Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Gangaikonda Cholapuram
4.5
Architectural BuildingsReligious SitesMonuments & Statues
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles360 reviews
Excellent
280
Very good
72
Average
6
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Andrew D
Singapore, Singapore399 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
People always likened this temple to be a mirror image or the feminine version of the Thanjavur Big Temple, but I beg to differ. The layout is significantly different and though its scale is relatively more modest, its carvings are also a lot more intriguing. We went at night which adds to the overall mystical quality of the temple. Note that the actual location of this temple is a few hours away from Thanjavur and not in Thanjavur itself, and maybe that's why it feels less touristy. Worth a visit to avoid the crowd!
Written 1 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

H I
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
One of the unique things I noticed was the carving of the 12 sun signs on the ceiling of this temple. It is about 50 mts from the entrance and quite dark. Do not miss this wonder. The sun signs are supposedly developed by the Greeks and how the same has been depicted so long ago will be interesting to know.
Written 14 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shonil_B
Pune, India367 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a very fine temple with beautiful carvings on the pillows walls ceilings. this place is slightly away from the hustle and bustle of any city but it's definitely worth a visit. do not miss the unique carvings on each and every pillar of the temple and also the carvings on the backside of the temple. The big lion face is also attractive. It will be great if the government makes guides available or boards are written so that this temple can be understood in a more better and meaningful way. This place is amazing for photography too.
The total time spent year could be approximately one hour. The premises is not having toilets Drinking water needs to be carried on your own. No Cloak Room.

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Written 10 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Smeeta G
Mumbai, India184 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
This architectural marvel was built during the Chola period and is designated UNESCO HERITAGE SITE as great Chola living temples along with the Brihadisvara at Thanjavur, and Airavatesvara at Darasuram,Admission to temples is free. Its smaller version of Brihadeeswara temple at Tanjavur . It's on the way to Kumbakonam from Tanjavur.
Written 11 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Venkataraman S
Chennai (Madras), India34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
I never want to miss this place whenever i am going to Kumbakonam/Tanjore. As part of our Aarupadaiveedu Trip from Chennai, we covered this place to on 24 Dec 2019 when going from Swamimalai to pazhmuthir solai. it was raining when we visited this place. that made it look even more beautiful. We went to the temple and had dharsan of Lord Siva. Then we spend about an hour by taking photos and watching the wonders our ancestors created. The place was very clean and well maintained. Must visit place for all Tamilians to know their history.
Written 1 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Avanija
Delhi8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
The pinacle of Chola architecture and sculpture. A green oasis with a heart of soaring granite. Keep aside two hours to explore this complex. Arrive before noon or after 4 pm if you want to offer prayers in the sanctum.
Written 18 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sugees
Bengaluru, India377 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Family
Its one of the architectural marvel of chola kingdom.. These magnificent structures are to be witnessed in person. UNESCO heritage site, well maintained and every individual carry the pride in thier face while into the structures. The chola dynasty and its history is intertwined with Tamil culture and people. A must visit place. In fact, entire chola structures along the Kauvery basin are must visit places for all history, architecture and design lovers..
Written 20 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nandhinikarthickumar
61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Along with brihadeeshwarar and airavateshwarar temple this gangaikonda cholapuram is one another exquisite architectural temple, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
It is such a serene and calm place that we couldn't step out of the temple even after a long time being there, I felt something is special in this temple than any other. The green lawn adds an extraordinary beauty to this outstanding place
Written 12 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

twanetdl
vermont76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Friends
This is on the way to Thanjavur. If you're a temple aficionado then this is a must. We were not aficionados but found this temple very calming.
Written 13 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anirban_Pal
Bengaluru, India48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016
Thanjavur is situated almost 320 km to the south of Chennai and about 50 km away from tiruchirapally(trichy). Distance between trichy to Bangalore is almost 400 Km.
There is direct train from Bangalore, 1632 Mailaduturai Express (SBC-18:15 pm) reaches thanjavur via trichy in early morning around 5 o’clock. Hotel Tamilnadu (Tamilnadu Tourism hotel chain) is walking distance from Railway station.

