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Rajarājeśvaram or Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

This is Brihadishvara Temple dedicated to Shiva is located near Cauveri River delta in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. Referred by many names - one of them being Rajarājeśvaram - it was built by the victorious Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD.

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Brihadishvara is a Sanskrit composite word > Brihat/d = great or vast and Ishvara = Shiva or the supreme atman-soul - hence the name Brihadishvara Temple. An exemplary example of Dravidian architecture it is also called as Dakshina Meru for its majestic Vimana that symbolically represents Mount Meru. Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil is called Peruvudaiyār Kōvil temple since located in Thanjavur is also referred to as Thanjai Periya Kovil [ Periya in Tamil means ‘great’]. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Anupam Mukherjee | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

The Brihadeshvara temple complex has a rectangular plan with five main sections including the Garbha Griha - innermost sanctum, a soaring Vimana, Ardhamandapa, Mukhyamandapa, Mahamandapa and the Nandi Mandapa. You have a large pillared prakara that offers an ornate pradakshina path to devotees.

Originally in the 11th century the Temple was enclosed by a moat - which was later replaced by a double defensive set of walls - What remains of the original 11th century Brihadisvara temple is the Gopuram (gateway) located at the east end (used to be the main entrance in the 11th century), the courtyard, the Nandi Mandapa and the Garbh Griha or the main sanctum with its massive towering Vimana, main deity or the Shivalinga and two major shrines - one for Parvati and another for Kartikeya + inscriptions, frescoes and sculptures. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Mahesh Gudladona | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Ancient Painting of Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Between the Chalukya's, Pallava's and Chola's India saw a spectrum of Hindu temples built in varied architectural styles between the 5th and the 13th century.

Few stellar examples of monuments from Chalukyan era are seen in Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal - Monuments at Mamallapuram spell the Pallava era;

Cholas being a dominant dynasty invariably stamped their monuments with 'chola style of architecture' which can be witnessed at Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple, Airavatesvara Temple and especially at the grandiose Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Painting is by Marianne North (1830–1890) who travelled the globe painting flora, fauna and culture for almost 20 years. Her paintings were presented to Kew and still hang in that gallery. (Source: https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/temple-of-tanjore-southern-india-88309)

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Via Wikimedia Commons | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Subrahmanya Temple, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

The temple is referred as Murugan or Subrahmanya temple and is built on a raised platform that has intricately designed niches and wall carvings. It is a three-storeyed structure with a shikhara that is like its deity six-faced and its corners are adorned with peacocks.

The temple is dedicated to Subrahmanya in his Sanmukha form who is six-faced with twelve arms, seated on a peacock, flanked by his wives Valli and Devasena.

The Murugan temple’s ceiling is held by sculpted pillars - one such sculpture depicts Vishnu dancing like Nataraja. The temple has panels of Durga killing Mahisasura and Kali killing Nishumbha - plus Ganesha and standing four-armed Subrahmanya in its niches. The sculptures in the temple are carved in black granite a contrast to the temple being built of lighteror paler shade of granite. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Gmuralidharan | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Chandeshvara Temple, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Chandesa is one of the 63 Shiva Saints who holds a special place in a Shiva temple - and in a temple as large as Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur - he has his own separate shrine which is three-storeyed, located to the north of the main vimana of Brihadisvara temple. The temple has an octagonal shikhara that has four sculptures of a seated Chandikesvara and the corners are adorned by four Nandis.

Inside the Chandikeshwara (Chandesa ) temple - you will see 5 Chandikesvara images, two are seated images in the sanctum and three standing Chandikesvara in the niches, thus forming Pancha-Chandikesvara concept - the central one represents the Dhvani Chandesa, the second one in the sanctum represents Yamini Chandesa of Uma and the other three Chandesa are Tejas Chandesa, Kumbha Chandesa and Mitra Chandesa. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Since Chandesa is believed to be associated with Dhvani or the primordial sound - whenever a devotee visits Chandesa temple - before leaving a temple - its a tradition to clap hands - to pay your respect to the sound deity.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Girish Gopi | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Chandesa Anugraha Murti, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

In this frame we see Shiva blessing Chandesa who is a Shaivite Saint. You will find Chandesa Anugraha Murti in many temples dedicated to Shiva. [Anugraha = divine blessing]. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Whether you see the Chandesa-Anugraha-Murti at Thanjavur Bridadisvara Temple or at Gangaikonda Cholapuram - you will see three figures - Shiva with jewelry and his locks that seem like a crown - he would have Parvati on his left and both are seated with one leg folded up and the other pendent. Their devotee Chandesa is sitting below in an ‘Anjali mudra’ humbled by Shiva’s grace receiving his blessings in the form of garland.

In this particular frame at Brihadisvara Temple - Sculptor has followed the principle of hierarchical Shilpashatra where the sculpture of Shiva is the largest in size followed by Parvati and the smallest being Chandesa.

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: RameshM | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Saraswati, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Elaborately bejeweled than usually seen, sculpture of four-armed seated Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, music, arts, literature and every aspect of creativity and culture at Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Apart from hindus Saraswati is also reverred by the Buddhists and Jains.

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Anandrm1 | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Lakshmi, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

In any Chola temple you will find steps on the northern and southern sides as seen at Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur and both the sides are guarded by the dvarpalas.

In most temples the the garbha griha is symbolically considered as the goddess - whereas the main vimana is considered as the purusha.

You will find the image of Mahalakshmi on the southern side of the mandapa at the Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, and that of Saraswati on the northern side with steps leading to the central sanctum. The main sanctum is edged by image of Surya on the southern side and image of Chandra on the northern side. 

The Mahalinga Mahadeva in girbhagriha - is so designed that whe any you enter for darshan his third eye falls directly on you the devotee. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Devi, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

The creative arts that one would witness around the Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur is predominantly focussed on Shaivism or Shiva worship but you also see expression of Vaishnavism and Shaktism traditions. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Nandhinikandhasamy | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Nataraja, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Frame is of Nataraja at Brihidisvara Temple, Thanjavur.

You will find Shiva’s vivid dance postures and fluid movements on the first floor of the Brihadisvara temple around the sanctum. There are panels of 81 sculpted karanas (dance postures) - should have been actually 108 but the rest are uncarved.

An artistic interpretation is that the main image of the Brihadisvara temple is actually Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer, and the space above the shivlinga is ‘akasha or his rangabhumi where he dances’ and that is why the dance postures or karanas are carved on the upper floor walls of the garbha griha.

Or in other words Bharata’s Natyashastra is found here in sculptural sequence and is the earliest magnificent acknowledgement of Bharata’s Natyashastra in visual form in India. 

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km). How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: trshash84 | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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BhoothGana, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Holy 'Abhisheka' water pouring out via a decorative spout that is being supported by curious 'Boothagana' at Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Abhiṣheka is a daily snaana ritual performed during pūjā. The linga is first worshipped with puṣhpa. Than the Archaka rubs oil and fresh fragrant ghee onto the liṅga and pīṭha - he then offers dhūpa - than the shivalinga is rubbed with a mixture of turmeric powder, rice powder and gram powder before pouring water slowly - the act pouring of water or milk is called Abhiṣheka.

