Importance of Kanchipuram
Kancheepuram District had been administered by the Pallavas, Cholas,
Vijayanagar rulers, Muhammadan Kings, and the British before Independence.
Tondaimandalam was an ancient division of Tamil country comprising
roughly the present districts of Kancheepuram, Chennai, Tiruvallur,
Vellore and Tiruvannamalai. The capital of Thondaimandalam was Kancheepuram.
The Major breakthrough in the district administration was in 1788
when, for the first time, Collector was appointed to the district.
The district was split up into two divisions, Northern and Southern
and placed under two Collectors. The names of the Collectors during
1790's were Clerk and Balfour.
Lionel Place, the Collector in (1794-1799), created the posts
of Sharistadars under the control of the Collector. Clerks were
also appointed to assist the Sharistadars. The famous Madurantakam
and Uthiramerur tanks were created by Place.
Karunguzhi became the headquarters of the district and it remained
so upto 1859 when it was shifted to 'Home Garden' Saidapettai,
except for a short spell (1825-1835) during which Kancheepuram
served as the district headquarters. From 1859 to 1968 the Collector's
office was located in Saidapettai and with effect from 1st July
1968, Kancheepuram became the district headquarters
Hodgson, the Head Assistant to the Collector succeeded Place as
the Collector. The place he resided at Kancheepuram is still known
in the name of Hodgsonpetta. In 1800, Hodgson was succeeded by
his Senior Assistant, Greenway. For the first time in 1801, the
judicial function of the Collector was separated and Greenway
became the provincial judge and Hepburn was appointed as the Collector
of the zilla of Karunguli.
Collector's office was known as Public House. It was by this time
that the Talook Cutcheries were built at Kancheepuram, Karunguli
(for Maduarantakam), Tirukazhukundram (for Chengalpattu) and some
more places. These public offices were the forerunners of the present
The position of the district administration in 1900's was that the
Collector having his headquarters at Saidapettai was assisted by
a Sub-Collector and two General Deputy Collecotrs, six Tahsildars
for six Taluks and five Deputy Tahsildars for five sub taluks. The
Sub-Collector and the General Deputy Collectors were the heads of
the revenue divisions of Chengalpattu, comprising Chengalpattu,
Madurantakam and Kancheepuram Taluks; Saidapettai comprising Saidapettai
and Ponneri Taluks and Tiruvallur comprising the lone Taluk of Tiruvallur.
Later in 1911 when Sriperumbudur sub-taluk was upgraded as a full
fledged taluk, the fourth revenue division was formed with headquarters
at Kancheepuram comprising Kancheepuram and Sriperumbudur Taluks.
Consequent on the implementation of the Andra Pradesh and Madras
Alteration of Boundaries Act, 1959, with effect from 1.4.1960, Tirutani
Taluk and Pallipattu sub-taluk of Chittoor district of Andra Pradesh
were transferred to Madras (Tamil Nadu) and annexed with the Chengalpattu
Later Gummidipoondi (1975), Uttiramerur (1978), Uthukkottai (1981)
and Pallipattu (1981) subtaluks were upgraded as fullfledged taluks
and total taluks in the district came to 12. On 1.7.1986, Cheyyur
taluk demarcated by bifurcating the Madurantakam taluk.
Then the Chengalpattu-MGR district has been splitted into two as
Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur Districts from 01.07.1997. On the same
day, Tirukalukundram Taluk demarcated by bifurcating the Chengalpattu
Taluk. Thus the new Kancheepuram District is formed from 01.07.1997
comprising of 8 Taluks, via, Kancheepuram, Sriperumbudur, Uthiramerur,
Chengalpattu, Tambaram, Tirukalukundram, Madrandakam and Cheyyur.
Conjeevaram is the
English name of the ancient Kancheepuram. Like all ancient cities,
Kancheepuram is also situated on the banks of a river, Vegavati.
The city was the capital of the Early Cholas as far back as the
2nd century BC and a Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries.
