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Kanchipuram (kŭnˈchēpŏrəm) [key], formerly Conjeeveram, city (1991 pop. 171,129), Tamil Nadu state, S India. Sacred to Hindus, it is known as the "golden city" and the "Varanasi of the south." Several temples in the Dravidian style survive from the period when it was the capital of the Pallava empire (3d–8th cent.) of S India and Sri Lanka and a center of Brahmanical and Buddhist culture. Still considered one of the important sacred Hindu cities, it has more than 100 Hindu temples. The city was captured (8th cent.) by the Chalukya dynasty and subsequently passed to the Chola (11th–13th cent.), to the Vijayanagar (early 15th cent.), and to the Odisha (late 15th cent.) kingdoms. After 1481 it fell to several different Muslim sultanates. A base of French power in India, it was captured by Robert Clive in 1758. Its ancient name was Kanchi.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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