|AUTHOR:||S. RAJAVELU AND RAM SHANKAR|
|PUBLISHER:||UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING, CHENNAI|
|PAGES:||148 (THROUGHOUT COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS)|
About The Book Painstakingly built between the tenth and twelfth centuries, the zenith or the Golden Age of the Chola Empire, the three temples at Rajarajiswaram, Gangaikondacholiswaram and Rajarajiswaram at Thanjaur, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram respectively stand in mute testimony to an artistic aesthetic that seems to have passed on genetically down the line from father to son to great-great grandson. The brilliant architecture, the highly evolved sculptures, the lavish frescoes and murals, and the exhaustive epigraphs, all vie, one with the other, to evoke in the spectator, a gnawing curiosity to understand what drove the mighty Chola emperors to establish these colossal structures. Did these kings foresee those telling compelling stories several centuries later of their unmatched political and diplomatic genius; their unsurpassed patronage of the arts, literature, and religion; their enviable endowments to temple complexes, and the expansive footprint they have garnered as far away as South East Asia? Did they want to record for posterity the divinity of the Hindu God Siva? Their abiding belief that a royal patron should support and nurture whole communities of people -skilled craftsmen who were not only perfectionists but could breathe life into creations in granite stone, mortar, and bronze; in mud, paint and plaster? We will never quite know for certain.
About The Authors All three temples, the Rajarajiswaram at Thanjavur, the Gangaikondacholiswaram at Gangaikondacholapuram and Airavatisvara at Darasuram, are all living temples located within the Kaveri Delta region, the heart of Chola Empire. The tradition of temple worship and rituals established and practiced over a thousand years ago, based on still older Agamic texts, continues daily, weekly and annually, as an inseparable part of life of the people.
Professor (Rtd) S. Rajavelu is presently working as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at Alagappa University, Karaikudi after his retirement from the Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology and Faculty Dean of Manuscript logy, Tamil University Thanjavur. Before joining the teaching line, he served in the Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India in the capacity of Epigraphist. Since the inception of the zonal office for Epigraphy in Chennai, Prof. Rajavelu is a well-known scholar in the field of Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Art and Architecture. Based on the findings, this book gives new wisdom about the three magnificent temples of the great Cholas of the nth century CE.
R.Sankaran (Ram Sankar) is a Chartered Accountant and after his retirement from the Board of Boston Harbor LLC., New York, is now associated with a reputed logistic service provider headquartered at Chennai, with pan India presence and an investment and leasing firm at Chennai. He is also a member of the Governing Board and Treasurer of Gram Vikas, Odhisa a reputed NGO working with the tribal communities. He also authored a book titled CHOLANOMICS on the progressive state administration that ushered in a golden age of South India of unprecedented economic expansion political stability and socially inclusive development, with temple as the epic centre of development.