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the golden triangle

by niveditha

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the golden triangle
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what is golden triangle?
Three architectural marvels that have stood the test of time are the Great Living Chola Temples: the Brahadeeswarar, Gangaikondacholapuram and the Airavatesvara. All three – also known as the Golden Triangle – are part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list. These structures were built by kings of the Later Chola dynasty who ruled in South India between  907 and 1215 AD.
Originally known as the Peruvidaiyar Kovil, the Brahadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur is also popularly known as the Thanjai Periya Kovil and Rajarajeshwaram Koil. Its tower (vimana) is the tallest in the world at 200ft. It holds an 80-ton stone ball on top, which is known as the kumbakonam. A statue of Nandi, the sacred bull, at the entrance has been carved out of a single stone. The statue weighs 20 tonnes and is 16ft in length and 13ft in height. Nestled in the sanctum in a linga soaring to a height of 29ft.
Situated 36 km from Kumbakonam, in Ariyalur district, is Gangaikondacholapuram, built by Raja Raja Chola’s son Rajendra Chola. Gangaikondacholapuram means “the city of the Chola who conquered the Ganga” and was meant to commemorate his victory over the Pala rulers of West Bengal. The temple here is smaller than the Thanjavur temple and researchers say that Rajendra Chola did this out of respect for his father. The lingam here is 13 ft tall and has a base circumference of 59ft.
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