Gangaikondacholapuram was the capital of RajendraChola (1012-1044 AD), the son and successor of RajaRajaChola. According to history, RajendraChola had conquered several northern kingdoms in order to bring the holy waters of River Ganga to his kingdom. As a mark of celebration, he created a ‘liquid pillar of victory’ (JalamayaSthambha), a tank where the vassal kings contributed Ganga water as tribute to the conqueror. Hence he was called Gangaikondachola -- the Chola king who brought the Ganga - and the town was named after him. The temple dedicated to Lord Brihadeeshwara located here is similar in many aspects to the temple in Tanjore. There are some striking sculptures of Mahisasuramardini, Nataraja, Ardhanariswara, Chandikeshwara, etc. Recently, the state Archaeology Department unearthed the remains of a royal palace constructed by RajendraChola I, at a site in Maligaimedu, 2 km southwest of Gangaikondacholapuram. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which comes under Great living Chola Temples.