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  • Explore The Best Of The Rest Products At Never Before Prices

    From the bronze figurines of the Chola dynasty to the rock carving sculptures of the Pallavas, the South Indian art and craft has its distinct aura since centuries. Indian lifestyle, religious outlook, emotions and cultural expression are vividly reflected through the paintings, statuettes, wall hangings and other home décor items available at Poompuhar. From stone to metal, clay to textile –all the products come at affordable cost and are rich in Indianness.

    Bronze Figurines

    With the sublime stillness, the Bronze figurines from Chola era are the epitome of the omnipotent energy. The miniature replicas of the sculptures from tenth to twelfth century bear no signature and come with three variants. There are both glossy polished statues as well as the antique polished ones which bear the vintage touch.

    Ganesha, Meenachi, Lakshmi and Buddha statues are avilabale in various sizes and postures along with the cow and horse figurines. The price starts from INR 2545 for a 3 x 2 inch size and the maximum size is ten feet.

    Oxidized Natraja

    From ages, Indian dance forms have taken inspiration from the cosmic dance of Shiva, also called Natraja. Indian art has a distinct place for lord Shiva and in order to invoke that reverence, Poompuhar has brought the colossal black colored Natraja in two size variants -8 x 10 x 3 inch and 5 x 4 x 3 inch. The price starts from an affordable cost of INR 840.

    Shop for this Oxidised Natarajar - Click Here

    Stone Carving

    From the supple and sensuous female figurine to the vigorous and virility of the male figures, the magnificent rock-cut sculptures were the cultural identity of the Pallava era. These sculptures depict every human emotion, be it joy, coyness, aggression, tenderness and even authority. You will find the virtuous Perumal sculpture carved from granite, the Soapstoneand Redstone Ganesha, the meditating Buddha and so on. The sizes vary from fifteen feet to three inch and various others in between. Prices start from INR 120 for 3 x 2 x 2 inch lingam made of soft stone.

    Shop for this Soft Stone Lingam - Click Here

    Brass Lamps

    As an indispensable part of daily worship ritual, the Brass Lamps are the most popular items created by the private craftsmen. From Agal to Villaku, deepam to hanging lamps –there are various sizes available. The price starts from INR 200 for the Agal.

    brass-ashta-lakshmi-vilakku-buy-online Brass Ashtalakshmi Vilakku Buy Online

    Woodworks

    From flower vase to tray, lamps to wooden hangings, bowls to wooden dolls and of course the sandal wood carving, the intricacy is reflected from every item. Buddha, Krishna, Lakshmi, Balaji, Ganesha and various other decorative are hand-cut and carved. The price for a small sandalwood keychain is INR 250 while a 48 x 15 inch Gopuram cost INR 7425.

    Paintings and Textiles

    The ornate gold work of the Thanjavur paintings to the rich patterned glass painting and Batik, the vegetable painted Kondapalli toys to stunning Meenakari stools, Poompuhar has something for everyone. The miniature oil paintings, handcrafted textile bags, purses and wall hangings are also notable for their traditional essence.

    Deriving its name from the historic coastal hamlet of Puhar, Poompuhar’s vast range of products is manufactured in its 6 production units and bear the traditional aestheticism of Indian culture. Get your choice of products at an affordable cost and give your home a new look.

  • South India- the birthplace of Dravidian Architecture

    The Dravidian style of Architecture is the characteristic South Indian style and is mainly found in the Southern Indian  states of  Tamil NaduKarnatakaKeralaTelangana, and Andhra Pradesh. The Dravidian architecture can mainly be seen through the temples; which were of various shapes such as square, rectangular, octagonal, star-shaped etc and they were made from stones. They were constructed by sandstone, steatite or granite. The Vastu Shastra, an ancient science of architecture and construction, states it as one of the three styles of temple building.

