringeri, and Dwaraka.

This claim to primacy has sparked considerable debate, with opponents not only disputing Kamakotipith's claim to be the first of the arithmetic, but also claiming that Kamakotipith is really a branch of Shringeri math.

The symbolism associated with the number four—the four cardinal directions, the four holy scriptures known as Vedas, and the four organizational groupings of the Dashanami Sanyasis themselves—provides some credence for these arguments.

Because the number four represents wholeness and totality, a fifth holy center is problematic.

The name Kamakotipith emphasizes Kanchipuram's status as a holy and political center where any ascetic center might achieve substantial power.


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