Monday, August 19, 2013


Gangaikonda Cholapuram( around 100 Kms from Trichy, via Ariyalur in Tamilnadu) was erected as the capital of the Cholas  by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of  Raja Raja Chola, the great Chola who conquered a large area in South India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sumatra, Kadaram (Kedah in Malyasia) at the beginning of the 11th century A.D. It occupies an important place in the history of India. As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 A.D. for about 250 years, the city controlled the affairs of entire southern India, from the Tungabhadra in the north to Ceylon(now renamed Sri Lanka)  in the south and other south east Asian countries. The great temple of Siva at this place is next only to the Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur (in Tamilnadu) in its monumental nature and surpasses it in sculptural quality. The Gangaikondaan temple is an architectural and engineering marvel because the shadow of the main tower never falls on the ground throughout the year. Here are some pics taken during my visit in December 2012.
View of Temple as you enter
Side view of the massive Nandi or bull
closeup of the Temple Vimanam
Intricate sculptures on the Vimanam - above & below

Various beautiful idols installed around the Temple

A small sub shrine amidst green land scape


  1. Do you know the significance of all the figures having so many arms?

    1. Deities are often portrayed with multiple arms, especially when they are battling cosmic forces. The multiplicity of arms emphasizes the deity's immense power and ability to perform several acts at the same time. The portrayal of a deity in human form but with multiple arms is the artist's attempt to express the deity's superhuman power. Demons are frequently depicted with multiple heads to convey their superhuman power as well.

    2. Sometimes I feel like I have multiple arms. lol

  2. First of all welcome back..I missed your posts ...Thanks for taking us to Gangaikondacholapuram

  3. Absolutely marvelous and beautiful photos from the Temple complex! I am looking forward to visit this temple at the end of the year.

  4. the temple itself is amazing, but i like that huge bull!

    glad to see you again!

  5. Wow! That is amazing looking temple. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Hello Ram .....nice to see your post!
    This a spectacular place with so many beautiful carvings.The scale of the bull must seen up close to really be appreciated I think.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

  7. The pictures certainly reminded me of Brihadeshwara temple - Thanks for the intro about the Chola empire - very interesting.

  8. These temples are museums in their own right. Long live these places rich in sculptures that relate many a tale. :)

  9. Magnificent temple with beautiful architectural works. Would love to visit this temple.


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