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    The Dravidian style temples inhere almost universally of four parts. They differ only according to the age in which they were constructed. The main part, contained the hall where the image of the god or his symbol was placed, the temple itself was called the Vimana. It was always constructed square in plan and on top of it was a pyramidal roof of one or more levels. A pillared outdoor hall or pavilion for public rituals, known as Mandapas (or porches) was built to cover and precede the door leading to the main hall where the deity was kept. The primary features in the quadrangular enclosures that surrounded the more remarkable temples were the gate-pyramids known as Gopurams. These rectangular, pyramidal towers were often 50 metres high with intricate sculptures of gods, demons, humans, and animals on them.  Pillared halls (Chaultris) used for several processes were the unvarying appendage to the Dravidian temples. The most holy place was the pitha (altar), or plinth, of the Deity.

    The altar was located in the sanctum sanctorum (inner sanctum) which was known as the garbha-griha meaning womb house. There were no sculptures, but that of the main deity in the garbha-griha or inner sanctum of the main shrine. The gateway that faced the sanctum was called mahadvara and was the main entrance to the temple.

    There had to be a significant ceremony known as impregnating (garbhadhana or garbha-nyasa) before the construction of the garbha-griha and so that part of the temple was built first. The sanctum sanctorum (central shrine) was topped by a pyramidal tower several stories high called vimana or sikhara. It was crowned by a chakra in a Lord Vishnu temple and a trident in a Lord Siva temple.

    The garbha-griha and the pavilion in front of the main altar was connected by a vestibule or porch called ardha mandapa or antarala.

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    In front of the sanctum (mukha mandapa), there used to be a hall (usually of rectangular shape) where the devotees stood to be able to see the main deity of the temple. The nityarchana mandapa is where the worship of the small (moveable) representative of the main deity is done every day. There used to be a flight of stairs to connect the first prakara with the sanctum sanctorum and was called sopana. It was in front of this flight of stairs where the main mandapa was.

    The other deities and the consort of the main deity (Lakshmi or Parvati) were kept in the subsidiary shrines or altars.

    Many of the Dravidian temples had halls for various purposes. For example, hall for holding large audience- ranga-mandapa, hall for occasional sacrifices-yajna, hall for dance recitals- nritya-mandapa, hall for marriage ceremonies- kalyana-mandapa, hall in the middle of the temple tank used for festivals- vasanta-mandapa, hall for festive occasions- utsava-mandapa, place where the festival vehicles were kept- vahana-mandapa and asthana-mandapa- where the processional deity held alankara-mandapa where the deity was dressed before being taken on cavalcade.

     There also used to be a treasury, a kitchen (paka-sala), store room (ugrana), dining hall (Ramanuja-kuta in a Vaishnava temple and Siva-kuta in a Siva temple) in such temples.

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    In the temple ground, outside the main entrance of the garbha- griha was the flagpost (dhvaja- stambha) and a platform for food offerings (bali-pitha). Every temple usually had a temple tank (teppakulam), flower garden (nandavana), and temple chariot (ratha). On festival days the processional deity was cavalcaded around town on the chariot.  Thousands of people joined the festival parade with zest.

    Several empires and kingdom of Southern India imprinted their influence on architecture.

    The Sangam period (from 300BCE -300CE), made brick shrines for the deities Murugan, Shiva, Amman and Thirumal (Vishnu) of Tamil pantheon. One of the temples, the Saluvannkuppan Murukan Temple was built in three layers; the lowest layer consisted of the brick shrine. As the dynasties expanded, various structural additions, such as sculptures of art, nature and deities, were made to the brick shrines. Some examples of these additions can be seen in the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple and the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple from the Sangam period.

    The Pallavas (from 600-900 AD) are considered the pioneers of South Indian architecture. Their greatest work of art was the construction of single rock temples in Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram, which are now part of Tamil Nadu. The Dravidian style temples were initially built in the Badami Chalukya – Pallava period. Rock – cut temples were made between 610 CE and 690 CE and the structural temples were built between 690 CE – 900 CE. They made pillared halls and monolithic shrines known as rathas in Mahabalipuram. Not only did the Pallavas pioneer in the construction of the rock cut temples (without using building materials like mortar, bricks etc), rather it was them who started constructing large temples and very large deities and idols. The Thiruppadagam and Thiruooragam temples have images of Lord Vishnu which are 28 and 35 feet high respectively in his expression of Pandavadhootar and Trivikraman. Dravidian style of architecture was prevalent in the whole of Tamil Nadu.