Many perform three Abhiṣheka's which means next Archaka may offer - panchamarit > milk, curd, ghee, honey, sugar than performing Abhiṣheka with tender coconut water - followed by dhūpa and dīpa intermittently + offering of flowers, water mixed with precious stones or gold as the final Abhiṣheka.

Archaka may including gooseberries or sandalwood paste or do Abhiṣheka using warm water fragranced with sandal paste.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Madhuranthakan Jagadeesan | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Murals, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Raja Raja Chola I filled Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur with paintings. These paintings depict Dakshinamurthi, Tripurantaka, Kalyansundara or narrate local legends including life of Saint Sundaramurthi and of the Raja Raja I himself visiting Chidambaram temple.

The paintings are more focussed on bhava or the inner expression of every character. There are paintings with dancers performing nritya also showcasing the importance of worshipping using multiple dance forms under his reign.

The paintings at Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur are not only classical but are finely executed, using predominantly natural colours including brown, black, yellow, red, blue, white and tones of green. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Benjamín Preciado | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Gajalakshmi Painting, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

The Cholas passionately constructed majestic monuments and stone temples all across their empire and Rajarajesvaram is the grandiose of them all. Administrative reforms and patronage of arts are cornerstones of Raja Raja I’s legacy. 

Ancient Indian texts on paintings emphasize the aesthetic and auspicious values of the murals or as known in ancient times as ‘bhittichitra’ - they are believed to herald virtuous aspects.

So its not really surprisingly to find - even the dark pradakshina-path or the circumambulatory path at the Brihadisvara Temple decorated with ethereal murals. The theme of these murals is predominantly Shaivite as the king was a devout worshipper of Shiva - you would still find other deities - as this particularly frame that is of Gajalakshmi, a significant Ashtalakshmi aspect of goddess Lakshmi. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Ankushsamant | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Nataraja Painting, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

You will find Chola frescoes covering floor to ceiling on the sanctum walls along the pradakshina path pathway at the Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur. The Chola frescoes narrate hindu myths predominantly focussed on Shiva - and were painted using natural pigments which were infused into the wet limestone layer whilst it was setting in. Apart from Shaivite themes - some frescoes depict Vishnu, Durga and scenes of majestic Chola rule and day to day life. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

This dance posture or karana of Nataraja is termed as urdhvatāṇḍava.

As per legend Shiva and Kali had a dance duel which was judged by Vishnu. Both of them being competitive kept on out-performing each other. Than Shiva performed a difficult dance step where he lifted his left foot towards the sky in the Urdhva Tandava posture, this being a male gesture - and in accordance with the decorum of the natya sabha - Kali being a female couldn't display the same. This legend is also depicted in the Nritya Sabha, of the Chidambaram temple

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: tommy | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Kaltali - Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

How does one conclude that a temple has a 'shudh type' of architecture?

There is an inscription or a declaration by the emperor ‘that he has built the SriVimana at Brihadisvara - Thanjai - out of stone or (Kaltali) or reiterating that it has been built by using only one type of material and that is the granite stone. The architecture style where one uses only a single material for constructing the entire Vimana is called shuddha or pure type of architecture according to shastras of temple building. [Temples from that era used multiple materials like stone mixed with wood or plaster that temple would be termed as mishra type of temple.]

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km). How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Stories Through Lense | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Vimana of Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

The Tanjore Brihadishvara temple is a spectacular achievement of its era and scholars believe that the Cholas had literally and meticulously planned its every detail. Every aspect of the temple not just its architectural design and layout but the exact positions of its main shrine or shivlinga surrounding sculptures, images, inscriptions - secondary shrines and their positions and directions of bronze images, sub-shrines, everything was pre-planned.

There are inscriptions referring to the exact positions where each element ought to have been.

The Cholas managed to even build the sacred concept - that of Mount Meru as its Vimana. The main vimana has forms of Shiva - including Nataraja, Bhiksasana ,Chakradanamurti, Ardhanarisvara, Lingodbhava, Gangadhara depicted on its walls. You will also find Pancha Brahma at Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjai or the sculptures of  Tatpurusa, Aghora, Sadyojata, Vamadeva and Isana that are placed in specific positions in niches. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Gughanbose | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Inscribed Records, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

What makes Raja Raja I unique is the lengths he went to - his concern was to preserve Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur for the present and beyond his lifetime - as a visionary he was aware that it would require hundreds with diverse and myraid capabilities to do so. Raja Raja I ensured that every person in his kingdom who wanted to serve the temple - was involved across hierarchies in the temple activities - or the ones appointed were responsible.

An apt example would be - Raja Raja I ensured that the smallest of detail was described, recorded and rules were adhered to - for example a bronze image would be described, its weight recorded, the cost incurred of its making plus its maintenance. A person was appointed for each and every image who looked after its safety as it had number of gems and ornaments on it as well as its worship.

Another example would be records of every gift be it from the emperors, his mother, his sister or his commanders was recorded including the smallest gold or silver spoon would be registered with its weight and cost. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Karty Jazz | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Inscriptions, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

The emperor Rajaraja I was not only powerful but was also a visionary with exemplary administrative skills - as he not only recorded how the temple was built - or its regular structural maintenance -but he also recorded laborious details on forms of worship of primary and secondary deities - apart from the regular pooja rituals - nritta-geeta-vadya was an essential part of daily worship. The emperor had made provisions of material and manpower for the regular rituals of worship and its many festivals not just for the temples present requistes but also for its future.

400 dancers were enrolled for nritta worship and inscribed details include their form of expertise and accomplishments - they were paid in land and gold - 240 musicians supported the vadya form (instrumental) of worship - and their qualifications were also duly noted - the emperor also appointed 50 musicians to sing poems of the Shaiva saints who lived between the 6th and 10th centuries - especially from Thevaram of Thirupatigam.

Each department at the temple had supervision that was entrusted to commanders and commander-in-chiefs.

How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Yamini Maran | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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How to reach Brihadiswara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India?

Brihadeswara Temple is located in Thanjavur also known as Tanjore in Tamil Nadu, India. Thanjavur gained importance as the capital of the Chola empire for about 150 years towards the end of the first millennium.

How to reach Brihadeswara Temple, Thanjavur by air? Which is the nearest airport to Brihadeswara Temple, Thanjavur
Tiruchirappalli International Airport is the nearest airport to Thanjavur and it is at a distance of about 61 km.
Distance between Tiruchirappalli International Airport and Brihadeswara Temple is about 60 km.

How to reach Brihadeswara Temple, Thanjavur by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Brihadeswara Temple, Thanjavur?
Brihadeswara Temple is located in the city of Thanjavur - and Thanjavur Junction is well connected to other cities by train.
Distance between Thanjavur Railway Station and Brihadeswara Temple is about 2.5 km.

The best time to visit Brihadeswara Temple is between November to February as the climate is much cooler.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Gughanbose | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Ornate Pillars, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur has sculpted deities that are worshipped and classical sculptures that are very artistic - add to the mix pure narrative sculptures that express myths from Shiva Purana and other sacred texts and stories leaping out of its array of ornate pillars. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: IM3847 | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Relief, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

You will find array of sculpted forms and panels of Shiva reminding us of various myths from Shiv Puranas all over the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Sanctum walls on the ground floor has sculptures of Lingodbhava, Pashupata-murti on the East wall.

The South wall depicts Nataraja, Dakshinamurti, Kalantaka, Virabhadra, and Bhikshatana.

