Gangaikonda Cholapuram | South India Tourism

Gangaikonda Cholapuram

Gangaikonda Cholapuram

Ancient history of Tamilnadu always comprised in the histories of Chera, Chola, Pandya kingdom. Particularly not only in Tamil history, specifically in the history of India and among the three kingdoms, Chola period is incomparable and occupies a significant place. The history of Cholas falls in to three periods. They are Early Cholas, Sangam period Cholas and Later Cholas. Among the three periods, in the Later Cholas dynasty, Thanjavur and Gangaikonda Cholapuram served as the imperial capitals and unique. Tanjore capital has the  Magnificent Siva Temple built of the Rajaraja Cholan and the temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram built by his son Rajendra Chola I. Both were declared as World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO and are referred to as the Great living Chola temples.

Rajaraja Chola I had made the crown prince to his son Rajendra Co-Regent in 1012 C.E. and he ruled the dynasty till 1044 C.E. His mother is Vanavandevi alias Thirubhuvanamadevi. He was born on the South Indian festival of Tiruvathirai in the Tamil month of Margalzhi Thingal and it is mentioned in a runestone at Thiruvetriyur. His original name is Maduranthagan. Once he got the crown, he became Rajendra Cholan. He has a nick name known as Parakesari. Moreover he has some more titles known as Uththama Cholan, Pandhitha Cholan, Gangaikonda Cholan, Vikrama Cholan, Mudikonda Cholan, Solendhirasimman, Kadarangkondan and Panjavamarayan.

Rajaraja Chola kingdom's rightful heir, Rajendra Chola was an able and talented ruler (reign: 1018-1048). He expanded the Chola Empire northwards. It was during his reign that the kingdom was called the \"Golden Age of Cholas\". He was declared the crown prince by his father in 1012, though he started assisting him in his conquests from 1002 and More or less within four years led campaigns against the Western Chalukyas, Vengi and Kalinga.

During C.E 1014, he succeeded his father and extended the influence of Chola empire to the banks of the river Ganga, in North India, and across the Indian Ocean to the west,  making the Chola empire, one of the most powerful empires of India.

During the campaign against North India, he captured Chakkarkkottam, Madura mandal was won, Later Namanikonam, Panjapalli and Maasuni were also taken and won. Later  “Ottara Desam” of “South Kosala” state and “Kosala “ state were also won. Later they occupied “Dandabuththi” and defeated their king “Dharmabala”. Next to fall was the “Thaknalada” and their king “Ranasooran” was defeated. The king of Bengal “Gobindha chandhan  and Mahibalan were also defeated. Later the king ordered the defeated kings to carry the Ganga water on their head to bring to his place.

According to his order, the army had to cross the Ganga river and his army carried this out by keeping the elephants on the river and a temporary bridge was formed over their bodies to cross the Ganga river. This is mentioned in the “Thiruvalankatu “Copper engravings. Like this Rajendra met his generals on the banks of Godavari river and brought them to his capital.

When he came back to his place he brought idol of Vinayakar along with the Ganga water. That Vinayakar is placed in Tirunageshwarar temple, Kumbakonam.

Chola Conquered Ganga and his victory against the North India campaign is the best one and after this success Ranjendra got different names like Gangaikonda Cholan, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Gangaikonda Choleeshuram, CholaGanga. Capital city, temple name, Name of the God, Lake name, everything became very popular.

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