Gangaikonda Cholapuram

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Shiva Idol at Brihadeeswara Temple

We are going to see about the “Gangaikonda cholapuram temple” and know many secret informations about the temple.The main god here is Shivan.


The Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple was constructed by ” Great Rajendra chola I “.The Rajendra chola was the most successful ruler during the year (985 AD to 1014 AD)  in their dynasty. But he is not as famous as his father ” Raja Raja Chola I “. We all know that his father bulit a one of the world famous temple “Thanjavur periyakovil” and it was constructed very beautifully. When comparing to his father’s temple , Gangaikonda cholapuram is not less to it.

This temple is a women’s beauty, it also has very creative structures and covers a large area.But it is not much known to many people.The architecture of the temple is so similar to the Big Temple in Thanjavur that it looks like a miniature of the Thanjavur temple. It is worth mentioning that the sivalinga in Gagaikonda Cholapuram temple is bigger than the one in the Thanjavur temple.

Gangaikondacholapuram Temple

The great temple of Siva at this place is next only to the Brihadiswara temple at Thanjavur in its monumental nature and surpasses it in sculptural quality. The Gangaikondaan temple is an architectural and engineering marvel. This temple is situated in a small forlorn village in the Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is 72 kms from thanjavur city.

This temple’s original name is ‘Peruvudaiyar’ as same as tanjore periyakovil. But it is located in Gangaikonda cholapuram,so it is famously called as with this name. The city was founded by Rajendra Chola to commemorate his victory over the Pala Dynasty. The name means The town of the chola who brought Ganga (water from Ganga) or who defeated (the kings near) Ganga. It is now a small village, its past eminence only remembered by the existence of the great Siva Temple.


Chola rulers were active patrons of the arts. They flourished in architectures, education, science, arts, ship construction, poetry, drama, music, business trading, dance. The beautiful Nataraja figure was first conceived during the Chola empire .Mostly all chola empires were rich in wealth and good in construction and architectute also.

Rajendra chola constructed this beautiful temple with many remarking features. One of them is,the vimanas are designed and looks like a girl’s statue,it attracts many people.But this has only 8 nilaigal when compared to thanjavur periya kovil,it has 13 nilaigal. Then when comparing the both temples, Gangaikonda cholapuram vimanam height is only 160 ft and Periyakovil height is 216 ft. Inspite of this shortness it looks more marvellous than his father’s temple.


This temple’s Nandhi is one of the biggest world famous nandhi’s. It looks very tall so that we should rise our heads above to see this beautiful nandhi. Here this tallest idol nandhi is outside the mandapam and not only one nandhi is there,another idol nandhi is also there,inside the temple manadapam. Then in older days,Gangaikonda cholapuram is not only a temple but also it is remarked as a kottai.

The outer fortification built of burnt bricks, was about six to eight feet wide. It consisted of two walls, the intervening space (the core) being filled with sand.


The sculptures in this temple are very remarkable and memorable.Particularly the sculpture of “ANDHANARI” and stone sculpture of “GANA SARASWATHI” are very popular and not only this many other different sculptures are also present.This temple also has a rare idol of goddess Durga with 20 hands.

They constructed enormous stone temple complexes decorated inside and out with painted sculptures. While the stone sculptures and the inner sanctum image empowering the temple remained immovable, changing religious concepts during the 10th century demanded that the deities take part in a variety of public roles similar to those of a human monarch. As a result, large bronze images were created to be carried outside the temple to participate in daily rituals, processions, and temple festivals.


Lion-well (simhakeni)

A lion-well (simhakeni) is present that is visible in the above photo. Most of the available evidences,says that the last Chola King Rajendra Chozha III’s rule did not end due to any defeat in the war field. But devastations are available underneath, which proves that some major catastrophe happened around Gangaikonda cholapuram which brought the Chola’s Rule to an end.

The temple still has all the elegance since the carvings shows no sign of wear and tear against wind, water and other atmospheric elements over a millennium.We think that informations provided about “The Gangaikonda cholapuram” will be very useful. Many people would have not seen this marvellous temple yet. So go fast and see this cultural shivan temple atleast one time.

Temple Timings: 8.00 am to 9.00 pm

Google Map for the Temple:

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