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

- UNESCO (CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0)

3 sites in this World Heritage

  • The Brihadisvara Temple Complex, Thajanvur
  • The Brihadisvara Temple Complex, Gangaikondacholapuram
  • The Airavatesvara Temple Complex, Darasuram

The Brihadisvara Temple Complex, Thajanvur

The Brihadisvara Temple Complex, Gangaikondacholapuram

The Airavatesvara Temple Complex, Darasuram

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DATA

Region
Asia and the Pacific
Country
India 
Category
Cultural
Name
Great Living Chola Temples
Selection Criteria (?)
(ii)(iii)
Year of Registered
1987
Year of Revised
2004
Keyword
Registered in 1987, Revised in 2004, Temple