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How archaeologist R. Nagaswamy helped retrieve Chola era statue from UK

How archaeologist R. Nagaswamy helped retrieve Chola era statue from UK

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  • GS 1 || Art & Culture || Visual Arts || Architecture

Why in the news?

  • Renowned archaeologist and Padma Bhushan awardee R Nagaswamy, who was the first director of Tamil Nadu’s Department of Archaeology, died at the age of 91


Chola empire

  • The Chola empire existed in southern India. Around the mid-ninth century, Vijayalaya, a Pallava vassal, conquered Tanjore and rose from obscurity.
  • He and his people had Tamil origins but some of their ancestries reveal traces of Indo-European influence, such as the name Aryaman in the Chola genealogy. As well as ruling their heartland, they also ruled large tracts of lands in adjoining Andhra, Kerala, and Karnataka.
  • These temples of Southern India represent outstanding creative achievement in the architectural conception of the pure form of the Dravida type of temple which are now known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”.

Features of Temple Architecture of the Chola Empire

  • Dravidian style of temple architecture
  • Most of the Chola temples were carved on the temple walls.
  • The deity was placed at
  • Use of carved miniature images of gods and goddesses.
  • The principal deity of the temples is Lord Shiva.
  • The dvarapalas, or guardian figures, at the entrance to the mandapa, or hall, which started from the Palava period became a unique feature of the Chola Temples.
  • Vimanas were an important part of the temple. They were assumed massive size during this period.
  • Statues of kings were installed in temples. This promoted the cult of the king as Godhead.

Significance of Nataraja

  • Nataraja (Lord of the Dance), the Hindu god Shiva in his form as the cosmic dancer, is represented in metal or stone in many Shaivite temples, particularly in South India.
  • It is an important piece of Chola sculpture.
  • The significance of the Nataraja (Nataraj) sculpture is said to be that Shiva is shown as the source of all movement within the cosmos, represented by the arch of flames.
  • The purpose of the dance is to release men from the illusion of the idea of the “self” and of the physical world.

Important temples of the Chola empire

  • There are three great Chola Temples of the 11th and 12th centuries. Those are listed below-

●       Surrounded by a rectangular wall protected by 8 vimanas which hosed the 8 keepers of directions called Ashtadikpalas.

●       The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known as Dakshimeruvitankar.

●       An enormous Nandi which is the second-largest in India carved out of a single block of granite guards the entrance of the sanctuary.

●       The temple at Tanjore is the Tallest of all the temples in India in the medieval period.

●       Various public works such as cities, roads, irrigation works, and artificial tanks were constructed

●       It was built by the Chola emperor Rajendra Chola  I.

●       It is described as the feminine counterpart of the Thanjavur temple.

●       Rajendra Chola I constructed a city, a water tank, and a temple with the same name as the Gangaikondacholapuram temple.

 

●       It was built by Rajaraja II and the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

●       This temple has six pairs of massive, monolithic dvarapalas statues guarding the entrances and bronzes of remarkable beauty inside.

●       For example- 24 m Vimana and a stone image of Shiva.

 

 

Conclusion

  • The Chola rulers were not only mighty conquerors and great administrators but also great builders. They were great patrons of art; during their reign, the most magnificent temples and exquisite bronze icons were created in South India.

Mains model Question

  • The Chola Period marks a distinct and significant period in the art and architecture of India. Comment

References

●       Surrounded by a rectangular wall protected by 8 vimanas which hosed the 8 keepers of directions called Ashtadikpalas.

●       The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known as Dakshimeruvitankar.

●       An enormous Nandi which is the second-largest in India carved out of a single block of granite guards the entrance of the sanctuary.

●       The temple at Tanjore is the Tallest of all the temples in India in the medieval period.

●       Various public works such as cities, roads, irrigation works, and artificial tanks were constructed

●       It was built by the Chola emperor Rajendra Chola  I.

●       It is described as the feminine counterpart of the Thanjavur temple.

●       Rajendra Chola I constructed a city, a water tank, and a temple with the same name as the Gangaikondacholapuram temple.

 

●       It was built by Rajaraja II and the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

●       This temple has six pairs of massive, monolithic dvarapalas statues guarding the entrances and bronzes of remarkable beauty inside.

●       For example- 24 m Vimana and a stone image of Shiva.

 

 

Conclusion

  • The Chola rulers were not only mighty conquerors and great administrators but also great builders. They were great patrons of art; during their reign, the most magnificent temples and exquisite bronze icons were created in South India.

Mains model Question

  • The Chola Period marks a distinct and significant period in the art and architecture of India. Comment

References