    Arjuna Penance in Mahabalipuram Image Credit - wikimedia

    The Pandya built a 12  tiered temple; the Srivilliputtur Andal Temple, which is also the official symbol of the government of Tamil Nadu. Its tower is 192 feet high; which is almost equal to 59 meters high. The famous Meenakshi temple in Madurai is another example of the temples built in this period.

    The Cholas were very creative temple builders;  The Brihadeshvara Temple of Thanjavur, Brihadeshvara Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram, the Airavatesvara Temple of Darasuram are the temples which have been given the title of ‘ Great Living Chola Temples ‘ among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Sarabeswara (Shiva) Temple, also known as the Kampahareswarar Temple at Thirubhuvanam, is yet another magnificient temple built by the Chola dynasty.

    The Rastrakutas ruled in the period 753 – 973 CE. They built beautiful Dravidian  monuments at Ellora and Elephanta (now known as Maharashtra), such as the Jaina Narayana Temple, Navalinga Temple and the Kailasanatha temple, in the rock cut architecture style. The Rastrakutas constructed 34 temples; all in the rock – cut style. The walls of the temple have sculptures from the Hindu mythology depicting the Dravidian art. The ceilings, too, have beautiful paintings.

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    The Chera style of architecture is only one of its kind in Dravidian architecture. The Thirunelli Temple, the Vadakkunnathan Temples, Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple and Kandiyur Siva Temple are its examples.

    Thus we can see that South India has wonderful works of Dravidian architecture worth watching.

  • Top 10 architectural marvels of India

    There is no wonder why foreigners visit to India increases every day! India well known for her cultural heritage and massive wonders. India is filled with splendid and mind blowing architectural marvels. There are no doubt these architectural engineering excellences and brilliance of our ancients will make you question our modern knowledge on architecture.

    The ages of these buildings dates back around 1000 years and more and still stands strong without failing to delight our eyes.

    Here we have listed top 10 exclusive architectural marvels of India which includes temples, fort, Palace. Let’s start our tour to most prestigious and outstanding marvels of India!

    Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu

    The Brihadeeswarar Temple, Shiva Temple, built during Chola Dynasty by the emperor Raja Raja Chola I.  It ispopularly known as “Thanjai periya kovil” which literally means “Big Temple of Thanjavur”, is one of the largest temples in India and known to be one of India’s most prized architectural sites to visit. This temple celebrates its 1015 birthday in 2015!This temple is the first building fully built by granite and finished within 5 years. This implies the architect engineers during Chola Dynasty were not only excelling in architect but also faster.

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    Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, Madurai

    Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace, a national monument, was builtin 17th century 1636 AD during Madurai’s Nayaka dynasty by King Thirumalai Nayak. It is a classic combination of Dravidian and Islamic style of architecture. Thegrandest Palace of south is famous for its gigantic pillars whichHeight is 82 feet and width is 19 feet. Many parts of this palace got ruined and today we get to see entrance gate, The Main Hall, and the Dance hall. The original Palace complex was four times bigger than the present structure.

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    Ruins of Hampi, Karnataka

    Ruins of Hampi, one of the UNESCO protected heritage site, was the former capital of famous Vijaynagar Empire and now a delightful tourists spot. Hampi includes various Hindu temples known Achyutaraya Temple, Badavi Linga, Chandramauleshwara Temple and Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple speaks ancient style of architecture. It is greatly advised not to wander around Hampi because you likely to be get lost in its mysteries!

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    Konark Sun Temple, Odisha

    Sun temple built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva, it is known for its exquisite wall designs and its magnificent representation of Sun God.  It is one of famous temples of Orissa, a most stunning monument of religious architecture in world! The entire temple was designed in the shape of solar chariot with 12 pairs of exquisitely-ornamented wheels dragged by 7 rearing horses. Sun Temple exhibits more balanced architectural design.

