The great Buddhist teachers of Bodhidharma and Bodhisena were from Kancheepuram, the city which was one of the greatest seats of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism in the past.
Art historian and film-maker Benoy K. Behl in his documentary titled "The Imperial city of Kancheepuram", which is part of the Spectacular India Series produced by Doordarshan, explained that Kancheepuram was a port and that ships reached it via the river. It was situated close to the port of Mamallapuram and was a great centre of learning.
The Delhi-based India Habitat Centre organised a talk and screening of the film on Kancheepuram on Saturday as part of its monthly series in which Mr. Behl explained that the city was known for its fine cotton weaves and hence saw traders from throughout the world buying the textiles. "Cotton was grown widely across the Deccan and this led to great prosperity and there was the development of an urban and urbane culture and sophisticated culture," he said.
Environmentalist and historian Nanditha Krishna said silk and sugar were introduced from China in the 7th Century. She explained that the Pallava Grantha went to different places and even till today Cambodian was being written in the script.
Mr. Behl takes the viewers to the Kailasanatha temple built by Pallava King Rajasimhan in which the idols of Somaskanda, Tripuranthaka and Mahishasura Mardhini can be seen. Excerpts of the documentary can be viewed on YouTube.