Well, if you’ve just happened to be here from a search, and you’re interested in finding about temples and silk sarees of Kancheepuram, You’ve taken the wrong road. Nevertheless, just keep reading. There’s much more to kanchi than the temples and the sarees you’ve heard of…
For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve just finished my Engineering at a University called SCSVMV in Kancheepuram. Oh Yes! The one which people claim to be on one of the forked out roads of the National Highway connecting Chennai and Bangalore, or rather the Uiversity just 75kms from Chennai. I’ve heard people giving out wonderful descriptions of the exact location in varied forms. No doubt they are right and probably the reason why I tend to agree with them is that the moment you blurt the word Kancheepuram from your mouth, you only get questions on Sarees , Swamigals and Temples. I’ve had enough with the three and am least interested in any of them! 🙂
My brief stint at Kanchi for the past four years has been quite an interesting episode. Not really in the sense you think, but more or less, you and I are on parallel lines. This is one place where even Eighty year olds are called “Akka” and fifteen year old guys get to be called as “Anna”. Believe me; I’ve never called my own people with the tags attatched till I happened to be in Kanchi. (I don’t do it even now, that’s totally a different case 🙂 ) These words have lost their true meaning and probably have become just descriptive words to catch the attention of the other person.
One very good feature of the town is its Connectivity with the mainland of Chennai. You’ve got buses, plying almost every ten minutes to and from the central bus station. Kudos to the Transport Corporation…what used to be a 2.5 hrs two years back drive is now only about 1.5 hrs from Chennai. Town traffic is more or less like any place in Chennai. You are prone to be cheated unless you have a brief idea of the place. Occasionally you happen to find Tonga’s on the road which operate on the same lines as the autos. I remember paying about four times the actual amount to a Tonga driver, the first time I got into one. 🙂
Coming to food, if you’ve been thinking you’d be spending meagerly, let me tell you, you need to really pinch your purse for some good food. You’ve got hotels ranging from three star’s to the routine ones. But at the end it’s all the same. You end up paying more or less the same amount. Beside Hotels and restaurants you’ve also got a couple of Messes around, wherein you get only south Indian Stuff. You do get North Indian stuff too at a few hotels. Else you’ve always got a couple of Dhabas on the Highway roads. Unless you’re a glutton, you would end up spending sixty to seventy bucks on general days and about hundred bucks in summers.
On more outstanding features of this place is its climate! Just one day, and you’ll know why people are jet black in this place! During summers you’re just out of your bathroom after a shower and you see yourself sweating; you’ve just left you’re room and walked a few yards, you’re shirt is almost drenched in your sweat. Carrying Towel’s instead of Hankies would probably just help you keep dry 🙂 . On the other hand, in winters you get average temperatures of about 10 degrees. Moving around at nights is something that you’d love to do. Rainy season is just the same as in any other place. Just that it’s a bit more! It rains cats and dogs! 🙂
The best part of this place is the roadside tea stalls that you get to find in almost every nook and corner of a street! The taste that you get here in the Coffee’s and Tea’s concocted by them is just unmatchable! There’s this place called Kadhir kadai ( not sure what the name board reads, nevertheless that’s the name we put 🙂 ) that my friends and I have been visiting for the past two years almost daily. You need to taste his coffee to believe me!
Social security is not much of a concern here. There’s this place called Koneru Kuppam , just across the railway line . I’ve been told this is the second most dreaded area in Tamil Nadu (after Madurai). Nevertheless, I haven’t come across any unprecedented events in the past four years. Just that I’ve heard one of my seniors relating his episode of seeing a couple of men dragging the body of a man in a sac. This is an area that we need to cross every day to get over to the University and I personally haven’t seen anything that troublesome.
Ah! Now you ask me the question, what exactly is Kanchipuram famous for? My reply to that is Temples ,Swamigals and Sarees!. That’ll never change. It is like any other town. Just that you get bonded to a place having stayed there for a longtime…