Second on UNESCO’s list of The Great Living Chola Temples, is the Brihadeeswara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

In a tiny village lost in time, is this 982 year old temple. This Brihadeeswara Temple too is built on the same lines as the Big Temple in Thanjavur, complete with a massive stone sculpture of Nandi facing the main shrine. Upon the death of Rajaraja I the capital was shifted from Thanjavur to Gangaikonda Cholapuram and there came about this smaller version of the original Brihadeeswara Temple.

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This temple complex isn’t merely structurally beautiful. It is also tranquil. Owing not just to its gentler architecture but also probably to it’s secluded location.

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After driving around all morning and noon in the summer heat of Tamil Nadu, it was evening by the time we got here.

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& what with the setting sun deciding to play peek-a-boo from behind the looming rain clouds, an all pervading sense of peace descended over me, as I took my time exploring, strolling around the expansive, almost deserted grounds of the temple.

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The bronze sculptures here are said to be priceless specimens of Chola art, but it was the Simhakeni or The Lion Well, that I found singularly intriguing.

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Explorers Guide

Trip Duration: Day Trip
Thanjavur – Darasuram – Gangaikonda Cholapuram -Thanjavur 
Distance from Thanjavur & First Temple:
72 Kilometres
Distance to Darasuram & Third Temple:
39 Kilometres

Read First: The Great Living Chola Temples: Vol I

Posted by:Neeharika Satyavada

<p>I am Neeharika Satyavada, weekend wanderer & explorer, the blogger behind Map In My Pocket. I love telling passionate stories about off-the-grid road trips, art & craftsmanship, culture, food, cities, et al. I also believe that I was born again in the Himalayas and harbour an eternal love for these mountains. </p> <p>Thanks for coming along on this visual journey with me, I do hope you enjoy the ride. :)</p>

7 replies on “The Great Living Chola Temples: Vol II

  1. WOW! This I didn’t know of. Chola temples are master pieces and the Nataraja statue is an outcome of that. But somehow never really been down South long enough to visit these stunners

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