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10 Great Living Chola Temples In Tamil Nadu You Must Visit!

The Great Living Chola Temples in Tamil Nadu are architectural marvels and hold great cultural and religious significance. Tourists not only visit several destinations, but they also enjoy watching classical dance and music performances during their visits to the state.

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Get Mesmerized By The great Chola temples In Tamil Nadu

If you are interested in history, explore the following lists of Chola Temples in Tamil Nadu!

Here Is A list of 10 Chola temples in Tamil Nadu

Thanjavur chola temple

The Brihadesvara Temple is considered to be the famous chola temples.
Credit: Holidify


The Thanjavur Chola temple, also known as the Big Temple, is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the great living Chola temples.

Built by King Raja Raja Chola I in the 11th century, it stands as a magnificent example of Dravidian architecture, featuring a towering vimana (temple tower) and intricate stone carvings. The temple is renowned for its architectural grandeur and cultural significance.

  • How to reach Thanjavur Chola temple? To reach Thanjavur Chola temple, you can take a flight to Tiruchirapalli International Airport (TRZ), followed by a train or bus to Thanjavur.
  • What is Thanjavur Chola temple famous for? The Thanjavur Chola temple, also known as Brihadeeswarar Temple, is famous for its architectural grandeur and the towering vimana, showcasing exquisite Chola art and engineering.
  • Best time to visit Thanjavur Chola temple? The best time to visit Thanjavur Chola temple is during the winter months from October to March, avoiding the hot and humid summer season.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram

Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Credit: Holidify

Gangaikonda Cholapuram, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Tamil Nadu, India, was built by Rajendra Chola I in the 11th century to commemorate his victorious expedition to the Ganges.

The temple complex is renowned for its architectural grandeur, featuring a towering Shiva lingam and intricate sculptures. It stands as a testament to the Chola dynasty’s cultural and artistic prowess.

  • How to reach Gangaikonda Cholapuram? To reach Gangaikonda Cholapuram, take a flight to Trichy International Airport, then a train to Kumbakonam Railway Station, and finally, a bus or taxi to Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
  • What is Gangaikonda Cholapuram famous for? Gangaikonda Cholapuram is famous for its magnificent Brihadeshwara Temple, built by Rajendra Chola I, showcasing exceptional Chola architecture.
  • Best time to visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram? The best time to visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram is during the winter months of October to March for pleasant weather and optimal exploration.

Airavatesvara Temple

Airavatesvara Temple
Credit: Tamil Nadu Tourism – TN GOV

The Airavatesvara Temple, located in Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its architectural brilliance and intricate sculptures. It is one of the best Chola temple architecture considered by visitors.

Built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture, showcasing exquisite carvings and a captivating vimana (tower). Visitors are captivated by its spiritual aura and historical significance.

  • How to reach Airavatesvara Temple? To reach Airavatesvara Temple, take a flight to Tiruchirapalli International Airport, followed by a train to Kumbakonam Railway Station, and finally, a bus to Darasuram.
  • What is Airavatesvara Temple famous for? The Airavatesvara Temple is famous for its exquisite architecture, intricate carvings, and unique stone chariot, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Best time to visit Airavatesvara Temple? The best time to visit the Airavatesvara Temple is during the winter months from November to February when the weather is cool and pleasant.

The Temple Of Gangaikonda Cholapuram

The Temple Of Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Credit: Tamil Nadu Tourism – TN GOV


The Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram, built by the Chola dynasty in the 11th century, stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance of that era.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is known for its imposing structure and intricate carvings, attracting visitors with its historical and cultural significance. Its name, meaning “the city of the Chola who conquered the Ganges,” reflects the Chola dynasty’s triumphs.

  • How to reach Gangaikonda Cholapuram? To reach Gangaikonda Cholapuram, take a flight to Trichy International Airport, then a train to Ariyalur Railway Station, and finally a bus or taxi to Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
  • What is Gangaikonda Cholapuram famous for? Gangaikonda Cholapuram is renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Brihadeeswarar Temple, built by Rajendra Chola I in the 11th century.
  • Best time to visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram? The best time to visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram is during the winter months from November to February when the weather is cool and pleasant.
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Vijayala-Cholesvaram

Vijayala-Cholesvaram
Credit: Tamilnadu Tourism

Vijayala-Cholesvaram is a historic temple complex in Tamil Nadu, India, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Renowned for its intricate architecture and spiritual significance, the temple attracts devotees seeking blessings and tranquility.

The site’s cultural heritage and religious ambiance make it a cherished destination for both locals and visitors.

  • How to reach Vijayala-Cholesvaram? To reach Vijayala-Cholesvaram, take a flight to the nearest airport, followed by a train journey to the nearest railway station, and then use a bus to reach the final destination.
  • What is Vijayala-Cholesvaram famous for? Vijayala-Cholesvaram is famous for the historic Chola temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, showcasing remarkable architecture and intricate carvings.
  • Best time to visit Vijayala-Cholesvaram? The best time to visit Vijayala-Cholesvaram is during the annual Maha Shivaratri festival, marked by vibrant celebrations and cultural events.

Nageswaraswamy Temple

Nageswaraswamy Temple
Credit: X.com

The Nageswaraswamy Temple, located in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, is a renowned Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the prominent Navagraha temples, associated with the serpent deity, Rahu.

