Gangaikonda Temple, Thanjavur

Visitor Information

  • Famous For: Tourism, Religious Trips, Photography and Learning
  • Entrance Fee: The entry to this temple is free.
  • Visiting Time: This temple remains open from 6am to 12pm, and from 4pm to 8pm.
  • Visit Duration: Visitors generally spend 30 minutes to 1 hour here.

The Gangaikonda Temple is a classic example of the diversity in the architectural styles, culture and traditions found in India. This temple has several interesting features which are the reasons for its popularity across the country. The victories and the great history of the Cholas, are remembered by the Chola Temples, and their contribution to the field to architecture and art is quite significant. These contributions are showcased throughout the different parts of this temple.

Gangaikonda Temple
Photo by simianwolverine, CC BY 2.0

Traveller Tips

  • This temple is known for its beautiful carvings and many other architectural aspects, so most of the visitors prefer carrying a camera to capture some of this scenic beauty.
  • Also, carry a good supply of water if you are planning to visit this temple during daytime.

Things to Do

  • The architecture of this temple is quite popular since it is an important historical monument from the time of Chola dynasty. This makes this temple an important destination for aspiring architects and historians.
  • The environment surrounding this temple provides a calm and serene environment for travelers to enjoy a peaceful weekend, and an easy escape from a busy work schedule.
  • The beautiful engravings, the breathtaking design of the exteriors, the sculptures and many other art forms seen here provides the perfect opportunity to create memorable moments with your parents and friends.
  • The religious shrines including the Shiv Linga, along with the statues of Nataraja and Saraswati makes this temple a popular religious destination.

Availability of Guides

There are several tour agencies in the city who provide the service of tour guides and translators, and there are also many online websites which includes this temple as one of its many destinations.

Best Time to Visit

The best time of the day to visit this temple is early morning or late evening, to enjoy much cooler climate and the surrounding landscape.

Also, the best time of the year to visit this temple lies between the months of September to March, since during this time, the state experiences monsoon and winter seasons. Visiting this temple in this season is much preferable due to numerous reasons such as festivals, climate, greenery, etc.

How to Reach

This temple is accessible through a series of connected roads from different parts of the country, and different bus services- both government and private are available to reach this temple.

Also, this temple is located at a distance of 111km from Tiruchirapalli International Airport, and this city is connected to nearby areas such as Tiruchirapalli, Bangalore, Tirupati, etc. through railways. This temple is located at a distance of 31km from Kuthalam railway station.

Interesting Facts and Trivia About the Gangaikonda Temple

  • The entire construction of this temple is done around a particular deity of Hindu religion along with several other deities. The main deity here is Lord Shiva, and large number of sculptures and constructions are built here for this deity. The very first example of this is the statue of Nandi which is said to be the vehicle of Lord Shiva, and is visible from the entrance itself. Next comes the Shiv Linga, which is said to be the biggest among the Shiv Lingas in Tamil Nadu. Other instances of this deity seen here includes the sculpture of Nataraja, which is said to be the dancing form of Lord Shiva. Also, other deities found here includes the sculpture of Goddess Saraswati – who is said to be the provider of music, knowledge and wisdom in this religion, etc.
  • This temple follows a similar construction pattern as that of the Brihasdeeswara Temple in Thanjavur. This temple gets the name “Gangaikonda” from a very interesting story from the time of Chola dynasty. In their time, the Chola kingdom was quite popular for its wealth and strength. In one such journey, it is said that Rajendra Chola, one of the greatest emperors of India, brought a pot filled with water from river Ganga to consecrate the nearby reservoir. This is the reason why this emperor was named as “Gangaikondan”, which means “the one who brought the Ganga”. In later years, this temple was built around his name to commemorate his valuable contributions.
Gangaikonda Temple Thanjavur
Photo by Nithi Anand, CC BY 2.0

Nearby Attractions

  • Vinayagar Temple
  • Sri Periyanayaki Amman Temple
  • Veera Narayana Perumal Temple
  • Sri Kaliamman Temple
  • Pillayar Koil
  • Kuruvalapar Kovil
  • Angala Parameswari Temple
  • Good Shepherd Mission Church

Nearby Restaurants

  • Ravuthar Biriyani
  • Wilson’s Cafe
  • Apple Veg Restaurant
  • Archana Restaurant
  • Hotel Jeeva
  • Sri Devi Coffee Bar & Hotel

The city of Thanjavur is one of the most important tourist destinations in South India, with a large variety of religions, architectural styles, art-forms, and much more. The various temples seen here built during the time of Chola dynasty, includes the Great Living Chola Temple, which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Gangaikonda Temple has a significant role in this long list of temples, and is quite popular due to its architecture and serene environment.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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