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....

Further strides are made in the age of Aditya I. Some of the gems of early Chola temples are found in his reign. The Avani Kandarpa Isvara-griham at Kilaiyur with two shrines side by side is the grandest of this series. Two shrines of the same age within a single compound with two different kinds of sikhara with sculptures of rare quality installed as vimana-devatas, with its original gopuram guarded by dmrapalas—all these make it a class by itself. The Nagesvara temple at Kumbakonam and the Koranganathar temple at Srinivasanallur have stone sculptures of great plastic quality. The latter has a double-storeyed garbhagriha which served as the precedent for the Raja-raj esvaram at Tanjavur and for the stone-gateways of gopuras of the later Chola age. Aditya I’s temples are found all over the Tamil country from Kannanur in the south to Takkolam in the north.

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