The west wall has Harihara, Lingodbhava, Chandrashekhara with and without prabhavali.

The North wall showcases Ardhanarishvara, Gangadhara without Parvati, Pashupata-murti, Shiva-alingana-murti.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Nandhinikandhasamy | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Narasimha sculpture on Gopuram at Brihadishvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Sculpture narrates the story of Narasimha - the ferocious avatar of God Vishnu - whose incarnation’s sole purpose was to restore dharma - by destroying evil in the form asura king Hiranyakashipu and end his religious persecution. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

King Hiranyakashipu gains a vardaan or a boon from Brahma for his severe penance that he cannot be killed by a man or animal, during day or night, nor inside or outside, not by any weapon. Once he receives the power he believes that he is immortal and hence should be worshipped as god. He specifically persecutes all Vishnu devotees including his own son Prahlada as Vishnu had killed his brother Hiranyaksha.

Prahalad undeterred continues worshipping Vishnu. After numerous unsuccessful attempts by Hiranyakashipu of disciplining Prahlada, in absolute frustration he proclaims - where is your Vishnu!

Prahalad calmly mentions that Vishnu is present everywhere and in everything. In rage Hiranyakashipu hits a pillar in his own palace and says according to you Vishnu should be in this pillar too - Prahalad in absolute belief confirms Vishnu’s presence. And to Hiranyakashipu shock the pillar breaks and a ferocious Narasimha steps out.

Its a fatal moment - its twilight neither day or night - Narasimha is part Lion and part man - he places the asura king on the threshold on his thigh thus is neither inside or outside and lastly he tears open Hiranyakashipu with his claws not using any weapon in absolute accordance with the Brahma's boon.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Kalpavriksha Sculpture on Gopuram, Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Sculpture depicts Kalpavriksha also known as Kalpataru that emerged during the Samudra manthan or the 'churning of the ocean of milk or kshirsagar'.

Kalpavriksha is a wish fulfilling tree with a power of giving one any object that is wished for - Its an auspicious symbol and is found carved in many Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples in India.

How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Vengolis | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram literally means the Great Shiva Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. It was built (11th century) by Rajendra Chola I, the son of the famous Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola I, who built the Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur.

Rajendra Chola I built the majestic temple after his victories across India and as per Chola era texts the conquests included Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The king demanded that the defeated kingdoms send him water from the sacred Ganga - and the water should be collected into the Brihadisvara temple's well which was originally called CholaGangam.

Thus Rajendra I was referred as Gangaikonda Cholan and he also shifted his capital to Gangaikonda Cholapuram from where Chola dynasty ruled for about 250 years. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Saranya Chidambaram | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Anugrahamurti at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Chandesa Anugraha Murti at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is masterpiece of Chola art.

This theme originally represents Siva bestowing his grace on Chandikesvara his devotee also one of the 63 renown Saivite saints - In this sculpted panel Chandesa is replaced by victorious King Rajendra Chola I who humbly presents himself as a devotee to receive grace of and blessings from Siva in the form of a garland. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: SezhiyanR | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Saraswati at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

A serene sculpted Saraswati at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram signifies a constant purifying force that enhances fluidity of languages and magnifies the brilliance of all art forms.

Goddess Saraswati at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is expressed seated on a lotus throne holding japmala and amrita kalasa - in a teaching posture with her index finger raised. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Jonathan Freundlich | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Gajalakshmi at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Gajalakṣmī sculpture at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is one of the forms of Ashtalaksmi who represents power apart from bestowing prosperity, good luck and abundance. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Gajalakṣmī depicted at the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, is represented as seated on a lotus throne in padmāsana and on either side of the goddess is an elephant watering the lotus which the goddess holds.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Via Wikimedia Commons | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Gangadhara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Gangadhara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a manifestation of Shiva that helps Ganga descent from the Himalayas to earth. Ganga is usually depicted in his matted locks and Parvati standing next to him. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

In most such sculptures you would have Bhagiratha standing with Anjali mudra in a posture of penance. Both Bhagiratha and Ganga are absent here.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Ardhanarisvar at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Ardhanārīśvara sculpture found at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram - is a manifestation of Śiva where he is part Nara and part Nari holding a tribhanga posture. Śiva is usually represented on the right with jaṭāmakuṭa and Pārvatī on the left. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

As per Śiva Purana initially Brahma created only Prajapatis or male beings and directed them to regenerate, which they were unable to do. Perplexed Brahma reaches to Śiva for advise and to enlighten Brahma Śiva appears before him as Ardhanārīśvara.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Nandhinikandhasamy | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Nataraja at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Nataraja at Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram a well known form of Siva as the cosmic dancer. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Shiva when dancing the Ananda Tandav is expressing - a precarious balance of opposites. So whilst ‘tandav’ means the dance of destruction, ‘ananda’ in Sanskrit means pleasure. Nataraja holds ‘fire’ in one off his hands which destroys and the same ‘fire’ also symbolizes heat necessary for life. Whereas his drum provides the pulse or rhythm for life the same rhythm squashes apasmara who is symbolic of ignorance.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Lingodbhava at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Liṅgodbhava carved in Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram refers to one of the many forms of Siva - Liṅgodbhava signifies Śiva as formless and incomprehensible - at a basic level the illustration reveals a tale from various ancient texts or Puranas that falsehood is not appreciated by God nor is it tolerated even if the gods or devas get involved in it. Basically if Śiva can help Brahmā, the creator realize his mistake every being can be punished for their evil activities. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Early Shaiva saint Tirugnana Sambandar refers to Liṅgodbhava as a form of Shiva as the nature of light that could not be discerned either by Vishnu or Brahma.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: trshash84 | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Bhikshatana at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Bhikshatana form of Shiva at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram i- Shiva as a Bhikshu a naked ascetic who is extremely good looking - wearing nothing except some jewelery and his hand holding a shallow begging bowl or kapala.

Bhikshatana Murtis are usually depicted along with a dancing deer standing on its hind legs reach up to Shiva's outstretched arm, followed by demonic beings and rishi patnis in various moods or rasa. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Via Wikimedia Commons | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Dakshinmurti at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Dakshinamurti sculpture at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is found in vīrāsana posture (left leg folded and right leg hanging down below the seat) holding a vyākyāna-mudrā that signifies Siva as the teacher of truth, values and scriptures. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Dakshin Amurti has many meanings one of them is >> Dakshin means being skillful in removing ignorance and Amurti means being formless - a formless Shiva as the ultimate Guru. Dakṣiṇāmūrti is invariability found in almost all the Śaiva temples.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Via Wikimedia Commons | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Vīṇādharamūrti at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Frame is of Vīṇādhara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

As per vedas Rudra’s successor Siva is said to be fond of Samaveda (Veda of melodies and chants), and in one of his manifestations Siva as Vinadharamurthi teaches using music - playing the classical Indian string instrument Rudra-vina.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: trshash84 | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Kalantaka at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

This image is of Kalantaka a form Shiva who punishes Yama the god of death sculpted in Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

It is one of the forms of enraged Siva also expressed as Kalari (adversary of death), Kalahari (one who takes away death), unusually even Markandeyanugraha (bestowing grace upon Markandeya).

