With lush green landscapes surrounding it, the temple established by Rajendra Chola holds richly carved sculptures of Mahisasuramardini, Nataraja, Ardhanariswara and Chandikeshwara. There is also a massive monolith of Nandi and two majestic Dwarpalas guarding the entrance. The temple complex is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site grouping of Chola Temples and makes for a fascinating visit. The site is a fine example of Chola architecture and encapsulated a very integral period of the dynasty's rule. The temple has sculptures of exceptional quality; the bronze sculptures of Bhogasakti and Subrahmanya are Chola masterpieces of metal while the Saurapitha (Solar altar), the lotus altar with eight deities, is widely considered to be auspicious. Gangaikondacholapuram was the capital of Rajendra Chola (1012-1044 AD), the son of Raja Raja Chola. When Rajendra Chola settled down here, 70 km away from Thanjavur, he also built a temple for Lord Shiva on ground, equivalent in magnificence to the Big Temple in Thanjavur. Legend states that once, during his travel, when he had conquered several northern kingdoms, the king brought back water from the holy River Ganga here in a golden pot as a sacrifice to Shiva. As a mark of celebration, he also established a liquid pillar of victory called Jalamaya Sthamba. Rajendra Chola was bestowed with the name Gangaikondan (the one who brought the Ganga). The town was then named after him. Recently, ASI unearthed remains of a ruined palace built by Rajendra Chola at a site southwest of the town; the area is currently under their protection. While here, try and pay a visit to the palace too.

Other Attractions in Thanjavur