Indian Tour Operators Promotion Council

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Great Living Chola Temples - Surrender Your Life..

What's What
Place -Tamil Nadu
Erected In -11th and 12th centuries
Best Time To visit -November to January
Timings -5.30am to 6 pm
Entrance Tariff - Rs 10 for Indians and Rs. 50 for foreigners
Tamil Nadu - Attractions

The Great Living Chola Temples were built during the reign of the Chola dynasty in the south of India. The major temples are the Brihadiswara Temple at Thanjavur, the temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The whole combined site is known as the Great Living Chola Temples.

Brihadeiswara Temple
Location - Thanjavur
Builder - Raja Raja Cholan, 1985 -1014 AD.
Major Features - It is one of the largest Chola temples. Its Vimanam is 13 storeyed and towers to 216 ft. It has spacious courtyards. It is a brilliant example of the Dravidian style of temple architecture.

Chola Temple

Gangaikonda Choleswarar Temple
Location - Gangai Konda, Cholapuram
Builder - Rajendra Cholan, 1014 -1044 AD.
Major Features - This temple resembles the Thanjavur Peruvudaiyar Temple in all respects, however its tower just falls 3 meters short of the Thanjavur temple's record height. The Shiva Lingam however is 4 meters high, taller than the one at Thanjavur. Sculptured images abound in this masterpiece of Chola architecture.

Airavateeawarar Temple
Location - Darasuram
Builder - Raja Raja Cholan II, 1146 - 1073 AD.
Main Features - It holds a 85 ft tall Vimana. Darasuram is described as a 'Sculptor's dream in stone'. Paintings and sculptured panels abound here, causing this shrine to be a veritable storehouse of art.

Kampahareswarar Temple
Location -Tribhuwanam
Builder - Kulottonga Cholan III
Main Features - It is the last in this series of four Chola masterpieces. The front mandapam here is again built in the form of a huge charriot. The Vimanam here is larger than that of Darasuram, and is about 120 feet in height. Sculptured panels depicting scenes from the Ramayana adorn this temple.

Year Of Kudos

The great Chola temples built by the kings of the Chola empire. The Brihadisvara Temple was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in the year 1987. The temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airvatesvara Temple at Darasuram were added as extentions to the site in the year 2004.

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