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 15-Mar-2021
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Harihara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Harihara at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a composite image of Narayana and Shankar  or Hari and Hara. Mostly one would also see their vahanas in such panels - it would be Nandi next to Śiva and Garuḍa next to Hari. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Nandhinikandhasamy | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Vishnu at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Whilst Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is dedicated to Shiva, it reverentially includes not only deities and legends of Vaishnavism but also Shaktism.

Brihadisvara Temple also has sculpted Hindu concepts such as Harihara (equivalence and essential interdependence of Shiva and Vishnu) and of Ardhnarishvara (equivalence and essential interdependence of the masculine and feminine principles).

In this frame we see Śrīnīvāsa or MahaVisnu holding sudrashan chakra and shankh displaying the abhaya mudra, along with Sridevi or Lakshmi on his right and Bhūdevī on his left. 

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: trshash84 | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Bhairava at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

This sculpture is of Bhairava from Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram - a ferocious manifestion of Śiva associated with destruction or annihilation. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

As per Rudrayāmala, Bhairava has 8 main forms that control the eight directions of this universe and they include Asitāṅga, Ruru, Caṇḍa, Krodha, Unmatta, Kāpāla, Bhīṣaṇa, and Saṃhāra. Each of these forms further have has 8 emanations equalling to 64 Bhairavas.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Vimana, Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The Sri-vimana at Gangaikonda has nine talas as compared to the soaring 13 talas at Thanjavur temple - scholars believe that the height of the temple was so designed as a mark of respect to Rajendra Chola's father's masterpiece.

Each tala of the Vimana has moulded horizontal cornices with gavaksha or floral motifs, mythical creatures and carvings that narrate Puranic tales from the Shaiva, Vaishnava and Shakta traditions.

Its griva (neck) is oriented towards the cardinal directions, and 4 Nandi’s posted on its top corners. The Kirtimukhas are above the griva which opens in a lotus. It is further capped with a kalasa with a lotus bud on it. Originally it was inscribed with gold coated which is now gone.

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Rajaraman Sundaram | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Mahisasurmardini at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Mahiṣāsuramardinī sculpted in Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is one of Durga's or Shakti's ferocious avatars where she vanquished the unconquerable demon Mahishasura. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

As per Shilpashastra (iconography) she is usually represented with six pairs of hands. The right set of hands hold śūla (trident), khaḍga (sword), śakthāyuḍa (devi’s weapon), chakra (discus), a stringed bow, and gadā (mace) while the left hands hold pāśa, aṅkuśa, śaṅkh (shell), ghanṭ (bell), paraśu (axe) and shield. These pairs of hands are represented in kartarīmukha-hasta. If in a dancing posture than the hands are in kapittha-hasta and one pair of hands is in kartarīmukha-hasta.

Her expression usually is that of extreme rage with her tongue projecting outwards - There are many variations of her depiction when the sculptor focuses on particular sentiments or a story illustrating her characteristics in a different ways.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Kailasantha North at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The Vada Kailasam consists of an ardhamandapa and a mahamandapa. Its srivimana is dvi-tala with a curvilinear sikhara and stupi. How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

In its grabhagriha niches you will find Dakshinamurti in the south, Lingodbhava in the west and Brahma (bearded form) in the north.

Images found in ardhamandapa niches include Ganesha, Subrahmanyar, Bhikshatana Nataraja, Ardhanarisvar and Bhairava.

Images of Sarasvati and Gajalakshmi are found on the west wall of Mahamandapa.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Kailasantha South at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

There are two shrines, one on either side of the main shrine at Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. The shrine on the northern side is called Vada Kailasam and the one on the southern side is called Ten Kailasam or Dakshin Kailasam . Both of the shrines were originally dedicated to Siva but the Vada Kailasam was later converted into an Amman shrine.

Much of Ten Kailasam has collapsed or is in ruins and there is no deity. The garbhagriha and ardhamandapa walls have few figures in their niches which are same as the ones found in Vada Kailasam.

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Nagavamsikatari | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India?

Gangaikondacholesvara temple does proclaim the imperial dignity of Cholas till date and the erstwhile capital of the mighty Rajendra Chola I - was a planned city and a major administrative center till 13th century - all but the temple, has totally disappeared today.

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram by air? Which is the nearest airport to Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Tiruchirappalli International Airport is the nearest airport to Gangaikonda Cholapuram and it is at a distance of about 138 km.

How to reach Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram?
Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram is near the city of Kumbakonam and Chidambaram - and both have railway stations that are connected to other cities by train.
Distance between Kumbakonam Railway Station and Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is about 36 km.
Distance between Chidambaram Railway Station and Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is about 43 km

Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram by road
Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram is located at Jayankondam, Tamil Nadu India
It is at a distance of about 35 km from Kumbakonam
It is at a distance of about 39 km from Airavatesvara Temple
It is at a distance of about 44 km from Chidambaram
It is at a distance of about 73 km from Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur
It is at a distance of about 253 km from Chennai

The best time to visit Brihadeswara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is between November to February as the climate is much cooler.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Nithi Anand | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Ingenious Chola Craftsmen, Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Imperial Cholas were not just mighty warriors they commissioned many magnificent monuments across their kingdom. Shaivism was the preeminent religion of the Chola empire and was definitely reinforced by Rajaraja I and Rajendra I and these excellent Chola centers of religion as well as learning were mostly sculpted around Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram, and Darasuram.

All the three temples Airvatesvara, and both the Brihadisvaras’ are symbols of artistic magnificence and ingenuity of Cholas and their craftsmen. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Via Wikimedia Commons | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Airavetesvara temple of Darasuram is built with a subtle balance almost like a fusion of intricate designing mingled with sculptural narrative plus exquisite carvings which are either small panels on its columns or depictions in large images in niches or recesses elaborately covering the entire temple.

Originally called Rajarajasvaram or Rajarajeshvara it was built by the Chola king Rajaraja II (1146-1173) who like his ancestors utilized his colossal wealth earned through his extensive conquests in building long-lasting stone temples and exquisite sculptures and you will find many still stand proudly articulating those glorious days. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Shriram Swaminathan | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Rath at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

What does an Indian ratha or chariot signify as a temple? They seem to be symbolic to acts of valor and vanquishing evil by gods and hence metaphorically extending the same qualities to the mighty Kings who build those temples. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Ratha at Airavatesvara Temple has been designed to represent the entire cosmos - a divine ratha used by Tripuratanka who is a manifestation of Shiva. The chariot plays an important role in Tripura dahana, the three cities reduced to ashes by Tripuratanka. 

Or The ratha of Surya in Konark temple - symbolic of Surya, the Sun god traveling the entire earth in 24 hours daily drawn by seven horses traversing emitting light of life.

Or Arjuna's ratha built by Vishvakarma as mentioned in Rigveda a ratha that was capable of conquering all directions - Ved Vyasa has detailed Arjuna’s ratha with its Kapi Dhvaja in Mahabharata during the Khandava vana period of their life - Agni Dev gifted the Ratha to Arjun to help him burn down Khandava vana.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: R.K.Lakshmi | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Ardhanarisvara at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The polished black basalt sculpture of Ardhanareeshwara at Airavatesvara temple - in a rare three faced manifestation.

Ardhanārīśwara image personifies 'Creation of Life' as it manifests equally split male and female principles of Hindu deities Siva and Parvati (Uma or Shakti) or blending force and grace that procreates life.

