Gangaikonda Cholapuram

Ancient history of Tamilnadu is comprised of the awesome details mostly about the Chera, Chola and Pandya kingdoms. Out of the three, the Chola dynasty has a significant place in the history which can be divided into three periods as Early, Medieval and Later Cholas. Though all the three periods are acclaimed by the historians, the later Cholas are celebrated by the history buffs and archaeology specialists.

Gangai Konda Cholapuram, a small town located in the South Indian state Tamil Nadu was once an imperial capital of the Chola Dynasty. Gangai Konda Cholapuram is renowned across the world for the Brahadeeswara temple which is one among the three Great Living Chola Temples acclaimed by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. The other two being the Big Temple at Tanjore and the Airavatheswarar Temple at Darasuram near Kumbakonam.

Having emerged as the victorious successor of the Great Chola King Raja Raja Cholan, Rajendra Cholan ruled the Chola dynasty for over three decades. Within this short span of time, with his relentless efforts and strategic planning, Chola dynasty became one of the most powerful rulers expanding its horizons across the Northern part of India. Chalukyas,Kings of Vengi and others were won by King Rajendra in furious battles.

As Rajendra proceeded and conquered the regions around Varanasi on the banks of Ganges, which was the rarest thing to happen during those times, he was titled as “Gangai Konda Cholan”. King Rajendra was astonished to see the Big Temple built by his father King Raja Raja Cholan and he wanted to create a replica of that. The place what is now called as Gangai Konda Cholapuram was selected for the temple.

Tourists and historians from all corners of the country and the globe are awestruck by the stunning beauty of this temple. Though it was built to reflect the Big Temple, this temple has its own unique grandeur and style and the sanctum houses a comparatively larger idol of Lod Shiva in the form of Lingam. The tranquil ambience and the mystic beauty of this temple bundled with the stories from the ancient times add more reasons to visit this temple.

The huge lingam in the sanctum and the bull which is believed to be a monolithic one are truly an engineering marvel. One more interesting location inside the temple is where there is a lion and when you step down into its mouth, you will be led to a well where the queens and princess used to take bath. When you see from outside, it is completely hidden from your eyes.

A delightful evening will make your time more pleasant when you happen to see the temple lit with the lamps and you can loiter in the well maintained gardens with your family and friends.

Pitchavaram, Chidhambaram, Parikkal are the tourist destinations nearby Gangai Konda Cholapuram. A visit to this historic site will help you explore about the ancient India and its tradition and culture which was at the peak during the Chola Dynasty.

Gangai Konda Cholapuram deserves to be placed at the top of the list in your itinerary during your visit to the Delta region of Tamil Nadu.

How To Reach:


Trichy is the airport nearest to Gangaikonda Cholapuram at a distance of 115 kms which can be crossed using a prepaid taxi.


From the railway station at Kumbakonam, Gangai Konda Cholapuram is at a distance of 34kms.


State run buses and prepaid taxis are available to reach GangaiKonda Cholapuram from the nearby cities like Kumbakonam, Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai, Jeyamkondam and Ariyalur.


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