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A visit to the Legendary Chola Temples (Part 2 from Page 3)

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by ramjn, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

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    5,243
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    After driving with rains at Kudremukh and Wayanad, I decided to visit some places of historical and archeological importance. Hence, decided to visit the 3 great temples built by the Great Chola Kings. The Big Temple at Tanjore, Airavadeswara temple at Darasuram, Bragadeeswara temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Along with this, I decided to cover couple of more places and hence decided to headquarter at Kumbakonam and visit all.

    The Plan

    Trip was planned from 10th Aug to 12th Aug. I decided to headquarter at Kumbakonam and booked my rooms at Hotel Athithyaa (It is decent). Plan was to cover Tanjore, Darasuram, Thirubuvanam, Gangai konda cholapuram, Tharangambadi (Tranquebar). Fortunately, we covered all the places and additionally we visited few more temples too.

    The Execution - Day 1

    We started early from Chennai on Friday (10th Aug 2012) around 6 AM. I decided on the route Chennai-Ulundurpet-Vridhachalam-Jayamkondam-Kumbakonam. By 8.15, we reached A2B at Ulundurpet. We had our breakfast here and continued the journey. On the way, we visited the Sri Mushnam temple which is around 15 kms from Virudhachalam. Finally, we reached our hotel at Kumbakonam at 1 PM.

    Some shots taken on the way to Kumbakonam

    Excellent SH from Virudachalam to Jayankondam
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    My Linea over the newly constructed bridge over River Cauvery
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    Dried up River Cauvery
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    After refreshing briefly, we started to Tanjore. We had our lunch at Papanasam on the way. South Indian meals costed Rs. 35 here and it was awesome. After enjoying the food we continued to drive to Tanjore and reached the Big temple by 4.30PM.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
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  2. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

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    5,243
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Tanjore - Bragadeeswarar Temple

    The Peruvudaiyar Koyil (Tamil: பெருவுடையார் கோயில், peruvuḍaiyār kōyil), also known as Bragadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and a brilliant example of the major heights achieved by Cholas in Tamil architecture. It is a tribute and a reflection of the power of its patron Raja Raja Chola I. It remains India's largest temple and is one of the greatest glories of Indian architecture. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples".

    This temple is one of India's most prized architectural sites. The temple stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The vimana — or the temple tower — is 216 ft (66 m) high and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The Kumbam (or Kalash or Chikharam) (apex or the bulbous structure on the top) of the temple is not carved out of a single stone as widely believed. There is a big statue of Nandi (sacred bull), carved out of a single rock, at the entrance measuring about 16 feet long and 13 feet high. The entire temple structure is made out of hard granite stones, a material sparsely available in Thanjavur area where the temple is. Built in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola in Thanjavur, Bragadeeswarar Temple, also popularly known as the ‘Big Temple', turned 1000 years old in 2010.

    Further Reading - Brihadeeswarar Temple - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Some shots taken by me

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    - To be continued...
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  3. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

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    5,243
    Chennai
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    Day 2

    We started the day with the visit to local temples (Kumbeswarar and Sarangapani temples) at Kumbakonam in the mornings. We came back to hotel, had our lunch and decided to visit 'Kumbaheswarar temple' at Thirubuvanam and the 'Airavatheswarar Temple' at Darasuram after 4pm as temples generally re-open at 4 in the evening.

    Thirubuvanam - Kambaheswarar Temple
    The Kampaheswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva. It is situated in the town of Thirubuvanam on the Mayiladuthurai-Kumbakonam road. Shiva is worshipped as "Kampaheswarar" as he removed the quaking (Skt. Kampa) of a king who was being haunted byb a Brahmarakshasa. As per inscriptions found in the south wall of the temple, the shrine was constructed by the Chola king Kulothunga Chola III as a memorial of his successful North Indian campaign.

    Further Reading - Kampaheswarar Temple, Thirubuvanam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Some snaps taken here.

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    Darasuram - Airavadeswarar Temple
    Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This temple, built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,along with the Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur, the Gangaikondacholisvaram Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram that are referred to as the Great Living Chola Temples.

    Further Reading - Airavatesvara Temple - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Some shots taken at this temple.

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  4. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

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    Day 3 - Tharangambadi (Tranquebar)

    We planned to visit this small beach side village early in the morning for the sunrise. It was around 60 kms from Kumbakonam. So, we woke up early and started at 4.30am from Kumbakonam. Since there was no traffic at all, I managed to reach there by 5.40am. SH's all along were excellent till Tranquebar.

    Tharangambadi (formerly Tranquebar) is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, 15 km north of Karaikal, near the mouth of a distributary of the Kaveri River. Tharangambadi is the headquarters of Tharangambadi taluk. Its name means "place of the singing waves". It was a Danish colony from 1620 to 1845, and in Danish it is still known as Trankebar.

    The earliest reference to Tarangampadi occurs in a 14th century inscription, mentioning the place as Sadanganpade. Tranquebar was founded by the Danish East India Company in 1620, when a factory (commercial settlement) was opened and a fort, known as Fort Dansborg, was built by a Danish captain named Ove Gjedde. This fort was the residence and headquarters of the governor and other officials for about 150 years. It is now a museum hosting a collection of artifacts from the colonial era.

    Further Reading - Tharangambadi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Time for some snaps during sunrise.

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    The Danish fort at the beach side
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    More shots of Tranquebar
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  5. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

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    Chennai
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    Day 3 - Continued

    We came back to our hotel at kumbakonam by 8.30am. Took some rest, refreshed, had breakfast and we started packing to drive back to Chennai. We decided to visit Gangaikonda cholapuram on the way. We started from the hotel at 10.45am, refueled my car and I drove towards GangaiKonda Cholapuram.

    Gangaikondacholapuram - Bragadeeswarar Temple
    Gangaikonda Cholapuram (Tamil: கங்கைகொண்ட சோழபுரம்) was erected as the capital of the Cholas by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola, the great Chola who conquered a large area in South India at the beginning of the 11th century C.E. It occupies an important place in the history of India. As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 C.E. for about 250 years, the city controlled the affairs of entire south India, from the Tungabhadra in the north to Ceylon in the south. The great temple of Siva at this place is next only to the Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur in its monumental nature and surpasses it in sculptural quality.

    Further Reading - Gangaikonda Cholapuram - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Snaps taken here

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    After the visit to this temple, We drove towards Poompuhar (not really worth visiting). From here, I drove back to Chennai all along the ECR. The roads were mostly good. By the time we reached at our home in Chennai it was 10.30pm.

    Overall, I got an FE of 20.9 for this trip. :)
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  6. Beautiful pics there Ramesh bro ...

    So started experimenting with ur new cam .. uhh ??

    ajit
  7. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

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    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice details and some brilliant pictures!!
  8. teky

    teky Esperto

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    Lovely pictures, The SLR does make lot of difference Ramesh. Will use this if and when I visit Thanjavur district.

    However I seriously envy you again, I sincerely plan for trips and you execute them with me sitting at office. I have lot of backlog to complete once I'm back in town.
    2 people like this.
  9. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

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    2,293
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    Linea, SLR camera, picturesque places and enthusiastic driver: perfect recipe for magnificent trip.:)
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  10. Nice pics and good information about the temples :)

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