How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Parvathisri | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Lingodbhava at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Lingodbhava at Airavatesvara Temple is a form of Rudra-Siva that erupts as a never-ending pillar of light - in this frame we have Gods Brahma and Vishnu offering their prayers with an Anjali mudra. In a way a flaming pillar of shivlinga that doesn't have a beginning or end personifies the formless divine essence of Siva. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Gods Brahma and Vishnu had a dispute of who was greater - and as per mythology of Lingodbhava as mentioned in Linga Purana, Kurma Purana as well as Shiv Purana is that Siva appeared as a flaming pillar of indeterminate size and asked them to find either the beginning or the end. Vishnu took his boar - varaha and dived deeper to find the end of the flaming pillar whereas Brahma flew on his hamsa to find the beginning. Vishnu admitted to Shiva that he couldn’t find the end and as per the tale Brahma tricked Shiva with the help of Ketaki (a flower) that he did see the beginning of the flaming linga. Furious Siva at Brahma’s devious attempt = Shiva cursed Brahma that he will never be worshipped and the Keyaki flower met the same fate never to be allowed to be part of any prayer or worship..

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Vinadhari at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Sculpture is that of Vinadhari form of Shiva and edged by leaping yalis.

As we explore the UNESCO listed Great Chola Temples it almost seems that Shiva has emerged with many forms with multiple personas be it Vinadhari as seen in this frame at Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram or forms that may be terrifying as sculptures of Bhairava or in serene form as Dakshinamurti.

How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Uma Mahesh at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

This particular frame is that of Uma and Mahesvara at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Siva and Pārvatī have many forms and incarnations and in this graceful sculpture - Shiva is Maheshvara and Pārvatī as an incarnation or Uma, the daughter of Himavan who performed severe penance to marry Shiva. Together, Uma and Maheshvara signify an ideal married couple and are usually found with arms draped around each other.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Nataraja at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The Cholas enjoyed and encouraged nritya and sangeet and their monuments especially temples apart from being spiritual beacons were cultural learning centers with their profuse panels and sculptures of dance and musical scenes - gods and ordinary people came alive sculpted in myriad karanas that left their visitors awestruck. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Frame is from Airavateshvara Temple in Darasuram Shiva performing urdhvatāṇḍava also known the ūrdhvatāṇḍavamūrti - Shiva enacted this Urdhava karaṇa to defeat Kali in a dance competition which was designed especially to calm Kali's fury after the ferocious goddess had brutally killed Asura's Sumbha and Nisumbha. Once the competition began witnessed not just by the sages, wild animals and birds in the Thiruvalangadu forest - Vishnu, Brahma and devas joined to witness this divine event. As Nataraja and Kali danced all were lost as the Damaru whirled and each matched the other to its hypnotic beats. The mesmerizing tandav was a fusion of raw power - just than Shiva's energetic movement caused him to drop the tatanka from his ear - in a seamless gesture without missing a beat Natesha picked up the errant tatanka with his toes and inserted it back in the ear - his uplifted leg pointing towards the sky and he continued holding his Urdhava Tandava posture gazing intently at Kali - one look at Shiva's masculine stance and the goddess blushed, gently returning to her graceful feminine form.

Many types of Tandava are found in the Hindu Scriptures - when performed with ecstatic rasa or joy it is Ananda Tandava when performed in a violent rasa it is Raudra Tandava - others include Tripura Tandava, Sandhya Tandava, Samhara Tandava, Kali (Kalika) Tandava, Uma Tandava, Shiva Tandava, Krishna Tandava, Gauri Tandava and Urdhva Tandava.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Shiv Parvati at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Shiva Parvati carved in stone at the Airavateshvara at Darasuram near Kumbakonam in the Kaveri delta. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

All three temples Brihadisvara at Thanjavur, Brihadisvara at Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Airavateshvara at Darasuram are ‘living’ temples today - basically meaning functional temples - note that they suffered an interrupted patterns of worship over centuries as indicated by its later inscriptions.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Rsp3282 | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Expressions in stone at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Though conforming to the traditions of Shilpa Shastra rules that were set centuries ago - the sculptors in Chola period worked with great freedom and this is best portrayed by a transformed narrative - one of Shiva’s form - dance here becomes a visual language to express victory over evil. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Dark sculptures at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The dark black basalt sculptures against the contrast of tones of brown granite in the Airavatesvara temple niches introduces or teaches visitors not only tenets of Shaivism but also showcases Vaishnavism and Shaktism traditions. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Nayanars Panel at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Representation of Nayanars at Airavatesvara marks the element of peace and tranquility as a sacred theme at Airavatesvara as compared to the heroic or victorious elements that were a core to the sculptural forms found in Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur and Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

Images of Saiva Nayanmar saints at Airavatesvara temple also provide ample proof of the importance of the saints of the time, and of the fact that their hymns were collected in the Thevaram at the time of Rajaraja Chola I. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Stories of Shaivite Saints at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Many such miniature panels at Airavateswara Temple some with inscriptions narrate stories linked with 63 Nayanmars or the great Shaivite saints displaying the Chola connect with Shaivism over generations. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Joshua Remigius | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Rishaba Kunjaram at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Rishaba Kunjaram at Airavtesvara Temple may be the oldest examples of illusions in art. The sculpture depicts both a bull and an elephant with a single head and different bodies - a sculptural illusion of the Chola era where depending on the direction of your darshan you will see either a bull or elephant. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Munish Palaniappan | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Garbha Griha at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Garbha Griha of Airavatesvara temple with its elaborately embellished pillars and classic sculptures is enshrined with shiva-linga that is illuminated by natural light.

The main deity of Airavatesvara temple of Darasuram is called as Rajarajesvaram-udayar, as the temple was built by Rajaraja II - in a way elevating the ruling king to divinity. Similar to the Chola tradition - Sivalinga at Brihadisvara at Gangaikondachola is referred to as Gangaikondachola Isvara or the God of Gangaikindacola (Chola who conquered the Ganga) How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Supraja Kannan | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Raja-gambhiran Tiru-mandapam at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Raja-gambhiran tiru-mandapam named after Rajaraja II was conceptualised as Tripurantaka’s ratha being pulled by animated galloping horses and vivacious elephants. Many elements of the celestial Tripurantaka ratha are carved in stone - explore Prithvi as the Chariot, Brahma as Charioteer, Sun and Moon as the Chariot Wheels, Mount Meru as a Bow, Bow String is Vasuki and Vishnu as the Arrow.

The front base has carved panels illustrating Siva fighting the tripuras from his chariot, Shiva as Kalantaka protecting the son of Mrikandu from Yama, Siva annihilating Kama who dared to shoot a passion arrow from his flowery bow, Virabhadra destroying Daksha’s yagna…

This mandapa has 108 brilliantly and elaborately covered Pillars and you cannot miss the expressive yali’s (a mythical creature usually sculpted on pillars depicting lion, elephant, horse, serpent - Yali’s are protectors symbolising strength, power, ferociousness…) How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Nandhinikandhasamy | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Ornate Pillars at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Exquisitely embellished pillars at the Airavateswara temple at Darasuram are a classic example of Chola art and architecture. Pillars narrate scenes from Puranas and other epics - and the rectangular portions illustrate stories of Shaivite saints, Parvati performing penance, Burning of Manmatha or Kama, Shiv Parvati’s marriage, birth of Kumara…

Many pillars have purely decorative patterns that include circular medallions and graceful creepers holding within the, figures holding dance postures or playing an array of musical instruments. The ceiling at Airavateswara temple is well decorated with patterns too.

