Monday, September 19, 2005

Gangai Konda Cholapuram

Last week, I managed some time to catch a glimpse this beautiful place in between a couple of wedding receptions. Its an awesome place for those interested in temples, history and sculptures.

Some of the interesting facts, that I heard from the priest there

- Built by Rajendra Chola in 10th century to celebrate his victory
- He chose this place because most of his war heroes were from here
- It took 33 years to build the Shiva temple here
- He ruled from Gangai Konda Cholapuram for 32 years
- Only temple where sunlight gets reflected by the nandi on the lingam at any time of the day
- The Siva lingam and all the dieties are larger than the ones at Thanjavur temple
- The lingam is 13 ft high and 60 ft in circumference compared to 12.5 ft and 55 ft in Thanjavur
- The Navagrahas (9 planets) are carved out of a single stone
- Goddess Durga (King Rajendra's favorite) has 20 hands (Very rare)

There is a dark chamber in the first floor of the temple. We couldn't go there as it was being renovated. I have never seen 1000 year old sculptures being so enormous and expressive

The temple administration has done a great job in keeping it clean and green.

A must see place for those interested in Indian heritage. Google to find out more.

front_view sacred_bull
Front view and Sacred Bull

sculpture temple
Sculptures and Temple side view and breathtaking walls



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