One of the most visited temples in Kanchipuram, Kamakshi Amman Temple is known for its golden gopuram and fabulous carvings. Its architectural beauty draws many a tourist from all over the world. Built in honor of Goddess Kamakshi( goddess Parvati), the temple is one of the three main sacred sites of Shakti worship in the country. The other two are in Varanasi and Madhurai. The word Kamakshi means “ one who has eyes full of love”. The temple has arresting mandaps, Dwajaarohana mandap being the most attractive with 100 pillars. The temple has four gateways in all the four directions.
The sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses the statue of Goddess Kamakshi in padmasana posture( sitting posture). With a sugarcane bow, lotus flower, parrot and instruments in her hands, the goddess signifies peace and marital harmony. During the ancient times a revered Hindu sage, Adi Sankaracharya, had enshrined a Sri Chakra in the main shrine, in front of the idol of the goddess. Known as the Kamakoti Peeta, the chakra is also worshiped by devotees.
By building the beautiful Kamakshi Amman Temple in the 14th century, the Cholas made a significant contribution to the cultural heritage of Kanchipuram. The rulers of the Vijayanagar period also contributed by building the gopurams of the temple, which are painted in attractive colors.
During the celebration of the famous festivals like Silver Chariot festival, Navratri and Adi and Aippasi Pooram in the temple, devotees and tourists gather here in great numbers. Another attraction of the temple is that it serves as a site for the annual Car Festival, which is held in the month of February every year.