About Kanchipuram district

Kanchipuram district district is located in the northeast of the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is surrounded in the west by Vellore District and Thiruvannamalai District, in the north by Tiruvallur District and Chennai District, in the south by Villupuram District and in the east by the Bay of Bengal. Headquarter of the Kanchipuram district is Kanchipuram town. According to Indian Census 2011 it had a population of 39, 98,252 with a gender-ratio of 986 females for every 1,000 males. Kanchipuram district produces over 15,000 engineering graduates every year, same as Gujarat state.

History of Kanchipuram

The history of Kanchi can be traced back to many centuries BCE. This region finds its name in Patanjali's Mahabhashya, written in the 2nd century BC. Manimekalai, the renowned, exquisite Tamil classic literature, and Perumpanattu Padai, a great, stunning Tamil poetical work, vividly explain Kanchipuram city, as it was at the commencement of the Christian epoch. Pathupattu, one of the Sangam literatures, reads that the king Thondaiman Ilandirayan ruled this town around before 2500 years ago.

Kanchipuram District had been ruled by the Pallavas, Cholas, Vijayanagar rulers and the British Empire before Independence. It was a part of Tondaimandalam, which means a division of the ancient Tamil country, approximately comprising the present day districts of Kanchipuram, Chennai, Vellore, Tiruvallur and Thiruvannamalai. Headquarter of Tondaimandalam was Kanchipuram city. From the 3rd to 9th century AD, Kanchi was headquarter of the Pallavas who ruled over the country expanding from the river Krishna in the north to the river Kaveri in the south.

After that, the Pallavas confiscated the city with walls, moats, etc., with broad and well laid out roads and excellent temples. They were an immense marine power with links with far-off China, Siam, Fiji, etc., through their main Port Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram). The Cholas ruled this province from the 10th century to the 13th century. Kings of Vijayanagar Empire ruled from the 14th century to the 17th century. Kanchi has a major seat of Tamil learning as well as significant places of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus.

Kalidasa has noted it to be the most excellent among the cities (Nagareshu Kanchi), just as Jati (jasmine) is the sweetest and beautiful amongst the flowers, Rambha the most gorgeous amongst women and Grihasthasrama the most superlative amongst the four asramas of human life. One of the kings of Kanchi, Mahendravarman-I, was an immense scholar and musician, a man of great cleverness and also a great dramatist. Yuan Chwang, the great Chinese traveler, visited Kanchipuram city in the 7th century and said that this city was 6 miles in perimeter and that its people were eminent for courage and piousness as well as for their love of fairness and respect for learning.

He also recorded that Buddha had visited the place. As regards learning, Kanchi stood second in magnificence only to Banaras. Once the seat of learning and religious dedication, it started its scale down with the Mughal invasions followed by three centuries of colonial rule under the British Empire. The British called the name Conjeevaram, the anglicized version of Kanchipuram. Under the British government, first Collector was appointed in the year 1788 AD. The district was further divide up into two divisions, Northern and Southern, and was placed under the administration of two Collectors.

During 19th century, Karunguzhi became the capital of the district and it remained so up to 1859 when it was moved to 'Home Garden' Saidapettai, except for a short spell from 1825-1835 during which Kanchipuram served as the district headquarters. From 1859 to 1968, the Collector's office was situated in Saidapettai.

After the Indian Independence, Kanchipuram city became the headquarters of Chengalpattu district with effect from 1 July 1968. After that, the Chengalpattu-MGR district was dividing into two as Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur Districts from 1 July 1997.