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Better amenities for visitors soon at Gangaikondacholapuram

ASI has currently taken up works at an estimate of about ₹3 crore

Visitors to the famous Gangaikondacholisvarar Temple at Gangaikondacholapuram in Ariyalur district could look forward to better amenities soon as the Archaeological Survey of India is strengthening basic facilities at the temple complex.

The ASI has currently taken up works at an estimate of about ₹3 crore to provide better amenities such as toilets and drinking water, cafeteria, public counter and parking area for the benefit of visitors to the temple, built by King Rajendra Chola-I.

Following the conquest of the Gangetic plains in 1023 CE, Rajendra–I built the city of Gangaikondacholapauram, a Siva temple and a lake Chola Gangam in commemoration of his victory. The gigantic stone temple, which is a repository of beautiful sculptures, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Monument and is maintained by ASI. The temple, also referred to as Brahadeeswara temple, and the town are important tourist attractions in Ariyalur district.

Separate toilets for men and women are being built as part of the project. Besides, a drinking water treatment plant and cafeteria are also being established. Another building housing a publication counter, where the ASI’s and other publications, including those on the temple, is also under construction. An approach pathway and lawn are also to be developed in between the buildings, whcih are being constructed without affecting the heritage ambience of the temple.

A parking area is also being developed on an adjacent piece of land owned by State government, ASI sources told The Hindu.

At present, vehicles are parked haphazardly under the trees in front of the temple.

“The works, which slowed down due to the pandemic, are expected to be completed within about a month’s time,” an ASI official said.

Similar amenities are being established at Sithanavasal and Kodumbalur also, a senior official said and added that the toilet complex at the Big Temple in Thanjavur has already been commissioned.

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