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-Brihadeeswara Temple Tanjavur is one of the best temples in South India, built by Chola emperor Raja Raja I (985-1013 AD). This is the Chola dynastys finest contribution to Dravidian art. The construction is unique; the vimanam, known as Dakshina Meru.
-The temple was built to grace the throne of the Chola empire by the Tamil emperor Arulmozhivarman, popularly called Rajaraja Chola I, in compliance to a command given to him in a dream. One of the first great Tamil Chola building projects, the temple’s foundations were laid out in 1002 CE. An axial and symmetrical geometryrules the temple layout. Temples from this period and the following two centuries are an expression of the Tamilars (Chola) wealth, power and artistic expertise. The emergence of such features as the multifaceted columns with projecting square capitals signal the arrival of the new Chola style.
Intended to display the emperor’s vision of his power and his relationship to the universal order, the temple was the site of the major royal ceremonies such as anointing the emperor and linking him with its deity, Shiva, and the daily rituals of the deities were mirrored by those of the king. It is an architectural example showcasing the pure form of the Dravida type of temple architecture and representative of the Chola Empire ideology and the Tamil civilisation in Southern India. The temple “testifies the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting.