Sunday, April 29, 2018

Gangaikonda Cholapuram - Brihadeeshwara temple, Tamilnadu

Brihadeeshwara temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is yet another contribution to the world from the Chola kings. One can say, it is a smaller version of Brihadeeshwara temple at Tanjore; a marvel that remains unparalleled even after thousands of years.

Gangaikonda cholapuram temple, was built by King Rajendra Chola, son of Rajaraja Chola  to commemorate his war victory over Pala dynasty.
The temple main gate faces East and has a big Nandi facing the sanctum. The Brihadeeshwara Lingam is also  very tall.
The ornate spire above the sanctum  though a little shorter than the Tanjore temple is  beauty to behold.
Shiva's consort  Periyanayagi is in a shrine outside the main temple. There also shrines for Ganesha, Durga .

Outside walls and corridor are in a ruined state and so are many sculptures.
The town of Gangaikondapuram was destroyed but the main temple has remained intact.

There is a big well on the right side of the temple and a sculpture of lion near it.
The well was dug during Rajendra Chola's reign and he got pots of water from Ganges to be poured in the well. After conquering the  cities along the river Ganges in North, He came to be known as Gangaikondan., the Chola who conquered the Ganges.

 The temple is a world Heritage site and is maintained beautifully with green lawn and flowering trees. 
Best time to visit is from  November to February. It is difficult to walk up to the temple as the walkway to the temple gets heated up during other months.

Otherwise make the visit before 9 Am.
More details about the temple.

This temple is just 70 Kms from the Tanjore temple and midway one can visit the Darasuram temple too , yet another amazing contribution from the Cholas.

                                         Nagalinga tree,Cannon ball tree in the temple


R Niranjan Das said...

Nice post. I loved Darasuram more than Gangaikondacholapuram.

chitra said...

Yes Niranjan,Darasuram Temple has more stone carvings and the whole temple is like a Ratha. Haven't seen such intricate work right from the foundation level up to the top. The visit was really fulfilling

Fran Ellsworth said...

So amazing that the structures have withstood the tests of time. Thank you for sharing. Since I can't make that trip it is wonderful to see and learn.

KParthasarathi said...

Thank you for a descriptive post.I had seen this temple but on a mid day when it was very hot!