It is surrounded by the historic places like Mamallapuram, Thiruvannamalai,
Vellore, Sholingar, Thiruthani and Thirupathi. The sculptures in
Mamallapuram town are famous for Pallava's architectures. the successive
dynasties from Pallavas to Vijayanagar kings have consciously added
to the architectural and religious grandeur and value through one
thousand five hundred years.
Kalidasa has described,
it to be the best among the cities (Nagareshu Kanchi) just as Jati
(jasmine) is the sweetest amongst the flowers, Rambha the most beautiful
amongst women and Grihasthasrama the most ideal amongst the four
asramas of human life. The king of Kanchi, Mahendravarman-I was
a great scholar and musician, a man of great intelligence and also
a great playwright. Yuan Chwang, the great Chinese traveler, visited
the city in the 7th century and said that this city was 6 miles
in circumference and that its people were famous for bravery and
piety as well as for their love of justice and veneration for learning.
He further recorded that Buddha had visited the place. As regards
learning, Kanchi stood second in glory only to Banaras.The history
of Kanchi can be traced back to several centuries before the advent
of the Christian era. The place finds its name in Patanjali's Mahabhashya
written in the second century B.C. Manimekalai, the famous Tamil
classic, and Perumpanattu Padai, a great Tamil poetical work, vividly
describe the city as it was at the beginning of the Christian era.Pathupattu,
one of the sangam literatures reads that the king Thondaiman Ilandirayan
ruled this town around 2500 years ago.
From the 3rd to the 9th century A.D. Kanchi was the capital of the
Pallavas who ruled over the territory extending from the river Krishna
in the north to the river Kaveri in the south. The Pallavas fortified
the city with ramparts, moats, etc., with wide and well laid out
roads and fine temples. They were a great maritime power with contacts
with far-off China, Siam, Fiji, etc., through their chief Port Mamallapuram,
the modern Mahabalipuram. The Cholas ruled this town from 10th century
to 13th century. Kings of Vijayanagara dynasty ruled from 14th century
to 17th century. The temple tower, 192 feet height in Ekamabaranadhar
temple and 100-pillar mandabam (building) in Varadaraja Perumal
temple in this town are famous for the architectural techniques
of Vijayanagara Dynasty. The British Viceroy Robert cleave, who
is responsible for the British Ruling in India had exclaimed the
architectural techniques of Varadharaja perumal temple and presented
a fabulous jewelry to this temple. Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil
learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists,
Jains and Hindus.Once the seat of learning and religious fervour
started its climb down from the mughal ionvasions followed by three
centuries of colonial rule under the british.
The City Of Thousand Temples
Ancient Kanchipuram , the city of thousand temples , is one of the
seven most sacred pilgrim centres Ayodya, Madura, Maya, Kasi, Kanchi,
Avanthi, Duvaragai for the Hindus. Kanchipuram owns 108 temples
dedicated to siva and 18 to vishnu besides scores of other temples,
mosques and churches and Adi Shankara Mutt. It has within its limits
historical places like kanchipuram and mahabalipuram which are steeped
in south indian culture and have won acclaim for their great edifices
and magnificient temples of exquisite architectural beauty. Temple
festivals are held throughout the year and apart from the temple
car (ratha) festivals which are held in January, April and May.
There are other days when the idols in the temples are taken out
in procession on their respective vahanas or vehicles
Today, apart from its temples, this small town is also known for
its thriving handloom industry. Kancheepuram town is also known
as Silk City since the main profession of the people living in and
around is weaving silk sarees. The silk weavers of Kanchi settled
more than 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation
as the producer of the best silk sarees in the country. Woven from
pure mulberry silk and have an enviable reputation for texture,
lustre, durability and finish. The sarees in dazzling colours are
available in every imaginable design and variety, which can make
the job of selection quite challenging.
More than 5,000 families are engaged in this industry and their spectacular creations are marketed by a number of co-operative socities, located all over the state. The products of Kancheepuram silk sarees are in architectural techniques, by using standard quality of fine gold threads; thus they are worthy and good quality in nature.To compare with other silk sarees, the Kancheepuram silk sarees are very famous in the world.