Visitors to the famous Sri Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholapuram in Ariyalur district can have access to better amenities as the Archaeological Survey of India inaugurated a few new facilities at the temple complex on Wednesday.
A publication counter, cafeteria, a reverse osmosis water treatment unit, a toilet complex and a camp office were inaugurated at the temple. The facilities have been established at a cost of ₹2.01 crore.
Separate toilets for men and women have been built as part of the project, meeting a felt need. The ASI’s and other publications would be available at the publication counter. An approach pathway and lawn have also been developed in between the buildings, which have been designed in line with the heritage ambience of the temple.
Built by King Rajendra Chola-I, the Gangaikondacholisvarar Temple is a major tourist attraction in this region. 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 facilities at the temple were inaugurated by T. Arun Raj, Director (Archaeology), ASI, Tiruchi Circle, in the presence of R. Komagan, chairman, Gangaikondacholapuram Development Council Trust, R. Kalaiselvan, Assistant Superintendent Archaeological Engineer, ASI, and other officials.
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