Due to the inherent anisotropy of the system, gold nanorods behave differently in comparison to their spherical counterparts. Reactivity of gold nanorods, in presence of cupric ions, was probed in an attempt to understand the chemistry of anisotropic particles. The reaction progresses through a series of intermediates. It can be arrested at any stage to get nanorods of desired dimension and therefore, can be used for their reshaping. The presence or absence of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) on the nanorod surface was found to be determining the site of initiation of the reaction. When a large concentration of CTAB is present in the system, selective etching of the tips of the nanorod occurs and when the nanorods are purified to reduce the amount of CTAB in the solution, the side faces of the nanorod also get reacted. Gold nanorods are converted to particles by further surface reconstructions in a systematic surface specific chemistry.