|Snippets of information - Chola Temples|
14 Dec 2020
Great Living Chola Temples
- The Great Living Chola Temples were built by kings of the Chola Empire,
which stretched over all of south India and the neighbouring islands.
The site includes three great 11th- and 12th-century Temples: the
Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at
Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The
Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram, built by Rajendra I, was completed in
1035. Its 53-m vimana (sanctum tower) has recessed corners and a
graceful upward curving movement, contrasting with the straight and
severe tower at Thanjavur. The Airavatesvara temple complex, built by
Rajaraja II, at Darasuram features a 24-m vimana and a stone image of
Shiva. The temples testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in
architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting.
- Eighty-one of the one hundred and eight karanas, posed in
Baharatanatya,are carved on the walls of second bhumi around the
- The Airavatesvara temple at Tanjavur was built by the Chola king
Rajaraja II (1143-1173 CE.): it is much smaller in size as compared to
the Brihadisvara temple at Tanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram. It
differs from themin itshighly ornate execution. The temple consists of a
sanctum without a circumambulatory path and axial mandapas. The front
mandapa known in the inscriptions as Rajagambhiran tirumandapam, is
unique as it was conceptualized as a chariot with wheels. The pillars of
this mandapa are highly ornate. The elevation of all the units is
elegant with sculptures dominating the architecture.
11 Oct 2020
Peria Koil, Thanjavur
The greatest of Chola emperors Rajaraja-I (985 A.D - 1012 A.D) the son
of Sundara Chola (Parantakaa-II) and Vanavanmahadevi built this
magnificent temple named Brihadisvaram at Thanjavur - the capital of
Chola dynasty. From the epigraphical evidence it is known about
building this temple on his 19th year and completed on 275th day of his
25th year. It took just 6 years to complete this work on 1010 A.D.
This gopuram is built by Rajaraja-I and depicts the mediaeval chola
architecture where the Raja gopuram (the entrance gopuram) diminish in
size and the Karpagraham (the main deity's gopuram) is significant.
On either side of this entrance is seen two 15 feet huge monolithic
stone sculpture of the Dwarapala which reveals the Thattva (concept)
that God is Everywhere as shown by the upper two hands and the pose of
right hand index finger denotes that God is one and only one. On keen
notice one can see a Elephant is being swallowed by a crocodile and the Lion
standing behind. This denotes even if one faces such a big problem of
great magnitude, a strong stand (a firm belief in God) similar to that
of a Lion's strong standing posture will lead ways to realize God.