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The Majestic Chola Temples – A Tour Towards Ancient South India

Until 13th Centuries, the Chola Dynasty is the best longest ruling dynasties in the south India. Also among the other dynasty, Chola dynasty has the proud that they have constructed the remarkable temples with mind-blowing architecture. Among all the temples, three of the temple stands to be the great existing Chola temples till date. The Brihadisvara temple situated at Thanjavur, Airavatesvara situated at Darasuram and Brihadisvara situated at Gangaikondacholapuram are those three temples.

The temple holding the marvelous architecture and sculptures, the paintings then bronze casting stands the whole as a testimony to the prosperity, wisdom, and workmanship of their golden period. Now these temples have been the part of “UNESCO’s World Heritage Site”.

Since they are the faithful devotees of God Shiva that is why the Chola temples were dedicated to their desired deity. The Chola rulers took over the Dravidian architecture for temple construction that was fixed by the Pallavas, however, they took the design to the subsequent level. They made use of granite for a construction of sculptures of fighters, great kings, performers, divinities and much more. The temples are built that are against and standing tall so that to portray their glory.

1. Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur

Brihadeeswarar Temple photoBy simianwolverine – Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, under CC BY 2.0

This temple is the most striving among the Chola temple and was constructed for the King Raja Raja Chola I and it is still today the best-visited temples of Tamil Nadu. Through its outstanding design also majesty, it adds the architectural glory of Chola dynasty. The temple is almost 1,000 years old moreover, it has the biggest temple tower or gopuram (vimanam) among the others in the world. A sculpture of sanctified bull Nandi, engraved out of a unique rock that beautifies the entrance of the Brihadeeswarar temple. The temple holds a tall lingam, the Lord shiva that height about 3.7m tall. The structural design of this temple is the inspiration of the work not simply for temples in south India however as well to the other countries.

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2. Bihadeeswarar Temple in Gangaikonda Cholapuram

Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple photoGangaikonda Cholapuram By simianwolverine – Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, under CC BY 2.0

Comparing to the Brihadeeswarar Temple that is in Thanjavur, this temple called to be the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple that was constructed by the by King Rajendra Chola I, son of the Raja Raja Chola I. It is built in the same way as the Brihadeeswarar Temple that is in Thanjavur but it smaller than that. Numerous trusts it is to retain the father-son heritable respect intact and too as this temple works as the feminine equal of the temple in Thanjavur. However, the Shiva lingam is taller than the Thanjavur temple. Further charms of the temple are the massive depiction of Navagrahas that is in a form of a chariot and the monuments of Chandeswarar also Gnanasaraswathi.

3. Airavateswarar Temple in Darasuram

This temple is smaller than both Brihadeeswarar Temple as well as Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple, this temple is situated in Darasuram nearby ranks third in the list of great living Chola temples. In the period of 12th centuries, the temple was built by Raja Raja II. This temple is also dedicated to their desired Lord Shiva. The temple in Tamil Nadu was built by Raja Raja II in the 12th century. It is devoted to their desired god, Lord Shiva is respected as Airavateshwara since it is faith the heavenly elephant Airavata venerated the divinity here. The vimanam is at the height of 24m high. You will find a huge chariot that us drawn by some horses will be placed in the front of the mandapam. Although the temple may be small, it has complicated specifying that sort it the portion of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.

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Featured Image Photo: Thanjavur, Brihadishwara Temple by Arian Zwegers under CC BY 2.0


Vidya is a full-time Freelance Writer and Blogger. Vidya loves and is passionate about it. Vidya has been featured as the editor in magazines like "Swagger Magazine" and "Disruptgear". Vidya hails from Chennai, India. Vidya has travelled many tourist destinations and is very much inclined to share her travel experience with everyone. Vidya also runs her own blog where she shares info covering topics about Beauty Tips, Health Advice, Food Recipes, Travel Destination, Entertainment Media and so on..

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