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Kamakshi Amman Temple

Kamakshi Amman Temple is an ancient Hindu Temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi, the ultimate form of Goddess Lalitha Maha Tripurasundari. Located in the historic city of Kanchipuram, the Akilandeswari Temple in Thiruvanaikaval, Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, and the Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram are the important centres of worship of Goddess in Tamil Nadu. The temple covers an area of about 5 acres, and the sanctum is crowned with a gold plated vimanam. Kamakshi is enshrined in a seated posture in the sanctum - and is referred to as the Parabhrama Swarupini, seated with Bhrama Vishnu Rudra Eswara and Sadasiva.

Temple Architecture
The layout of the temple is bit complicated. The outer complex of the temple houses several mandapams, for instance the 100 pillared hall, the dwajaarohana mandapam etc. The complex also offers outstanding views of the golden vimanam. Beautiful images of Vishnu (Ninraan, Irundaan, Kidandaan) are seen near the temple tank.

Entry to the four pillared hall leads to the inner prakaram (complex), and through a series of steps one reaches the sanctum. Immediately surrounding the sanctum are small shrines to Ardhanareeswarar, Soundaryalakshmi, Kallar (who has been mentioned in the hymns of Tirumangaialwar) and Varaahi. The prakaram houses shrines to Bangaru Kamakshi, Maha Saraswathi and Aadi Sankaracharya.

The entrance of the temple is marked with a signature gopuram, a towering structure decorated with mural of ancient Gods and Goddesses. The tiny sculptures are carefully shaped to depict stories surrounding the deity inside the temple.

Temple Festivals
Four worship services are offered each day. The annual festival is celebrated in the month of Maasi (generally from February to March). The silver chariot festival falls on the 7th day. Other festivals include Navaratri, Aadi and Aippasi Pooram, Sankara Jayanthi and Vasanta Utsavam in Vaikasi.

Tips
Visit the temple early morning or late evening, as during the afternoon it gets too hot to walk barefoot.
The temple usually has heavy rush hours during festivals, Tuesdays, Fridays and weekends which are believed to be holy times of worship. Therefore, one can expect to have a waiting period of about 20-30 minutes, especially during these times.



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