The Tamil Nadu Archeological department in collaboration with premier educational institutions launched a field study earlier this month in Gangaikonda Cholapuram in Ariyalur district to search sites for archeological excavations that will take place in February. The study is facilitated by Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to search for suitable sites. The state department has permission from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) till September and the excavations will possibly go on till then
The study aims to find locations where remains of Chola dynasty be possibly uncovered especially of emperor Rajendra Chola I. The field study is likely to conclude today after comparing the hypothesis of potential locations with findings of the aerial survey. “A special drone from the institute of remote sensing in Anna University worth Rs 25 lakh is being used for thermal study of the area. We will get an overview on where to commence the field study after the completion of the aerial survey,” said Dr R Sivanandam, deputy director of state archaeology department.
According to K. Sridharan, a retired official of the archeological department, ““Excavating the remains of the medieval Chola kingdom will throw up interesting information on the construction style and water management measures of the times. Gangaikonda Cholapuram was capital of the Cholas for over two centuries, so there are high chances of unearthing historic remains.”
The study of Gangaikonda Cholapuram is one of the major projects undertaken by the state archeological department after the excavation in Keeladi to unearth about the Vagai Valley civilisations of the Sangam era.