Kanchipuram, or 'the Golden City of Temples' is one of the most picturesque and important centres of Hindu worship in India. The town is considered to be one of India's Seven Sacred Cities and is second only in its holiness to the great city of Varanasi on the Ganges. Between the sixth and eighth centuries AD, Kanchipuram functioned as the capital of the southern Pallava Empire and it is from this period, and that of the Chola Empire, that many of the imposing temples date. Among the most important buildings are the Kalasanathar, Varadaraja, Permumal and Ekambareshwarar temples. Kanchipuram is also noted as a centre of silk manufacture and is reputed to make some of the finest sarees in India.