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A Dance Dedicated to Shiva: Great Living Chola Temples (Brihadisvara Temple). ©NHK; UNESCO TV 1987
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A Dance Dedicated to Shiva: Great Living Chola Temples (Brihadisvara Temple)

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Language(s): English

Summary/Historical Context

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Historic sites
Religious buildings
Shiva
Brihadisvara
Thanjavur

The Great Living Chola Temples were built by kings of the Chola Empire, which stretched over all of south India and the neighbouring islands. The site includes three great 11th- and 12th-century Temples: the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram, built by Rajendra I, was completed in 1035. Its 53-m vimana (sanctum tower) has recessed corners and a graceful upward curving movement, contrasting with the straight and severe tower at Thanjavur. The Airavatesvara temple complex, built by Rajaraja II, at Darasuram features a 24-m vimana and a stone image of Shiva. The temples testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting.

Place/Country: India
Series: NHK World Heritage 100
Type: Documentary
Duration:
Credits: NHK, producer. UNESCO WHC, co-producer ; UNESCO TV, co-producer.
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