How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Yalini Balamurali | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Temple Inscriptions, Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Rajaraja Chola I titled as Rajakesari Arumolivarman (985-1014 CE) ruled for about three decades with unmatched war victories both with foreign countries and across India was also well known for his administrative skills, proponent of art and literature, and his religious tolerance. His successor Rajendra Chola I (1012-44 CE), was as brilliant and the Chola dynasty reached its zenith during his rule - well known as the most extensive, powerful and influential Hindu kingdom of its time.

Rajaraja I ensured that all transactions pertaining Brihadisvara temple in Thanjavur would be recorded and much of the important notes inscribed on temple walls, columns or steps. His successors continued the good practice thus in a way creating a preserved official record lasting for centuries and these delivered apart from accounting all transactions also a detailed chronological history of each king’s rule.

How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Shriram Swaminathan | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India?

How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram by air? Which is the nearest airport to Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?
Tiruchirappalli International Airport is the nearest airport to Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram and it is at a distance of about 89 km.

How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?
Airavatesvar temple at Darasuram is near the city of Kumbakonam and the distance between Kumbakonam Railway Station and Airavatesvar temple at Darasuram is about 5 km.

Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram by road
Airavatesvara is at a distance of about 38 km from from Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur
Airavatesvara is at a distance of about 39 km from Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Airavatesvara is at a distance of about 83 km from Chidambaram
Airavatesvara is at a distance of about 301 km from Chennai

The best time to visit Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram is between November to February as the climate is much cooler.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Thamizhpparithi Maari | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Naag Dev at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Vasuki, the king of Nagas in an Anjali mudra at Airavatesvara Temple - Anjali means to offer and being an avid devotee of Shiva, Nagaraja is offering his prayers to receive blessings from Shiva. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Nagaraja literally means King of Snakes and is applied to Anantha or Shesha nag, Takshak, and Vasuki and all three are brothers as they are children of Kashyap rishi and Kadru. Whilst Anantha the eldest is a devotee of Vishnu - Vasuki the youngest is an ardent devotee of Shiva - whereas Takshak represents the venomous aspect of why we should fear snakes.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Shaivite Saints Panel at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Apart from pillars - even the base of the main Airavatesvara temple is covered with carvings that narrate the legends of the Nayanars. These sixty three saints of Shiva greatly influenced the Bhakti Movement in Tamil Nadu and reflect the deep roots of Saivism. How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Thamizhpparithi Maari | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Pallavas Shore Temple Shrines, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The Pallavas were great patrons of art and there artisans had their own distinct style of temple architecture. Shore temple complex was built by the Pallavas between 7th and 8th century.

The temple complex including the main temple, two smaller ones, many minor shrines, open mandapas and gateways were found buried under the sand. As per inscriptions found the names of these three shore temples during Pallava's time were Kshatriyasimha Pallavesvara-gruham, Rajasimha Pallavesvara-gruham and Pllikondaruliya-devar and the complex itself was termed as Jalashayana (meaning lying in water).

Rising to the first rays of light the main shore temple dedicated to Shiva faces east.

How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Gopinath Sivanesan | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Arjuna's Penance or Goddess Ganga's Descent from the Himalayas, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

This spectacular ancient open-air rock relief in Mahablipuram (7th century) has magnificent set of scenes that may be narrating either Arjuna's Penance or Goddess Ganga's descent from the Himalayas.

Both are engaging narratives - Arjuna's Penance is a tale from the Mahabharata - where Arjuna one of the Pandavas, performed severe penance to obtain Shiva's blessings in the form of Pāśupatāstra a supernatural weapon which supposedly can be discharged by the mind, the eyes, mere words, or a bow.

The tale depicting Goddess Ganga's Descent from the Himalayas - has Bhagiratha performing severe tapasya in Vrikshasana to obtain Shiva's blessings - so he can bring Goddess Ganga in the form of a celestial river down to earth from the Himalayas to release trapped souls of thousands of his dead ancestors.

The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram are a fusion of culture, myths, legends and hindu religious traditions. With more than 40+ monuments some which are incomplete they still deliver vivid sculpted expressions on rocks and boulders, on a mammoth scale.

Arjuna's Penance or Goddess Ganga's Descent - along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram? 

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Via Wikimedia Commons | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Goddess Ganga's Descent from the Himalayas or Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Elaborate panoramic scenes carved on two huge boulders with a cleft in between - it is believed that water use to flow down the cleft symbolising sacred river Ganga - and if you were to observe the carving near the cleft you will see it is resplendent with Naagraj Vasuki, Ulupi and other nagas.

Arjuna's Penance or Ganga's descent - you could term it as you please - is a part of the many Monuments of Mahabalipuram that are recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

Carvings include a distinct Rishi standing in Vrikshasana, performing tapsya (could be Arjun or Bhagirath) and celestial figures witnessing the event are Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Kimpurusha, Siddhas and Vidyadharas....

Right next to the rishi is four armed Shiva in a standing posture witnessing the event with his ganas and apart from sculpted divinities you can find carved wild animals either imitating  meditating rishis or witnessing the scene.

Sculpted Elephants symbolically add a divine element and also represent the powerful and mighty patrons or the Pallavas - there is a sculpted elephant family right next to the cleft that seems to be eloquently real.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Vairam1976 | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Panchapandava mandapam, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Next to Arjuna's Penance or Descent of Ganga bas-relief is the Panchapandava mandapam - it’s unfinished with six pillars facing east. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Hiroki Ogawa | Update: 14-Mar-2021
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Panch Pandav Rath, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Pancha Pandav Raths are ancient monolithic raths (chariot) located at Mahabalipuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Tamil Nadu, India.

Hewn out of large rocks these raths were sculpted and carved during King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I's rule (630–668 AD Pallava dynasty) and named after the Pandavas - as Dharmaraj Rath, Bhim Rath, Arjun Rath, Nakul-Sahadev Rath, and Draupadi Rath. Scholars believe the name may be a misrepresentation as there is no artistic or religious significance since they were unfinished and unconsecrated due to the death Narasimhavarman I.

Panch Pandav Rath - along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram? 

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Arupparia | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Bhim’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Bhima Ratha is the largest of all raths and has a longitudinal structure with a barrel roof and columned galleries on both sides.

Each of the panch raths are distinctly designed - each a monolith thus sculpted out of a single rock of granite and its plinth is north-south oriented with a slight slope.

Bhim’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath - along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram? 

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Ssanthosh555 | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Dharmaraj’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Dharmaraj's Rath is an elegant pyramidal structure built with a square layout and that rises in three levels- and the tallest of all the Pandava raths. You will find images of Ardhanarishvara, Harihara, Skanda, Indra on Airavat, King Narasimhavarman I in its many niches.

These raths were believed to have been inspired by the Buddhist Chaityas or prayer halls and Viharas. Their design may trace back to wooden temple chariots and these may have been built as an experimental-architectural models for larger such temples.