The temple’s architectural grandeur and spiritual significance attract devotees seeking blessings and tranquility. It is one of the most famous Chola temples

  • How to reach Nageswaraswamy Temple? To reach Nageswaraswamy Temple, take a flight or train to Dwarka, Gujarat, and then use local buses or taxis to reach the temple.
  • What is Nageswaraswamy Temple famous for? Nageswaraswamy Temple is famous for being one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, dedicated to Lord Shiva, in Dwarka, India.
  • Best time to visit Nageswaraswamy Temple? The best time to visit Nageswaraswamy Temple is during the Maha Shivaratri festival for a spiritually vibrant experience.

Moovar Koil

Moovar Koil
Credit: Wikipedia

Moovar Koil, also known as the Three Temples, is a historic site in Tamil Nadu, India, featuring three ancient rock-cut temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Carved out of a single rock formation, these temples showcase intricate architectural and sculptural details, reflecting the artistic brilliance of the Chola dynasty. The Moovar Koil stands as a testament to the rich cultural and religious heritage of the region.

  • How to reach Moovar Koil? To reach Moovar Koil, take a flight or train to Madurai, then a bus or taxi to Moovar Koil.
  • What is Moovar Koil famous for? Moovar Koil, also known as Three Temples, is famous for its ancient rock-cut shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, and Lord Brahma, located in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Best time to visit Moovar Koil? The best time to visit Moovar Koil, also known as the Three Temples, is during the annual Panguni Uthiram festival in March-April for a vibrant and culturally rich experience.

Koranganatha

Koranganatha
Credit: This Day in Indian History

Koranganatha Temple is a Hindu temple located at Srinivasanallur, approximately 50 miles from Tiruchirappalli. This temple was controlled, preserved, and defended by members of the Muthuraiyar or Muthuraja community, who identified as Medieval Chola forefathers.

The temple was built by the Medieval Cholas and is devoted to the god Ranganath. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has conserved the temple.

  • How to reach Koranganatha? To reach Koranganatha, take a flight to the nearest airport, then a train to the nearest railway station, followed by a bus to the final destination.
  • What is Koranganatha famous for? Koranganatha is famous for the ancient Koranganatha Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, known for its architectural and historical significance.
  • Best time to visit Koranganatha? The best time to visit Koranganatha is during the winter months (November to February) when the weather is pleasant for exploring the temple and its surroundings.

Valisvara Temple

Valisvara Temple
Credit: Wikipedia

Valisvara Temple, located in the serene town of Kanchipuram, is a magnificent example of Dravidian architecture, dating back to the 8th century.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this ancient temple boasts intricate carvings and a sacred atmosphere, making it a significant pilgrimage site and a cultural treasure in Southern India. Pilgrims and tourists alike are drawn to its spiritual aura and architectural splendor.

  • How to reach Valisvara Temple? To reach Koranganatha, take a flight to the nearest airport, followed by a train journey to the nearest railway station, and finally, a bus ride to Koranganatha.
  • What is Valisvara Temple famous for? Valisvara Temple is famous for its unique and intricate architecture, featuring a Shiva lingam and a rare depiction of Lord Brahma, located in Lakkundi, Karnataka, India.
  • Best time to visit Valisvara Temple? The best time to visit Valisvara Temple is during the Maha Shivaratri festival for a vibrant and spiritually enriching experience.
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Kampaheswarar Temple

Kampaheswarar Temple
Credit: templetownkumbakonam.com

Kampaheswarar Temple, located in the heart of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, is a sacred Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the famous Chola temples

With a rich cultural and historical significance, the Kampaheswarar Temple stands as a testament to the spiritual heritage of the region.

  • How to reach Kampaheswarar Temple? To reach Kampaheswarar Temple, take a flight to Chennai, then a train to Kanchipuram, followed by a bus or cab to the temple.
  • What is Kampaheswarar Temple famous for? Kampaheswarar Temple is famous for its unique swayambhu lingam, believed to cure ailments, and the annual Arudra Darshan festival celebrating Lord Shiva’s cosmic dance.
  • Best time to visit Kampaheswarar Temple? The best time to visit Kampaheswarar Temple is during the Maha Shivaratri festival, typically in February or March, for the most vibrant and spiritually significant experience.

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In conclusion, visiting the Chola temples in Tamil Nadu is not just a physical journey, but a spiritual one that connects you to the rich cultural heritage of this region. Each temple is a testament to the devotion and creativity of the people who built it and offers a unique insight into the history and traditions of Tamil Nadu. If you ever get the opportunity to visit these magnificent temples, be sure to take it and experience the wonder and beauty that they hold.

Suggested Read: Best Tourist Places To Visit In Tamil Nadu

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the Great Living Chola Temples in Tamil Nadu?

The Great Living Chola Temples refer to three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Tamil Nadu, India, namely the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram, and the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

How can one plan a visit to these temples?

Travelers can start their journey in Thanjavur and explore the Brihadeeswarar Temple. From there, Darasuram and Gangaikonda Cholapuram are easily accessible by road.

Which is Chola’s biggest temple?

The Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. It is one of South India’s largest temples and an excellent example of completely realized Tamil architecture.

Why are Chola temples famous?

The great temples were built by RajaRaja 1, Rajendra 1, and Rajadhiraja Chola. The temples are architectural marvels. The expansion of cultural activities is noteworthy in temple architecture.

Who were the strongest Chola kings?

Rajaraja Chola I became Chola King in 985 CE and was the most powerful Chola ruler.

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