Thanjavur earned prominence under the Cholas who erected large number of temple, of which Brihadisvra (Big Temple-build by Rajaraja) at thanjavur stands foremost. Darasuram is located on outskirt of kumbakonam and 40 km from Thanjavur. Darasuram’s main temple is called Airavateswara build by Rajaraja II. Gongaikondacholapuram is located in Perumbalur district and about 85km from thanjavur. Here also the temple is named Brihadiswara build by Rajendsra I son of Rajaraja. All three monuments are inscribed in the world heritage list by UNESCO as “The Great Living Chola Temple”. Chidambaram Tillai Nataraja is the farthest point in this journey almost 120 km from thanjavur.

We booked a car from Hotel Tamilnadu and started our journey in early morning. First we visited Darasuram’s Airavateswara temple.The temple is dedicated to Shiva. Among the various notable architecture we can point out
1) The agra-mandapa(pillered front temple), called Raja-gambhiran tiru-mandapa, is conceived as the chariot of Tripurantaka(manifestation of Shiva)- with wheels,hubs and spokes drawn by horses.
2) Eight Outer pillars of the mandapa are supported by “Yalis” in squatting posture.
3) Martanda bhairava on the southern wall of Maha mandapa.
4) Depiction of yoga/gymnastic pose. It will take hardly 1hr to cover this temple.

From Airavateswara temple Brihadisvra of Gongaikondacholapuram is almost 1 hr (40 km) journey by car. Gongaikondacholapuram was the capital of Rajendra I(1012–1044 AD). Rajendra conquered eastern Chalukya territory, Kalinga and Gangetic plateau (Pala king Mahipala) of Bengal. The emperor assumed the title of “Gongaikondachola” means “the chola king who brought the Ganga”. Entering through the gopura, one can see a huge Nandi (not a monolithic structure). Main temple is 108ft high and the Shiva lingam is of 13ft height. Among the various sculpture few are noted below: 1) Rajendra chola is shown being blessed by Shiva. 2) Nataraja on the southern side of vimana 3) Brahma with Saraswati and Savithri on the northern wall 4) Eight armed Mahishamardini etc. These places are maintained well maintained by ASI, though it is not much facilities regarding food or lodging. Temple Timing: 6 a.m-12 pm and 4pm to 9pm

After visiting Gongaikondacholapuram we headed towards Chidambaram Nataraja Temple (50 km from Gongaikondacholapuram). In Thillai Nataraja temple Shiva is being worshiped as Nataraja, Lord of dance (not in form of linga) and one of the main temple of Saivite Group. The roof of the main sanctorum is covered by gold leaf (donated by Chola King Parantaka I(907-950 CE)). One can enter in the main sanctorum by buying special darshan ticket of Rs. 100. Temple Timing is 6 a.m to 12noon and 5pm to 10 pm at night. It is better to finish your launch at Chidambaram and visit temple in 2nd half at around 5 pm.

Next day morning we visited the most famous Big Temple, Brihadiswara temple of Thanjavur. It is only 2km from Hotel tamilnadu. The Brihadiswara temple here symbolizes the greatness of the Chola Empire, and reflects the splendour of its creator, emperor Rajaraja I. The pradakshin path of inner sanctum depicts numerous Chola painting. As it is restricted from visitors, Archaeological survey of India has created a museum beside the temple to restore the replica of the painting and the 108 dance pose of Shiva. On the northern side of the temple there is few painting like Saraswati, Vinayaka etc. those are actually contributed by Nayakas in later decade. It will take at least 2hrs to visit the temple. Daily Puja timing: 8:30 am; 12 pm; 6 pm and 8:30pm Temple timing 6:30-12:30 and 4pm-9 pm

Shopping: Famous DANCING DOLL of Tanjore (Rs 200- Rs. 600). Available at numerous road side stall outside the temple complex.

At around 11 am we headed towards tricy. It took around 1 hr to reach trichy by govt. bus. We stayed at Yatri nivas of Ranganathswamy temple. One can book e-lodging facility from their official site. It is on the backside of the temple. The north gate is only 2km far from the lodge. To avoid the queue I will recommend for buying the special darshan ticket of Rs 500 from temple complex counter. Otherwise it can take at least 2-3 hr for normal darshan. To take a glimpse of the total temple complex you can avail the ticket to go to the terrace of the temple. The counter is on the left side, once you enter from Raj Gopuram. Except the darshan you should not miss the architecture beauty of 1000 pillar mandap on the right side of the temple complex.
After visiting this if you get time you can go to Jambukeshwar temple and the trichy Rock Fort on the hill top. That’s the end of our journey. We availed our return train (Mysore Express (16231)) from trichy at 8:35 pm.
Written 17 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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