Early Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1960 | 105,501 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Parantaka I to Rajaraja I in the timeframe A.D. 907-985. The Cholas of Southern India left a remarkable stamp in the history of Indian architecture and sculpture. Besides that, the Chola dynasty was a successful ruling dynasty even conquering overseas regions....

*Temples of the Age of Sundara Chola*

Five temples have been identified as those which could be ascribed to the age of Sundara Chola.

The central shrine and the of the temple of Tiruttindisvara devar at Gidangil—modern Tindi-vanam—belonged to this age. The Kalabhattari temple at Velachcheri is an independent Saptamatrika temple of the early Chola period, like that at Alambakkam. The Siva temple in this place called that of Tirukkarrali Mahadevar of Tiruttandisvaram—modem Dondi-svaram (Velachcheri)—is also of this age.

The Vishnu temple of Varadarajapperumal at Minjur called in the past that of Sola-Kula-Sundara- Vinnagar-Alvar is a dated temple of the 3rd year of Sundara Chola’s days; but its recent renovation has spoiled its value as an important dated early Chola temple.

But the grandest temple of Sundara Chola’s days and one of the finest of the early Chola monuments is the Muvarkoyil at Kodumbalur. Kodumbalur is 23 miles (37 km.) south of Tiruchy and 25 miles from Pudukkottai town. It is an ancient city of great renown. It lay on the great highway between the ancient Pandya and Chola capitals. It was a city of temples, and tradition says that 108 temples existed here. Among them the Tiru-Muchukundesvaram and the Muvarkoyil are two early Chola temples that have survived to this day in a fair state of preservation. Here was also another temple of the days of Aditya I, called but it has gone out of existence; its only relic is an inscribed pillar used in the construction of a later mandapa in front of the temple of Tirumuchukundesvaram. The temple of Tirumuchukundesvaram, called in the past, according to the inscriptions relating to this temple, Tiru-mudukunram Udaiyar temple is said to have been built by one Mahimalaya Irukkuvel in the 14th year of Parantaka I. He is also the builder of the temple of Sittur.

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