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.
- Raja Raja Cholan, 1985 -1014 AD.
- 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.
Gangaikonda Choleswarar Temple
- Gangai Konda, Cholapuram
- Rajendra Cholan, 1014 -1044 AD.
- 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.
- Raja Raja Cholan II, 1146 - 1073 AD.
- 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.
- Kulottonga Cholan III
- 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
- The period of the Chola Dynasty was described as the golden age of
the Tamil culture.
- The temples of the Chola dynasty are an outstanding example of
architecture and a true representative of the Chola ideology.
- Karikala Chola was the most famous among the early Chola kings.
- The Vimana of the Brihadeswara Temple is the tallest in the world.