Photo Credit : Prabhu B Doss
The Great Living Chola Temples
The Great Living Chola Temples are temples constructed during the Chola reign, an ancient dynasty of the Southern India and other parts of the Indian sub-continent.
These famous sites include three temples of 11th and 12th century namely Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.
The Brihadisvara Temple is declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987; the Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram were added as extensions to the site in 2004.
The site is now known as the “Great Living Chola Temples” and it represents an stupendous artistic accomplishment in the architectural conception of the pure form of the Dravidian type of temple.
The three Great Chola Temples are an excellent and the most outstanding testimony to the development of the architecture of the Chola Empire and the Tamil civilisation in Southern India.
The Great Chola temples at Thanjavur, at Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram are outstanding examples of the architecture and the representation of the Chola ideology. Airavatesvara Temple also exhibits Dravidian architecture and it is built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century.