The Great Living Chola Temples are a group of three temples located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu that were built by the Chola dynasty between the 10th and 12th centuries. The temples are considered to be some of the finest examples of Chola architecture and are known for their intricate carvings and sculptures. The temples are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The three temples are the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram in Gangaikonda Cholapuram, and the Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram.
The Brihadeeswarar Temple, also known as the Big Temple, is the largest of the three temples. It was built by the Chola king Rajaraja I in the 11th century and is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The temple is known for its massive size and intricate carvings, including a massive stone lingam (an iconic representation of Shiva) and a huge Nandi (Shiva's bull) statue. The temple also has a 100-pillar hall and a towering vimana (temple tower) that stands 216 feet tall.
The Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram was built by the Chola king Rajendra I as a tribute to his victory over the Pala dynasty. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and is known for its intricate carvings and sculptures, including depictions of the ten avatars of Vishnu. The temple also has a large tank known as the Golden Lotus Tank, which is believed to have healing properties.
The Airavatesvara Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and was built by the Chola king Rajaraja II in the 12th century. The temple is known for its intricate carvings, including images of dancers and musicians, as well as its musical pillars that produce different musical notes when struck.
Overall, the Great Living Chola Temples are a must-visit for anyone interested in Indian architecture and history. Visitors can explore the temples and marvel at their intricate carvings and sculptures, and learn about the rich history of the Chola dynasty.
How to reach the Great Living Chola Temples?
The Great Living Chola Temples are located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and can be reached by several means of transportation.
By Air: The nearest airports to the temples are the Tiruchirappalli International Airport and the Chennai International Airport. From there, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temples.
By Road: The temples are also well-connected by road and can be reached by hiring a taxi or by taking a bus from nearby cities.
By Rail: Additionally, the temples are also accessible by train, with the nearest railway stations being Thanjavur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, and Darasuram. From there, visitors can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the temples.
Overall, the Great Living Chola Temples are easily accessible and can be reached by a variety of transportation options.
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