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The Chola Temples

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Amazing ancient temples of Chola, located in the South of the Indian subcontinent, was built over almost two centuries - in the period from X to XII century. The complex is a unique architectural and historical monument, an example of which can be traced to the process of socio-cultural development of the great Tamil Chola Empire.

The first temple complex - Brihadeshwara, was established in the city of Tanjore in 1003-1010, during the reign of king by rajaraja. It's huge, built in honor of one of the main Hindu deities - Shiva - structure in Dravidian style, "state" which consisted of several hundred priests, 400 devadasi dancers performing sacred ritual dances, and 57 musicians. The income of the temple was so huge that they are enough not only to its development but also to provide loans to all in need.

Around the perimeter of the territory belonging to Brihadeshwara, was built high rectangular wall with dimensions 270x140 meters. The gates were made in the form of a massive tower-gopuram with a height of 30 meters. Behind the first wall, a second, more modest size. The temple is built of granite slabs and partly of brick. Their spatial arrangement it is similar to religious buildings of the Pallava dynasty. Inside it is a series of halls and vestibules, which lead into the main sanctuary of the temple - pyramid 13-throwaway tower Vimana. Its height is more than 60 meters, and the summit is crowned by a monolithic stone dome, weighing about 70 tons. Exterior wall Brihadeshwara decorated with carved columns and panels, a granite figure. And inside you can see beautiful statues depicting dancers in 108 poses of ritual dance.

The temple in 1987 he received the status of UNESCO world heritage.