Later Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1979 | 143,852 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Kulottunga I to Rajendra III in the timeframe A.D. 1070-1280. 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 in Tirukkodikka (Tirukkodikkaval)

In our earlier book, Early Chola Temples (pp. 174-6), we have dealt with the temple of Tirukkotisvara at Tirukkodikka(val) in extenso indicating that this temple was rebuilt of stone in the days of Uttama by queen Sembiyan Mahadevi who ordered that all the inscriptions found in various places in the earlier structure of the temple should be re-inscribed on the walls of the new structure (ARE 36 of 1930-31). While dealing with the Sun temple at Suryanarkoyil and generally Sun worship in the south, we have also mentioned the fact that one Ilaiyan Aditta-pidaran of Kor-ravayil in Tenkarai Panaiyur nadu gifted money to the servants of the temple of Tirukkodikka in Vadakarai Nallarrur nadu to supply offerings to the image of Surya deva which he had set up in that temple (ARE 35 of 1930-31).

Tirukkotisvara temple: Mahamandapa and Tiruch-churru-maligai

In the maha-mandapa of the Tirukkotisvara temple, we find a number of inscriptions belonging to the days of Kulottunga I and his son Vikrama Chola. They all relate to his 42nd and later regnal years. We may presume therefore that this mandapa should have come into existence during the last decade of'Kulot-tunga I. Encircling the main central shrine and also the mandapa along with the subsidiary shrines of Ganapati and Chandesvara in the prakara, is a wall with a raised, pillared and covered platform running the entire length of the wall; on the east wing of this structure, outside the prakara, there is a brief inscription which mentions the words “svastiSri Vikkiramasolan tirumaligai” Evidently this wall was built during Vikrama Chola’s days and at his instance and named after him. We have noticed that in his and his father’s days a large number of temples were expanded, by adding to the area of the temple campus by building what are termed tirumaligai or tiruch-churru-maligai, i.e., compound wails round the existing temple, frequently with raised covered platforms running the entire length thereof, thus allowing for a circumambu-latory passage and space for sub-shrines for Ganapati and others. We know for instance that Kulottunga I and Vikrama Chola built the first and second prakara walls of the Nataraja temple at Chidambaram (ARE 9 to 58 of 1930-31), apart from many others.

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