Gangaikonda Cholapuram – The Capital of the Chola Kingdom
Gangaikonda Cholapuram was constructed as the capital of the Chola Kingdom by King Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor to Great Chola King Rajaraja Chola, who conquered a huge territory in South India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sumatra, Kadaram (in Malaysia), Cambodia and others, towards the start of the eleventh century A.D.
Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple Entrance.
As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 A.D. for approximately 250 years, this town managed the affairs of Tungabhadra in the Karnataka state to Sri Lanka and to some of the other south-east Asian countries mentioned in the earlier paragraph.
The remains of this magnificent ancient city is presently seen as a tiny forlorn village in Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu, India. The great Gangaikondacholapuram temple remains can be seen at the Brihadeeswarar Temple there. From the remains, it is obvious that this temple (and the city that existed) is next only to Thanjavur Brihadisvara temple in its monumental nature and outshines in its sculptural quality. This temple is part of the 3 temples called ‘Great Living Chola Temples’, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
How Do I Go to Gangaikonda Cholapuram?
Gangaikonda Cholapuram is near to Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu, Ariyalur is the district headquarters for the District with the same name and is well connected by roads to other parts of India. Chennai is at around 300 kilometers from Ariyalur.
Ariyalur railway station is the nearest railway station to GangaikondaCholapuram.