May 17, 2011

The Engineering Marvels - Just 1000yrs old

Had visited Tanjavur Big temple, Gangai Konda Cholapuram & Darasuram; all in the chola belt of tanjavur - kumbakonam, Tamilnadu.

The majestic architectural beauty simply blew me off. Lots have been written abt tanjavur & Rajaraja Cholan , the great king, under whose reign the temple was built. But, you have to visit these places to experience the joy! This time around, we had the rare opportunity to climb up the big vimana & actually see the 1000 yr old paintings, the stone karanams (bharathanatyam - poses: there are 108 karanams, but only 81 was carved), and the hollow space that went right up to the kalasam. The temple was built in the 10th century. If you are a historical novel buff - I would recommend u to read Balakumaran's Udaiyar, a book on how the temple was built & the caste politics of that time.

The son of Rajaraja Cholan, Rajendra Cholan shifted the capital from tanjavur to Gangai-Konda-Cholapuram . He had defeated the kings up there & bought Ganga water to perform abishekam in the temple. This temple looks very similar to the tanjore temple. The vimana is unique, in the sense, the base structure is square, becomes hexagonal & finally becomes a circular top. How difficult it would have been, for the entire structure is of stone! This place has lesser buzz than the tanjore temple, so more peace.

Gangai Konda Cholapuram was the last capital of cholas. Due to the repeated wars with Pandyas the city was completely destroyed & the temple partly destroyed in the late 13th
century. The ASI has done a good job in renovating the compound walls & the other structures. The temple was built in 11th century.

The grandson - RajaRaja II also wanted his share in history, so he went ahead & built a temple in Darasuram which oozes beauty in everynook & corner, every pillar, every step. This is an epitome of skillful craftsmanship. The temple was built in the 12th century.



All these temples come under the "UNESCO - World Heritage Sites - The great Living Chola Temples". Looks like the funds are utilized properly.  All of them have beautiful lawns & proper maintenance. Must visit places, if you are looking to tour Tamilnadu.


கண்டெழுதுவோன் said...

All these shows a very good collections and portrayal of our art and culture. hats off to you.

sugan said...


Krishnan said...

Visited those marvels last year, and itching to visit them yet again..

Chennai Shopping mall said...

Nice blog! Good collections! :-)

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Places I'll never get to visit. But there are many of these. Cheers.