29th July 2015.
Every time passing through this temple, I thought of visiting this Shiva temple standing majestically on the high way between Jayamkondam to Chennai. Finally I made it on 28th July 2015. Purposely I planned my travel from Thirukadavur to Chennai during day time, so that I can visit this temple. For this I diverted the route via Kumbakonam, instead of Chidambaram, to reach this place.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the replica temple of Tanjore Brakatheswarar temple, but not very much similar. The awesome and majestic gopuram attract our eyes from a long distance. This was once a capital for Chozhas and now there is no trace of palace or buildings around the temple
Iraivan : Sri Brahadeeswarar
Iraivi : Sri Braha Nayaki, Sri Periya Nayaki.
Some of the important features of this temple are……
- The temple is facing east with a Rajagopuram ( only pillars are exist now with dwrabalakars at front.
- Dwajasthamba pedestal, Palipeedam and Big Nandhi are at the entrance to the temple.
- In the outer prakaram ( beautifully maintained lawn ) houses the sannadhis of Vinayagar, Sri Periya Nayaki Amman sannadhi, Sandikeswarar and Mahisasuramardhini Sannadhi. In addition to this there is a shrine with out Deity on the left, a mandapam and Simha well are on the right.
- There are 4 entrances to the sanctum of which 2 are in front and 2 are at the side after mandapam
- There is a small nandhi when we climbed the stairs at the front. The mandapam with pillars are before sanctum. In the mandapam, Shiva with three faces Urchavars and Sabtha mathakkal. A huge un installed kalasam is kept along with urchavars.
- There is a passage/ corridor around moolavar sannadhi ( Sivachariyar allowed me to circumambulate through that passage ).
- Moolavar is not so big like Tanjore Periya Koil.
- In the koshtam Some of the moorthams are Vinayagar, Dhakshinamurthy, Arthanareeswarar, Natarajar, Vishnu, aalingna moorthy, Chandrasekarar, Pichadanar, Gajalakshmi, etc.
Name : Periya Kovil ( Big temple )
Main Deity : Peruvudayar ( Brahadeeswara – Big owner)
Consort : Perianayaki ( Big Deity)
Established : 1025 C.E.
Place Meaning : Gangai ( Ganges of Himalayas ) konda ( Conquered) Cholapuram ( Chola Place ).
Built by : Rajendra Chola the great, also titled as Parakesari ( supreme furer), Mummudi Cholan ( of 3 crowns), Gangaikonda Cholan, Kadaram Kondan,..etc.
Resemblance : Built as replica of the big templeof Thanjavur, built by his father Raja Raja ( king of kings ).
Height : 182 feet ( 55 meters) and shorter than the Tanjore temple tower with larger plinth. It is often described as feminine counterpartof Tanjore temple.
Architecture : Dravidian Architecture. ( an engineering marvel as the shadow of the main granite tower never falls on the ground throughout the year).
Significance : Was the capital city of South India and South-east Asia Extension.
Background: Rajendra Chola i(1012 to 1044 A.D) the son of the great Raja Raja Chola-I, Considered one of the greatest emperors and military leaders of India, established this temple after his great victorious march to Himalayan river Ganges in northern India. He defeated Mahipala, the Pala King of Bengal and Bihar and commemorate his victory he built a new city called Gangaikonda Cholapuram. The triumphant Chola armies brought back waters from the river Ganges in golden vessels to consecrate the new found land.
Gangaikonda Cholapuram was established as the capital of Chola Empire by Rajendra Chola-I, shifting the traditional capital from Thanjavore ( Tanjore). It occupies an important place in the history of India. As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 C.E, for about 250 years, the city controlled the affairs of entire south India and also South-East Asian Countries, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Coastal Burma, Kadaram ( Kedah in Malaysia) and Indonesia.
The Cholos became one of the most powerful dynasties in Asia during Rajendra’s reign and Bay of Bengal became virtually a Chola lake. Rajendra’s territories extended to coastal Burma, the Andaman Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Maldives, conquered the Kings of Sri Vijaya ( Sumatra, Java and Malay Peninsula in south east Asia) and the Pegu islands with his vast fleet of ships. The Tamil Chola armies exacted tribute from Thailand and Khmer Kingdom of Cambodia. Tanjore inscriptions also state that Suryavarman, the king of Kambhojia ( Cambodia ) requesting Rajendra’s help in defeating enemies of his Khemer kingdom, where the state emblem and world’s largest non-functioning Hindu Ankorwat temple still stands today ( Srirangam is currently the largest functioning temple).
Rajendra Chola I, under took several expeditions to occupy territories outside Indian shores. In-fact Rajendra Chola I, was the Indian King to take his armies overseas and make conquests of these territories, even though there is epigraphical evidence of Deccan Dynasty of Pallava’s presence and their Tamil scribes in these South-east areas, but it is not known that Burma and Indo-China were subordinate to them as they were under Rajendra and his successor Rajadhi raja up to Kulothunga I. When the capital of Cholas moved to Chidambaramn, until then all the Chola emperor’s coronation took place at Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
The temple and it’s property belongs to Archeological Survey of India and UNESCO.
CONTACT DETAILS :
- The mobile number is +91 9751341108
- The temple is kept open between 06.00 Hrs to12.00 Hrs and 16.00 Hrs to 20.00 Hrs
- The temple is on Jayamkondam to Chennai Road about 10 KM from Jayam kondam and 2 KM from X-road.
- Autos are available from Jayamkondam and X-road.
- Buses also available from Kumbakonam to Jayamkondam via X-Road and passes through the temple.
Nandhi - big
Small nandhi and big nandhi from temple view
Reliefs on the sanctum wall inside
Temple complex view
Temple complex view
South side entrance
North side entrance
Pikchadanar & Gajalakshmi
Vishnu & Arthanareeswarar
Lord Shiva with Parvathy
--- OM SHIVAYA NAMA ---