Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Great Living Chola Temples


I've written enough about the Big Temple at Thanjavur, but on my last visit there I got to visit the two lesser known cousins of the great Chola monument. The three temples in the image above are, from left to right, Brihadeeshwara Temple at Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram temple and the Airavateshwara temple at Darasuram, all built within 2 centuries of each other by rulers of the Chola dynasty. I've tried to represent them in the actual proportion of their sizes. Clearly the Thanjavaur monument dwarfs the rest, but the two smaller ones more than make up in terms of their sculptural brilliance. The one at Darasuram, especially, is a treat. Even on a Sunday, my wife and I were the only two people inside the fortification that encloses the main temple. Some pictures here.

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