Dharmaraj’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath - along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram? 

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: IM3847 | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Arjun’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Arjun Rath is ornate with an elaborate façade and is similar in design as the Yudhisthir or Dharmaraj's Rath - but has a two tiered structure and a hexagonal vimana .

Arjun's rath stands on the same plinth as Draupadi's Rath - it's walls are partitioned and have rectangular niches that have carved sculptures of Shiva, Vishnu and other deities.

Arjun's Rath, Panch Pandav Rath - along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram? 

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Ganbab89 | Update: 14-Mar-2021
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Draupadi’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The Draupadi Rath is a square elegant structure with a shrine of goddess Durga - the design resembles a village hut with a thatch roof .

Draupadi’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath - along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram? 

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Nakul Sahdeva’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Nakul-Sahadev Rath has a south entrance whereas the other 4 raths have a west entrance. Apsidal in shape it is similar in design as Dharmaraj and Arjun's raths. It has a stone monolithic sculpture of an elephant next to it.

Nakul Sahdeva’s Rath, Panch Pandav Rath - along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram? 

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Trimurti Cave, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The Trimurti Cave Temple dated to the early 8th century is dedicated to the Hindu trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

Trimurti Cave Temple along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

The Mamallapuram cave temples though incomplete still seem to elaborately impart know-how on how the cave monuments were excavated and built in 7th-century India.

Sections of the caves - pin point that artisans worked with sthalapatis or architects to chalk off the colonnade or pillars - to create rough-hewn jutting protuberances with exact specifications by cutting deep grooves into the rock. Excess of the the hanging rocks was removed and the process repeated. Once excavated other artisans polished the rocks and carved designs, motifs, friezes and Hindu iconography.

This process of creating rock-cut cave temples have greatly influenced the later structural Hindu temples.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: IM3847 | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Krishna Mandapam, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The Krishn mandap is an absolute treat for any Krishna devotee or someone who just enjoys slices of Madhav's colorful life. Large panels depict - Krishna lifting Govardhan parvat, under which all the animals and people take shelter, safe from Indra's fury Or Krishna playing the flute animals, birds and people listen intently.

Krishn Mandap along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram? 

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Mahesh B | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Varaha Cave, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Adivaraha cave or the Varaha Mandapa (dated to the 7th century) is just behind Arjuna’s penance and has brilliant sculpted depictions of Gajalakshmi, Durga, Vamana-Trivikrama and off course Varaha - Bhu-devi. The sculptures here depict Vaishnavism (Varaha, Vamana, Gajalakshmi), Shaivism (Gangadhara), and Shaktism (Durga).

Varaha Cave is a part of the many Monuments of Mahabalipuram that are recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

Varaha is illustrated as rescuing Bhu-devi - designed as an underwater carved scene - water is depicted by leaves, lotus flowers as well as ripples - sculpted demon is presented being trampled by Varaha - surrounded by Rishis, Surya and Chandra witnessing the event.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Udhayan1983 | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Trivikrama sculpted panel at Varaha Cave, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Panel narrates the Vamana avatar tale - illustrating Trivikrama crushing Bali and other demons under his feet - many celestial figures surround the panel including Surya, Chandra, Shiva and Brahma who are witnessing the event. 

Varaha Cave along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

Trivikrama literally means 3 steps and is another name for Vamana - a Vishnu Avatar where Trivikrama asks Asura King Bali for three steps of land and just with two steps he takes over all that the mighty Aura King Bali owns - Bali being a noble Asura offers Vamana his own head as the third step thus also achieves moksha.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Samrajclicks | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Mahishasuramardini Cave, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

The Mahishasuramardini cave or mandapa though unfinished represents the classic Tamil temple rock art as its interior art is simply spectacular. 

Mahishasuramardini Cave along with other monuments at Mahabalipuram - is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

The southern wall has a carving of Anantasayi Vishnu and - you will find one of the most exquisitely carved rock relief depicting Mahishasuramardini on the northern wall of the temple hall.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Richard Mortel | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India?

Many Monuments and Monoliths of Mahabalipuram are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. This painting of Arjuna's Penance at Mahabalipuram is by John Gantz.

Mahabalipuram now known by its ancient name Mammallapuram, is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu and as per ancient history - Mammallapuram was an important and thriving seaport town during Pallavas rule.

How to reach Mammallapuram by air? Which is the nearest airport to Mahabalipuram?
Chennai International Airport is the nearest airport to Mammallapuram and is at a distance of about 55 km.

How to reach Mammallapuram by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Mahabalipuram?
Chengalpattu Junction is the nearest station to Mammallapuram and is at a distance of about 31 km.

The best time to visit Mammallapuram is during the cooler months from November to February.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: John Gantz | Update: 14-Mar-2021
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Olakkanesvara temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Perched on the rock above the Mahishasuramardini cave temple overlooking the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal - the Olakkanesvara temple was built under the patronage of King Rajasimha from the Pallava dynasty in the early 8th century.

The external walls of the temple illustrate sculptures within niches or devkoshtas of - seated Dakshina-murti under a tree a form of Shiva as a teacher; Shiva's Ravananugraha manifestation where we see images of Shiva and Parvati seated on Mount Kailash and Ravana trying to shake the mountain; plus sculpted Nataraja.

How to reach Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Sathish | Update: 16-Mar-2021
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Nilgiri Hills or Ooty, Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India

Nilgiri Hills literally means the blue mountains, got their name from the purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India. Interesting to note is that Neelakurinji blossoms only once in 12 years. 

Nilgiris district is home to many hill stations including Ooty, Coonoor, Gudalur and Kotagiri as well as many wildlife parks including Mudumalai National Park. How to reach Ooty? How to reach Coonoor?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Animish Phatak | Update: 14-Mar-2021
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Emerald Lake, Ooty, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu India - An UNESCO World Heritage Site

Encompassed by tea plantations and their endless greens and encircled by rejuvenating Nilgiri hills, the Emerald lake with its emerald blue waters is a mesmerizing spot to catch scenic sunrise or sunset.

Emerald Lake is at distance of about 19 km from the Ooty town and about 36 km from Coonoor.

Since amidst the Nilgiris you could visit Emerald lake throughout the year and the best time to visit would be between October to March. Many prefer the monsoon too between July to September.

The Nilgiri Mountains form part of the Western Ghats and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: AmirthaJawaharlal | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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How to reach Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India?

How to reach Ooty by air?
Nearest Airport to Ooty is Coimbatore International Airport which is at a distance of about 105 km.

How to reach Ooty by train?
Ooty Railway Station is a narrow gauge line. Tourists enjoy the the toy train or the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) that connects Ooty with Mettupalayam and Coonoor. Mettupalayam is about 47 km away from Ooty and is connected to Coimbatore as well as many other cities in Tamil Nadu and India.

