Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

Kanchipuram is one of the very few places in India where both Vaishnavite (followers of Lord Vishnu) and Shaivite (followers of Lord Shiva) temples are located. These are two of the four sects of Hinduism. Here in Kanchipuram we got the opportunity to visit the temples of two different sects. This temple, the Vaikunta Perumal temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was built shortly after the construction of Kailasanatha Temple in mid-eighth century, by Pallava King Nandivarman.

It is noteworthy that this temple does not have a gopuram (gate). As we walked in the first in sight was the dhwajasthamba (flag pole) inside the complex. This temple is listed in 108 divya desams (holy place) mentioned in Hindu vedas.
Vaikunta Perumal Temple

Pillars of Vaikunta Perumal Temple

Most impressive and unique feature of the temple are the pillars. Each one has a lion carved on it. They support the enclosed passage inside the temple. This architectural style, that of pillars in rows, led to a distinctive style followed by the later temples. It led to the evolution of the architectural style of 1000 pillared halls in later temples.
Vaikunta Perumal Temple

The walls too are carved. The sculptures depict the stories of war scenes between the Pallavas and Chalukyas. One panel describes the history of the temple in eighth century script. The religious sculptures found on the inner walls of the verandah running around the four sides of this temple are very unique and important.

The information here is not found in any other temples of India. Numerous inscriptions of the Pallava dynasty of Vaikuntha Perumal temple have helped the historians of South India. They could decipher and write about all the events of ancient Pallava history and could fix the chronology of this dynasty.

Travel Tips to Vaikunta Perumal Temple

  • Take the help of a guide here, I found them quite eager to explain and knowledgeable too.
  • The temple is closed in afternoons, do check before you visit.

Vaikunta Perumal Temple

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34 Responses

  1. Denise says:

    Another fabulous post Indrani. Thank you!

  2. Martha Z says:

    Another interesting look at your part of the world.

  3. Carver says:

    Very interesting post and shots. I know I've said this many times but I'm always so amazed by the intricacy of the carvings on architecture in India.

  4. EG Wow says:

    Such intricate carvings in the temple! I have to admit I didn't know Hinduism has four sects. But Hinduism has been around for so long it makes sense that there would be many people with different ideas. Thanks for this interesting post, Indrani!

  5. Second from bottom is my fav. A great pic of an great place. Postcard perfect!

  6. noel says:


    thanks for sharing a little bit of your world, it looks like a wonderful time to be there and with no crowds. i love the amazing courtyard and the beautiful lion pillars, very unusual and exotic

  7. Samson says:

    Lovely post, thanks for the tour 🙂

    Himvad Gopalswamy Temple

  8. Hazel says:

    Feature with a purpose always sounds even more interesting. Another series of shots to enjoy. Thanks, Indrani.

  9. Sylvia K says:

    Another marvelous and informative post with gorgeous photos, Indrani! Your posts are the next best thing to being there! Thanks for sharing so much of the beauty of your country! Have a wonderful week!


  10. magiceye says:

    that was so interesting. the composition of the 1st pic is great!

  11. Lawstude says:

    wow. beautiful temples. i really want to go to your country because there is so much things to see.

  12. Rajesh says:

    Wonderful shots of the beautiful temple. Even though small when compared to other temples in the area it has its own charm.

  13. Wolynski says:

    Beautiful light on some of these photos, especially the golden sunlight. All those different variations of Shiva and Vishnu confuse me, but it's all beautiful.

  14. Nisha says:

    kanchipuram is full of temples. And I don't remember visiting this one.

    beautiful pictures. temples looks clean.


  15. ladyfi says:

    Those lion pillars are magnificent!

  16. Randi says:

    Another interesting post with beautiful photos from your wonderful world.

  17. Vaggelis says:

    such amazing place. fantastic structures and great photos. thanks

  18. Joyful says:

    Beautiful photos. I especially love the photos of the columns/posts. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Great shots and building. Love pillar shots.

  20. Nessa says:

    The amount of human effort that must have gone into these temples is astounding.

  21. Beautiful post. I do not know how I reached here so late.

  22. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for sharing this Indrani…I was almost going to leave a comment on your last post.. but last year my husband and I visited Kanchipuram, and he took a few photos there 🙂 Take a peek at this one he took in this temple
    Also, Indrani, did you notice the unique way some people do prayer in the grabha graha- by crawling in a tiny crawl space around the backside of the god inside the building itself. Small kids and men did it. My husband did it.

  23. Ebie says:

    Wow! look at the details, such exquisite etchings and architecture.

    Blogging has really brought me around the globe.

  24. You always have nice pictures. I like that it is so different from what I have seen.

  25. I marvelled at the intricate carvings. The thought that the craftsmen did these works of arts with limited tools during their time amazes me.

  26. Babli says:

    I have visited this temple and its absolutely marvellous. The architecture is very beautiful and you have taken lovely shots.

  27. radha says:

    How they stored their data those days! Through their sculptures. Lovely!

  28. Pietro says:

    Indrani, it's a fantastic temple, the carvings are amazing. Wonderful images, thanks for sharing!

  29. Anya says:

    Wonderful post Indrani 🙂
    Unique temple !!!!

    Have a Happy Weekend 🙂

  30. Trotter says:

    Hi Indrani! This looks another place that should be put in my list; but how will I manage to see it all? Like Jorge Amado would say, you can't do it all, but you have to try… ;))

    Thanks for your support to Blogtrotter Two, now departing Miami by air; my Easter egg for you… ;). Have a great weekend!!

  31. Hi Indrani — thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and for the history lesson. (Such an easy way to learn, looking at your pictures and well-chosen words.) You live in such a beautiful place.

  32. Those ancient buildings are so awe inspiring!

  33. Arti says:

    Hello Indrani,
    Nice info on the Shiva temple!
    The temples in the south are so mystical and magnificent!!
    Nice blog..will visit often..
    Great pics too!!

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