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Kanchipuram, Kancheepuram, Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu, 631501, India (12.83639 79.70533)
Kanchipuram is located at 12°59′N 79°43′E / 12.98°N 79.71°E / 12.98; 79.71, 72 km (45 mi) south-west of Chennai on the banks of the Vegavathi River, a tributary of the Palar River. The city covers an area of 11.6 km2 (4.5 sq mi) and has an elevation of 83.2 m (273 ft) above sea level.The land around Kanchipuram is flat and slopes towards the south and east. The soil in the region is mostly clay, with some loam, clay, and sand, which are suitable for use in construction. The Chingleput District Manual (1879) describes the region's soils as "highly inferior" and "highly stony or mixed with lime, gravel, soda and laterite". It has been postulated that the granite required for the Varadaraja Perumal Temple might have been obtained from the Sivaram Hills located 10 miles east of Kanchipuram. The area is classified as a Seismic Zone II region, and earthquakes of up to magnitude 6 on the Richter Scale may be expected. Kanchipuram is subdivided into two divisions – Big Kanchi, also called Shiva Kanchi occupies the western portion of the city and is the larger of the two divisions. Little Kanchi, also called Vishnu Kanchi, is located on the eastern fringes of the city. Most of the Shiva temples lie in Big Kanchi while most of the Vishnu temples lie in Little Kanchi.