Distance between Ooty and other towns and cities
Distance between Ooty and Bellikkal is 11 km
Distance between Ooty and Red Hills is 18 km
Distance between Ooty and Coonoor is 18 km
Distance between Ooty and Mudumalai is 46 km
Distance between Ooty and Bandipur is 94 km
Distance between Ooty and Bangalore is 268 km
Distance between Ooty and Mangalore is 397 km
Distance between Ooty and Chennai is 513 km

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Yogiroxxx | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Kodaikanal, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India

Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu is zealously guarded by dense forests of the Palani Hills whereas Pear orchards around the area add a fruity romantic touch to Kodaikanal. How to reach Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Challiyan | Update: 14-Mar-2021
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Looming Pillar Rocks Near Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India

Pillar Rocks a natural wonder are endlessly tall - often described as three vertical granite boulders, standing shoulder to shoulder within dense rainforests. Unique and visually stunning, these rocky pillars measure about 400 ft in height from the ground level.

Most frames of these pillar rocks are captivating as surrounded by forests and usually moody clouds float overhead serving as an ideal backdrops for candid shots.

How to reach Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Jaseem Hamza | Update: 14-Mar-2021
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Mammoth Pillar Rocks Near Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India

One can't get enough of these mammoth rock pillars looming high almost kissing the clouds? They are located at a distance of about eight km from Kodaikanal and you would be stumped by its jaw-dropping views of Tamil Nadu plains below. How to reach Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Aruna | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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How to reach Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India?

How to reach Kodaikanal and which is the nearest airport to Kodaikanal?
The nearest Airport to Kodaikanal is Madurai Airport which is at a distance of about 134 km.

You could also opt to reach Kodaikanal via Coimbatore Airport which is at a distance of about 180 km.

How to reach Kodaikanal by train and which is the nearest railway station to Kodaikanal?
The nearest railway station to Kodaikanal is Kodai Road Railway Station. The distance from Kodai Road Railway Station to Kodaikanal is about 80 km.

Best Time to visit Kodaikanal is between October and March.

Distance beween Kodaikanal and few cities
The distance between Kodaikanal and Madurai is 116 km
The distance between Kodaikanal and Coimatore is 172 km

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Kreativeart | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Valparai Plateau, Near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Valparai is often described as a quaint hill station with kush green tea plantations as far as the eye can see. Decades ago the entire stretch of the Valparai plateau was covered with rainforests - large parts of which were converted by the British into sprawling tea plantations. Valparai is roughly about 100 kilometres from Coimbatore and would take about 3-4 hours to reach by car. How to reach Coimbatore?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Ashwin Kumar | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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How to reach Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India?

How to reach Coimbatore by air?
Coimbatore has its own Domestic and International airport and it is well connected to most cities in India.

How to reach Coimbatore by train?
Coimbatore railway station is well connected with many cities in Tamil Nadu and India.

Distance between Coimbatore and other towns and cities
Distance between Coimbatore and Thrissur is 114 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Salem is 165 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Kochi is 193 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Mysore is 201 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Tiruchchirappalli is 205 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Madurai is 217 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Thanjavur is 259 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Hassan is 316 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Bangalore is 340 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Tuticorin is 352 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Pondicherry is 371 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Tirunelveli is 371 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Rameswaram is 389 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Thiruvananthapuram is 413 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Mangalore is 449 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Kanyakumari is 452 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Chennai is 491 km.
Distance between Coimbatore and Tirupati is 537 km.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Sar1zxy | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Catherine Falls, Coonoor, Near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Catherine Falls is a double-cascaded waterfall located near Coonoor, The Nilgiris District, Tamil nadu, India. Catherine Falls is surrounded by beautiful views of forest, tea plantations and the Mettupalayam plains. Coonoor is about 42 km away from the Coimbatore airport. How to reach Coonoor?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Raghavan G | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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How to reach Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India?

Coonoor is a Hill Station in Tamil Nadu, India.

Best time to visit Coonoor is from October to February.

How do I reach Coonoor by air? Which is the nearest airport to Coonoor?
The nearest Airport to Coonoor is Coimbatore Airport. The distance from Coimbatore Airport to Coonoor is about 70 km. The nearest International Airport to Coonoor is Bangalore Airport. The distance from Bangalore Airport to Coonoor is about 310 km.

How do I reach Coonoor by train? Or - Which is the nearest railway station to Coonoor?
Coonoor Railway Station is a stop on the way to Ooty from Mettupalayam. Coonoor Railway Station is connected to Coimbatore Railway Station

Distances between Coonoor and other towns and cities
The distance between Coonoor and Ooty is 18 km
The distance between Coonoor and Bellikkal is 26 km
The distance between Coonoor and Red Hills is 34 km
The distance between Coonoor and Coimbatore is 54 km
The distance between Coonoor and Mudumalai is 63 km
The distance between Coonoor and Malampuzha is 108 km
The distance between Coonoor and Bangalore is 284 km
The distance between Coonoor and Mangalore is 415 km
The distance between Coonoor and Chennai is 496 km
The distance between Coonoor and Hyderabad is 841 km

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: AnjaliYadav77 | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Megamalai, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu India - An UNESCO World Heritage Site

Meghamalai is a mountain range in the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu. Meghamalai is not only dotted with cardamom plantations and tea estates but is known for its largely untouched evergreen forest and waterfalls.

Places you could visit around Megamalai
Distance between Megamalai and Thekaddy is 93 km
Distance between Megamalai and Madurai is 117 km
Distance between Megamalai and Kodaikanal is 130 km
Distance between Megamalai and Munnar is 131 km

Megamalai in Western Ghats or Sahyadri Mountains is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Shanmugam M | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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Iconic Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tamil Nadu, India - recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

The reason why the Indian mountain railways seem adventurous is not just because it is 110+ years old or it’s historic significance - more due to their ingenious infrastructure - which is still in use - establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain - an engineering feat of its time as it covered sharp curves and steep elevations

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway has the steepest track in Asia - using a steam engine to climb the hills between Mettupalayam and Coonoor the rest of the journey between Connor and Ooty is completed using a diesel engine. Its vintage coal-fired steam engine has been replaced by an oil-fired steam engines.

How to reach Mettupalayam? How to reach Coonor? How to reach Ooty or Udhagamandalam?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Nsmohan | Update: 14-Mar-2021
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Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tamil Nadu, India - recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

Indian families with young children still enjoy historic Mountain Railways of India - as it chugs over its multitude bridges (250+), astounded by the landscape of lush forests, mountains, hilly slopes or valleys, tea estates and waterfalls that it passes a rare experience of classic train journeys.

The steam engine enabled toy train of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway covers 46 km and is the smallest route as compared to the toy train ride to reach Darjeeling or Shimla. Working since 1908 it traverses from Mettupalayam to Ooty or Udagamandalam in Tamil Nadu passing 16 tunnels, 250+ bridges and 13 stations. When it started n 1908, Coonor a hill station was the last station - within a few quarters the railway line got extended till Ooty or Udhagamandalam - another popular hill town up in the Nilgiris.

How to reach Mettupalayam? How to reach Coonor? How to reach Ooty or Udhagamandalam?

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Prakhar | Update: 17-Mar-2021
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How to reach Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu India?

How to reach Mettupalayam by air? Which is the nearest airport to Mettupalayam?
Coimbatore International Airport is the nearest to Mettupalayam and is at a distance of about 37 kms.

How to reach Mettupalayam by train? Which is the nearest railway station to Mettupalayam?
Mettupalayam Railway station is well connected to many cities in India.

The best time to visit Mettupalayam is from November to March as the climate is much cooler.

Tag : Travel Tamil Nadu | Content: gud2travel.com | Image: Michael Varun | Update: 17-Mar-2021