One among the Great Living Chola Temples. The temple, built to symbolize the power of the Chola Dynasty, stands as testimony for the art and culture of the citizens of Chola Empire even after crossing through 1000 years, is the Lord Shiva Temple in Gangai Konda Cholapuram, a small town in the South Tamil Nadu. The entire temple complex is built by King Rajendra Chola as a replica of Lord Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tanjore. Both the temples of replica of each other. Rajendra Chola wanted to imitate his father’s commendable work which is still an Engineering Mystery,fondly called as Big Temple at Tanjore. The 9 storeyed gateway tower built at a height of 185 feet at the façade of the temple at Gangaikonda Chola Puram makes the visitors spellbound.
The presiding deity is Lord Shiva housed in the form of a Lingam at a height of four feet which is supposed to be the biggest of all the Shiva Temples in South India. The temple accommodates the sub shrines for other deities also which are the norms of a Shiva temple.
The artistic sculptures and other wonderful works you find throughout the temple complex have earned this the credit of being recognized as the World Heritage Site under the category of “The Great Living Chola Temples”.