Gangaikonda Cholapuram - A marvelous story from history
About - Gangai konda cholapuram was once the capital of Chola rulers and was first made the capital city of Chola Empire by Rajendra Chola I at the beginning of 11th century AD. Gangaikonda Cholapuram for 250 years was a major political center of South India and all the major political affairs used to be controlled from here. Today this place has a major historical importance and of course architectural as well. This place today is also known for its Shiva temple and that makes it a major religious destination too. This ancient temple which is a perfect example of superior engineering and amazing craftsmanship of Chola period has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
How to reach ?
» By Air- The nearest airport to Gangai konda cholapuram is Tiruchirapalli Airport which is situated at a distance of 78 km and the other one is at a distance of 260 km which is Madurai Airport. The nearest international airport is Chennai International Airport which is at a distance of 290 Kms from Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
» By Train - Gangaikonda Cholapuram is well connected by rail. Kumbhakonam railhead connects it to all the major cities of the neighboring states.
» By Road - You can easily get regular buses to Kumbakonam and Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation bus services are always available for the travelers. You can also opt for private AC buses.
Best time to visit
Best time to visit Gangai konda cholapuram is in winter as summers are hot and humid here. Choose between the months of October to March to visit this place as this is the time you will find the most pleasant weather here.
» Gangaikonda Cholapuram Shiva Temple - This majestic Shiva temple is the main attraction of Gangaikonda Cholapuram. The magnificent temple was constructed by the Chola King Rajendra Chola I in the year 1025 CE. The temple has been accorded the status of World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The temple has a two storied Mandapam which has many tall pillars with beautiful carvings on them. The sanctum sanctorum has 183 feet Vimana on it which is octagonal in shape. Inside the temple there is 13 ft high Lord Shiva idol sitting on a giant Lotus. There is a huge Nandi idol as well in the same Mandapam. There are more deities like Ganesha, Brhannayaki, Chandikesvara and Mahishamardini which are worshipped here.
» Chidambaram Temple - Chidambaram Temple is also known as Thillai Nataraja Temple and Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar Koothan Kovil. This temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has got religious, historical and architectural importance and people from all around the world come to visit Gangai konda cholapuram it for all these reasons. The deity that presides here is Thillai Koothan. It is the form in which Lord Shiva is performing the cosmic dance or the Anand Tandavam. The temple has a bronze image representation of Shiva as cosmic dancer. Chidambaram Temple is one of the Panchabhoot Sthalams and it represents the element Akash (Sky).