Friday, October 22, 2010

India - A Marvel Of Architecture

Brihadeeswarar Temple is an architectural wonder and reflective of the artistic skills of the erstwhile Chola rulers who ruled peninsular India in the early medieval period. Built by the Chola king Rajaraja I in the 11th century, it is one of the tallest temples in the world. It was so designed that the vimana never casts a shadow at noon. The Brihadeeswarar Temple belongs to the south Indian style of temple architecture: The basic structure of temples in India is a room or the Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum) where the idol of the main deity is kept. The temple is approached by a flight of steps and is often built on a platform. A porch covers the entrance to the temples, which is supported by carved pillars. A prominent roof called the shikhara surmounts the top of the Garbha Griha and dominates the surroundings. Gradually, with the passage of time, small temples grew into temple complexes. Thanjavur Brihadeeswara Temple: Thanjavur is "Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu" and a great pilgrim destination of South India. It was the capital of Chola kings who ruled the region during 9th to 13th centuries. Thanjavur is a flourishing centre for bronze sculpture and painting. The temple, dedicated to Nandi, the Bull is a masterpiece of the captivating Chola architecture. The mount of Lord Shiva i.e. Nandi has been made from a single granite rock.
Thanjavur Brihadeeswara Temple is unique to have the tallest tower (216 ft) over the sanctum sanctorum unlike other temples. The Temple, made over a 29 m square base, is surrounded by moat on two sides and Grand Anaicut river on the other side. The compound within its inner wall measures about 500 feet x 250 feet. The walls of the sanctum are adorned with the wall paintings of Chola and Nayak periods. The temple has a soaring vimana and a stunted gopuram. The inner sanctum and the gopuram were constructed over a period of 12 years. It was constructed from a single piece of granite weighing around 80 tonnes. I must thank My friend Kasinath, who designed this wonderful maxicard for sending it to me.

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