Chola Art & Architecture
- July 30, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Chola Art & Architecture
Subject: Arts and Culture
In news: The National Gallery of Australia announced Thursday it will return 14 works of art from its Asian art collection to the Indian government. Worth a combined $3 million, the works include six bronze or stone sculptures, a brass processional standard, a painted scroll and six photographs. They were acquired by the museum between 1989 and 2009, and some date back to the Chola dynasty.
The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) announced that it would return 14 works of art from its Asian art collection to India.
The works being returned are:
- dancing child-saint Sambandar of 12th century belonging to Chola dynasty,
- Processional standard [alam], from Hyderabad,
- Arch for a Jain shrine (11th-12th century), seated Jina, 1163 from Mount Abu region, Rajasthan,
- The divine couple Lakshmi and Vishnu [Lakshmi Narayana] (11-12th century), and
- DurgaMahisasuramardini, from Gujarat
- Sambandar, also referred to as ThirugnanaSambandar was a Saiva poet-saint of Tamil Nadu who lived sometime in the 7th century CE. He was a contemporary of Appar, another Saiva poet-saint.
- He was a child prodigy who lived just 16 years. According to the Tamil Shaiva tradition, he composed an oeuvre of 16,000 hymns in complex meters, of which 383 (384) hymns with 4,181 stanzas have survived.
- These narrate an intense loving devotion (bhakti) to the Hindu god Shiva.
- The surviving compositions of Sambandar are preserved in the first three volumes of the Tirumurai, and provide a part of the philosophical foundation of Shaiva Siddhanta.
- After Sangam, the Chola became feudatories of Uraiyur . These later Cholas are termed as ‘Imperial Cholas’ because they exercised control over Sri Lanka and Malay Peninsula.
- Muttaraiyar family in Kaveri delta, were subordinate to the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. Vijayalaya Chola belonging to Uraiyur captured the kaveri delta from Mutharaiyar in mid 9th century. Vijayalaya built Thanjavur town with a temple for Goddess Nishumbhsudini'(Goddess Durga).
- Parantaka I built temples, provided golden roof on Vimana of Nataraja temple at Chidambaram. The Uttiramerur inscription describing village administration under Cholas belongs to his reign.
- After 30 years of Parantaka I, Rajaraja I usurped the throne for the duration of 985 AD to 1014 AD.
- Rajaraja I
- He defeated Chera and Pandya rulers, extending his empire upto river Tungabhadra.
- He led a naval expedition against Maldives and captured it.
- He was a follower of Shaivism, hence built Rajarajeshwara temple popularly known as Brihadeshwara temple at Thanjavur in 1010 AD.
- This temple is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site in India under “Great living Chola Temples”.
- He also patronized a Buddhist monastery at Nagapattinam.
- Rajendra I: succeeded his father in 1014-1044 AD.
- He defeated the ceylonese king Mahinda V and conquered the whole Sri Lanka including the northern and Southern parts.
- He also defeated Jayasimha II of western Chalukyas and marked Tungabhadra as the boundary between Cholas and Chalukyas.
- Rajendra I crossed the Ganges and conquered many on his way to strengthen the Chola empire.
- To commemorate this feat, he constructed and founded Gangaikondacholapuram.
- He also summoned the excavation of a large irrigation tank at Cholagangam.
- The Chola Empire achieved its peak under Rajendra I.
- Rajendra I was a Shivite and gave huge endowments to Lord Nataraja temple at Chidambaram. He was tolerant to Vaishnavism and Buddhism.
- Chola were known for their administration
- Their empire divided into 6 mandalams or provinces administered by governor
- Mandalam further divided into velanadu ,velanadu further divided into nadus and nadu into taniyars .
- Ur was a type of assembly of common village
- All member of village could became the member of Ur
- Local government was there (concept of panchayati raj taken from here)
Chola Art and Architecture :
- The Dravidian style of architecture reached its zenith during the Chola empire.
- The Chola period is also remarkable for its sculptures and bronzes
- The main feature of Chola style of Architecture is a building of five to seven storeys in a typical style known as “Vimana” above the chief pillared hall with flat roof was placed in front of the sanctum known as “mandap”.
- The Brihadeshwara temple/ Rajrajeshwara Temple at Tanjore is a classic example of Dravidian style of architecture under the Chola empire. Gangai-kondanCholapuram temple is another such example.
- Chola period bronzes were created using the lost wax technique. It is known in artistic terms as “Cire Perdue”.
- Nataraja is the most popular image in Chola Bronzes. This is the dancing Shiva, the presiding deity of the Chola dynasty.
- After Nataraja, the next most popular image is Somaskanda where Shiva is depicted sitting with his consort Uma and his son Skanda dancing between them on a platform.
- KalyanasundaraMurti: 9th century; marriage is represented by 2 separate statuettes; Shiva and Parvati’s marriage or panigrahana.
- Ardhanarishwar with half Shiva and half Shakti is another popular image
- Parvati is also carved in her various avatars like Maheshwari, Durga, Kali, etc. Her most popular avatar remains Mahishasurmardini – the one who slays the demon Mahisha.
- Great patron of Chola bronze work: widowed queenSembiyanMaha Devi (10th century).
- In 1931, Chola frescoes were discovered within the circumambulatory corridor of the Brihadisvara Temple, by S.K. Govindasamy, a professor at Annamalai University.
- These are the first Chola paintings discovered. The passage of the corridor is dark and the walls on either side are covered with two layers of paintings from floor to ceiling