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Sri Devi Kamakshi Sri Sri Sri Adi Sankara Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamiji Sri Sri Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamiji presents several different aspects of The official web site for Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Kanchipuram, India.
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About this Web Site

This page is divided into two parts, General & Technical information. The technical information provided here is an attempt to provide you with a deeper understanding of the techniques used in building this web site and could be of interest to web-developers.

We hope that you would find them useful. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us by using the feedback form.

  General Information
> What is this web site about?
This is the official web site of the Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. The Peetham is located at Kanchipuram, in the state of TamilNadu, in India. The web site does not feature any commercial activities (including banners, advertisements, and so on). The intent of the web site is to provide different aspects of Hinduism on the web. It has been conceived and is maintained by a group of devotees.
> What is this web site "best viewed by..."?
The previous version of this web site was "best viewed by" javascript enabled browsers such as IE4 and later and Netscape4 and later. The current version is best viewed with any web browser but a good experience is ensured with a javascript enabled web browser. Our developers use various browser detection techniques to give you the best results. For details, please see the technical section.
> Can one expect replies from the Peetham to questions asked through this web site?
No responses are guaranteed. Quite often, the concerned persons at the Peetham are travelling. We often receive a large amount of email and comments/questions through our feedback form, and at times, it may take some time to get a response.
> How can one contribute monetarily and also to this web site?
Monetary contributions, if any, may be sent directly to the Peetham. As far as the web site is concerned, we welcome help and suggestions in the further development of this web site.
For details, please refer to the feedback form and mention that you would like to contribute. You would get an automated reply initially, which would, if required, be followed up by a regular email.


  Technical Information
> The main Objectives
One of the main objectives that resulted in the "techincal design" was to have a system so that even a single person can effortlessly manage and change the layout of the entire site and/or selected sections of the site with the most minimal effort. We have also laid the foundations for a complete content management system. Since this web site already has a lot of content and it is only expected to grow steadily, we wanted to separate the content from the presentation.
After comparing and doing a lot of research, we decided that amongst the plethora of scripting languages available on the web (ASP, cold fusion, cgi/perl, etc. ), we chose PHP.
> What platform is this web site running on?
This is running on Red Hat Linux, Apache, and every page that you see is actually a PHP page. For details on the server platform, have a look at and query as the server name.
> Global Templates
We continue to use central PHP templates, which drive the entire look and feel of all the 2000 odd pages on this site. With PHP running as an Apache module, it is possible to have certain PHP pages automatically prepended and appended, which basically act as a common header and footer of the page. So, if we need to change the look of the web site, we just change the relevant templates.
For example, if you look at the HTML source of any page, you would see commented lines such as <!--- page contents start here --- > and <!--- page contents end here --- > . Anything that you see outside these tags are from the header and footer files.
The entire site structure is mirrored in mySQL tables and these header/footer files detect the page being requested and they generate the contents for the header and footer.
The above also helps in administration of the web site, for example, we can have different persons acting as editors for different categories of the site, and a different person altogether for editing the templates for the site.
> How has Browser detection been used?
Part of the PHP "header" files see the browser that is being used and initiate some variables accordingly. The PHP templates include certain javascript code only when the web browser is IE 5 or later or Netscape 4 or later (but not Netscape6, for many reasons). For example, the browser you are using is and, for our site, it translates to
Browser name: Other, Version: 0, Platform: Other. For this browser, we disable javascript support and we use a stylesheet accordingly. Depending on the browser and platform, we include a different stylesheet so that the text sizes and appearance are as similar as possible.
> How is caching taken into account, as every page is dynamic?
Before any text content is sent to the browser, we send a "last modified header" that is effectively used by browsers that support http 1.0. The generic template files that sends this header sees the last modified date for all the files that are dynamically included and sends the latest date to the browser. The browser then caches the pages.
> But what about performance? Since every page is dynamic and there are database queries, doesn't it consume more resources on the server and don't the pages take more time to be served?
Well, actually, the time taken for the delivery of these dynamic php pages is the same as that for the static pages. This is acheived in two ways:
The database query results are cached in static files and we reload the cache whenever we change the contents of the database and
Zend Optimizer, free from does a good job of speeding up the php code.
> Where can one find some sample source code of the scripts used on this site?
Well, our developers are debating which all to make public and a sampling will be added here soon. For the javascript and stylesheet, you can simply view the source and have a look.

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No part of this web site may be reproduced without explicit permission from the Peetham. Some material put up on this web site are protected by individual copyright(s) of the concerned organisation(s)