Rajendra I (AD 1012-1044), the illustrious son of the great Chola king Rajaraja I (AD 985-1014) chose this location to build a new a great capital city for the Chola Empire most probably during the first quarter of 11th century in order to commemorate his conquest over northern territories. Nonetheless, he not only built a city, now in ruins and excavated partially but also a great temple for Siva. The temple has sculptures of exceptional quality like the dancing Ganesa, Ardhanari, Dakshinamurthi, Harihara, Adavallan (Nataraja) (on south wall niches), Gangadhara, Lingodhbhava, Vishnu, Subrahmanya, Vishnu-anugrahmurthi (west wall), Kalanthakamurthi, Durga, Brahma, Bairava, Kamantaka (north wall).
This site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 2004.
(photo source – link)