Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tour To UNESCO Heritage Sites - The great Living Chola Temples

Ignited minds never sleeps, sleeping among ignited minds is a nightmare. Visiting historical places gives the same experience, we can keep admiring them and wondering and at the same time it throws lot of question in your mind.

The limitation of knowledge limits our understanding, we could never understand more than our knowledge. Visiting historical places is good example for it; it will look like just a part in this world. Unless we have or can get knowledge from a reliable source about the historical places which we visit.

Passion to know things, reasoning to get answer will keeps you in search of answer. The main aim of our trip to the Living Chola temples is to see the temple with open eyes. Some of the key points which ignited us during this visit may be look childish or stupid till it was answered in a rational way.
The temple architecture was in such a way that it was made as two wall structure on which the Vimana (Tower) stands, above the sanctoram upto the top of the vimana the space is empty. The 216 feet tall vimana was kept intact by 86 ton top stone. The temple which was called as Periya Avudaiyar temple as written in the temple inscription was also called as Brigadeshwara temple. It was told that spiral ramp made up of sand is used to build this tall structure, Elephants were used to move heavy stones. The stones were place on top of each other, no cement or any types of paste were used but instead they followed ingenious interlock rocks to attach one another. The top of the vimana was made up of stone ( Not sure whether it is a single stone) weighing 86 tons. Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Perunthachan was the chief architect of this temple.

The top of the stone reminds me the great Raja Raja Cholan, each stone and sculptures represent the hard working labors, bureaucrats, defence force and artists. The great top stone holds this working force and made his supreme reign during 10th century. This temple is an autobiography of the great cholan emperor about his kingdom management. He also documented little details which resembles modern day standard operating procedures.

With 1000 years gone in time and this great temple stands proud in our midst to tell the great story of a king, so much to learn from him and it look like he is ready to teach us and our future generation.


Our next stop after the lunch is a small village called Darasuran, the villlage is fortunate to have the next UNESCO heritage site and one among the living chola temples. This temple was build by Raja Raja Cholan II who is the grand son of thegreat king Raja raja cholan. If his grand father work is majestic then the grandson work is more of artistic in nature. We could see sculpture as small as 2 inch in size.

GangaiKonda Chola Puram:
In the evening we arrived at Gangai Konda cholaapuram, once a capital of cholas during the period of Rajendra cholan who iwas the son of Raja Raja cholan. This temple looks similar to Periya Avudiyar temple but have a curved vimana rather than straight up right like Tanjore. We can notice the similarities of this temple to pallavas mahapalipuram shore temple. The inside of the temple is similar to Tanjore and surrounded by lush green grasses. The temple was well maintained by Archeological survey of India. I could not forget the feeling of listening Nadaswaram inside that temple, the sound of that music reverb ting inside the stone walls are majestic and so pleasing to ears. I think that instrument is just made to be played inside such halls.
In a single day we have traveled into the wonderful period of chola dynasty, the memories are so filled with stories of hard working people, artistic craftsman and wonderful kings of those days.

Though the past histories makes us proud the present day never fail to haunt us. We people made history only with good leaders. Leaders like Raja Raja cholan arise only once in millennium. I still wonder how political and diplomatically he should have been, how well he should have sorted issues, motivated people to unleash their enormous potential. These kings were still in our minds not just they build these huge temples but for their adventurous campaign on many parts of India and south East Asia, well articulated administration and organizing different kind of people together to achieve a common goal. Apart from learning these things we never should forget the Hard working labor forces who might have toiled all their life in hot days to create these wonderful temples. Those people might not have thought that some one after 1000 years would remember them. We can not finish the story of these great kings and temples without remembering those labors. Say a thanks or a prayer for those lovely hands for their hard work which still stand for us to remember our past and guide us towards the future.

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