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Thanjavur, Brihadishwara Temple, Bharatanatyam dancers | by Arian Zwegers
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Thanjavur, Brihadishwara Temple, Bharatanatyam dancers

Thanjavur, Brihadishwara Temple, Bharatanatyam dancers

 

Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the centre of the city.

 

The Peruvudaiyar Kovil is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. It is an important example of Tamil architecture achieved during the Chola dynasty. It is also known as Periya Kovil, Brihadeshwara Temple, RajaRajeswara Temple and Rajarajeswaram. It is one of the largest temples in India and one of India's most prized architectural sites. Built by emperor Raja Raja Chola I and completed in 1010 AD, Peruvudaiyaar Temple, also popularly known as the 'Big Temple', turned 1000 years old in 2010. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Great Living Chola Temples".

 

Thanjavur Periya Kovil stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The vimanam (or temple tower) is 66 m high and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The Kumbam (Kalasha or Chikharam, the apex or the bulbous structure on the top) of the temple is carved out of a single rock and it weighs around 80 tons. 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 granite, the nearest sources of which are close to Tiruchirappalli, about 60 km to the west of Thanjavur. The temple is the most visited tourist attraction in Thanjavur and the state alike.

 

Bharata Natyam, also spelled Bharatanatyam, is a form of Indian classical dance that originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu. This dance form is the product of various 19th- and 20th-century reconstructions of Sadir, the art of temple dancers called Devadasis. It was described in the treatise Natya Shastra by Bharata around the beginning of the common era. Bharata Natyam is known for its grace, purity, tenderness, expression and sculpturesque poses. Lord Shiva is considered the God of this dance form. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.

 

(source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanjavur, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brihadeeswarar_Temple, and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharata_Natyam)

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Taken on December 25, 2011