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....

The Muktesvaram, also at Kanchi, otherwise called Dharma Mahadevi Isvaram, was built in the 28th regnal year of Pallava Nandivarman II by his queen Dharma Mahadevi and named after her.

The temple faces the west. It consists of the griha and the ardhamandapa.

The ardhamandapa rests on four pillars; the front two have lion-base, and the rear two are plain.

Inside the ardhamandapa on the northern wall, there are sculptures of Ravana-anugraha-murti (with Siva and Parvati above) and Siva-Tandava facing the south. On the sides of the gateway to the sanctum, there are figures of Ganga-Visarjana-murti and Siva-Tandava facing the west. Perhaps, they serve as

On the southern wall, we have Siva-Tandavamurti, Chandesa and Siva-Parvati facing the north.

On the outerwalls of this temple, we have on the northern side sculptures of Urdhva-Tandava, Durga, Chandesa-Anugrahamurti, dvarapala, Subrahmanyar (with akshamala and kamandalu), Hariharar, Surya and Chandra.

On the eastern side (rear side) there are a dvarapala, Lingodbhavar (with Brahma on the north side and Vishnu on the south side), Surya and a dvarapala.

On the southern side, we have a dvarapala, Andaka-suravadamurti, Yoga-Dakshinamurti, SivainYogasana, a dvarapala, Uma-Mahesvara, Ganapati, Siva-Uma-Alinginamurti and a dvarapala.

These large-size sculptures in bays cover the whole wall-space; as in the case of Iravasthanesvaram and other earlier shrines mentioned above, there is no attempt to install figures in devakoshtas, nor the appreciation of the value of plain wall surface to serve as their background.

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