The Great Living Chola Temples

Finally covered the The Great Living Chola Temples as part of the GoUnesco challenge, which means, only Nilgiri Mountain Railway is left in Tamilnadu, which soon, hopefully!

The route was simple:
Banagalore-Hosur-Salem-Vridhachalam-Jeyankondam-Gangao_konda_Cholapuram-Dharasuram-Thanjavur. All done in one morning, around less than 7 hrs.

Gangai Konda Cholapuram
Built in the 11th century as a mark of the Chola King as mark of him conquering till Ganga, this still stands erect and invite people.

And just after this, while waiting for a bus, got to taste for the first time in my life, Kambu Koozh, a porridge made of a millet, with added buttermilk and cluster_beans_fryraw_mango_with_salt_&_chilli_powder and green_chilli - was super awesome!

Airavatesvara Temple, Dharasuram
Built in the 12th Century by another Chola king, this is famous for its sculptures & especially the stone chariots. There are 2 seperate complexes next to each other, one for the God Airavateshvara (Shiva) & another for the Goddess Periya Nayaki (Parvathi). The temple gets its name from the legend that Shiva was worshipped here by Airavata, the white elephant of the King of Gods, Indra.

Rama killing Vaali

The 63 Nayanmaars line up


These are for making Sandalwood paste
Thinking small was clearly a problem, I say!

A scene depicting the results of a goat-fight.
Notice the reactions of the winner & loser!
THE Best of all! - A Bull & an Elephant

Visited Lord Muruga at one of his abodes 

A Ganesha temple where the idol is made of sea foam; hence there's no abhishekam performed here. The temple is full of sculptures, and interestingly, they're all of Black Rock, in addition to granite. The main shrine has a 10-foot Jali cut out of a single rock!

Intricacy was not left out even in the roof!

An array of Shivalingas
Legend has it that Sage Brighu came here to worship Shiva, and the Devas who came long created a Shivalinga each & worshipped them.

Brihadeeshwara Temple, Thanjavur
Built by the great Chola king Raja Raja Chola in the years 1007-1010, this temple recently celebrated it's 1000th birthday!

So, finally!

The Great Living Chola Temples - Challenge completed!

PS: Mahabalipuram, Hampi, Pattadakkal & The Great Living Chola Temples! That was 4 sites in 3 weekends! *cheering myself up* :)


Veera said…
As you say managing on a smaller scale is a problem with the the Great Cholas.Had they compromised, then these temple.s do not live up to the adjective 'Brihad'.      Wish you an early,uninterrupted completion of the rest of the challenge. 
thanx! n yeah, small scale things seem to be a problem! :D
Kaber said…
cool shit man. would you like to write a little bit more about your trip? 
yeah, wanted to. but it was already getting lengthy. hence.

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