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    Nalanda University, Bihar

    Nalanda University is the second oldest University in India built in the 5th century by Gupta Rulers. Found by Buddhist monks around 2500 years ago. It was about 88 km away from Patna. The university covers 14 hectares, includes 10 temples. The architectural design and planning of this massive university is astonishing and stunning. It is an interesting historical fact that the great library of Nalanda University took 3 months to burn down.It attracted scholars from all over the world, even today tourists visits the ruins of this majestic site.

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    Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra

    Ajanta caves are a set of 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments.  It dates back to 2nd century BCE is the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting per the Archaeological survey of India. The cave served as a place for living, education, and worship for many ancient Buddhist monks. It is one of the UNESCO protected world heritage sites.

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    Buland Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri

    Buland Darwaza, the world’s greatest gateway, literally means “Gate of Magnificence” was built in 1601 AD by the great Mughal Monarch Akbar in order to celebrate his victory over Gujarat. It is 40 meters in elevation and 35 meters in width. Red sandstone and white marble were used to build this gateway. The decorations and carvings on white marble is known for their calligraphy and echo religiously liberals thoughts of ‘Akbar the Great’

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    Lake Palace, Udaipur

    Lake Palace built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1746. It got its name as it located right middle of Pichola Lake. It is considered to be one of the most romantic places in the world for its sight with amusing Aravalli Hills. Now it is called as Taj Lake Palace as it is took over by Taj Groups. It has 83 rooms featuring with white marble walls.

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    Taj Mahal, Aagra

    There been lots of stories tied with existence of Taj Mahal, whatever the truth behind Taj Mahal we should admit that it must be honored and preserved for its famous architectural elegance and beauty. Taj Mahal, white marble mausoleum, built in 1653 Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It is located on the southern bank of Yamuna River in the Indian city of Agra.

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    Lotus Temple, New Delhi

    Lotus Temple since its inauguration to public has drawn 70 million visitors and become one of the most visited tourists site in the world. It is Bahai’s Temple constructed in the shape of lotus, a common religious symbol for Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Jainism. The purpose of this temple is to unite all the races and religions in one common faith.

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  • Bronze in Indian art

    Bronze is basically an alloy, traditionally composed of copper and tin. Modern Bronzes contains other metals such as Lead, Aluminum, Manganese, or Zinc.

    The art of Bronze casting is one of the most ancient and widespread art forms. Archeologists say that Indians become familiar with the usage of bronze about 4000 years before. Copper Age was followed by the Bronze Age.

    Indo-Greek coins in the ancient period made with bronze dates back to 170 BC. Indians had trade relations with Rome and China when bronze coins are in use.

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    Bronze played an important role in the world of Indian art.Ancient people of India used bronze for casting weapons, coins, daily utensils, and worship statues.

    In Asia Bronze casting techniques are mostly used in religious significance.In India, bronze sculptures have been found from Kushana, Chola, Pallava, and Gupta Dynasties.

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    The Indus Valley civilization(3300 BC – 1300 BC)is said to be a Bronze Age. This period is also known as the Harappan Civilization. The main inhabitants of Harappa are Dravidians.

    The Harappan culture developed new techniques in metallurgy and its use become common in later period. Bronze were used in the creation of weapons, coins, and staues.

    Here in Tamil Nadu,Bronze art and sculpture reached its finesse during Chola Dynasty and Pallava Dynasty. Hindu artisans from this period used bronze to create intricate statues of deities of Hinduism mostly and the lifestyle.

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    The Hindu Artisans used the lost wax casting          method, is the process by which a duplicate metal sculpture is cast from an original sculpture.

    Cholas and Pallavas used Bronze sculptures models specifically for detailing ornaments of statues. Bronze statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses are mainly used for worshiping in temples or in individual households.

    It is been said that in India in the period of Pallavas, the bronze sculptures and art came in their form of their own. The artistic works of this time is an example of simplicity and elegance.

    Chola Dynasty (9 th century until the beginning of 13 th century), Cholas’s kings contributedto culture and art of South India majestic architecture of temples and sculptures.

    Cholas period is considered as the remarkable period for its Bronze sculptures and art. It is the great age of Bronze sculpture. Huge Bronze images in large numbers were created.

    The finest Chola masterpieces are the bronze statue of Siva Nataraja at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

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