Gangaikonda Cholapuram

This idyliic village is located around 75 km North East of Thanjavur. Rajendra Chola 1 of Chola dynasty built this as a town almost thousand years ago from the ground up and made it the capital of his empire. It remained as a Chola capital for around 250 years, until Cholas were defeated by Pandyas.

Now the Siva temple is the only surviving building standing as a remainder of the old glorious days. But the several earth mounds scattered around this area suggest the old city must had been destroyed. There is no conclusive evidence about who destroyed this city. There are various theories pointing fingers from Pandyas to Delhi Sultants who occupied this area at different times after the Cholas were defeated.

Unlike the other temples in India, the temple and surrounding area remains quite without much crowd. There are not many stalls selling stuffs nor private guides trying to convince you why a guide is a must. We were literally able to get off infront of the temple from our tempo van.

We visited the temple around noon. There were only few people around at that time. The temple is smaller than the one in Thanjavur, the architecture has the unmistakable signs of Chola era temples.

It is a great feeling when tried to imagine there were people walking on this same spot thousand years ago.

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