Chola Arts(Sheida's report)

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Credits to Sheida. I don't own this. Sheida's report.

Text of Chola Arts(Sheida's report)

CHOLA ARTS

CHOLA ARTS Art and architecture flourished during the Chola period. The rulers of the Chola dynasty were connoisseurs and patrons of art and architecture. The Chola Kings donated huge sums of money to construct temples which are considered as architectural splendors. The Chola period is also well-known for its unique sculptures and bronze statues. The bronze statue of Nataraja is a perfect example of the Chola art.

NATARAJA

Ananda natanam, the cosmic dance of Shiva at Chidambaram.

CULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS Under the Cholas, the Tamil country reached new heights of excellence in art, religion and literature. In all of these spheres, the Chola period marked the culmination of movements that had begun in an earlier age under the Pallavas. Monumental architecture in the form of majestic temples and sculpture in stone and bronze reached a finesse never before achieved in India. The Chola conquest of Kadaram (Kedah) and Srivijaya, and their continued commercial contacts with the Chinese Empire, enabled them to influence the local cultures. Many of the surviving examples of the Hindu cultural influence found today throughout the Southeast Asia owe much to the legacy of the Cholas.

CULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS

Detail of the main vimanam (tower) of the Thanjavur Temple

CHOLA BRONZES The Pallava and Chola dynasties witnessed the flowering of the bronzecasting technique that was extant from the Indus Valley period in India. The Chola bronzes (850-1275 AD) are unparalleled in their depiction of facile expression, the suppleness of the human form and its flowing movements. The famous images of Shiva Nataraja, Parvati, Kodanda Rama and Navaneeta Krishna have perennially delighteddevotees and aroused their religious fervour. Besides being votive images, aesthetically, the Chola bronzes mark a phase in thedevelopment of Indian sculpture that is simply magnificent in form andstyle.

CHOLA BRONZES The distinctive Chola style emerged during the reign of Aditya Chola (870-906 AD). The bronzes of this period are characterised by display of supple body with flowing contours and an oval face. The world-renowned bronze images of Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, appeared for the first time during the reign of Parantaka I, Aditya Chola's son. The Chola bronzes after 975 AD are divided into two separate groups: the Sembiyan Mahadev School and Raja Raja School, each having its own characteristic but bothdeveloping simultaneously. The bronzes of the Sembiyan School are slender and tall and the figures are adorned by intricate ornamentation. The Konerirjapuram Temple at Thanjavur contains several bronzes of this school. The bronzes of the Raja Raja School are "more masculine andmajestic and radiate a sense of power and strength, both physical and spiritual". The Vrishvahana bronze image belongs to this school.

SHIVA AND HIS MANIFESTATIONS The origins of Shiva have long since been lost in the mists of time. it is certain that he cannot be traced back to any one single source. That said, it is thought that a number of elements attached to Shiva appear to originate with the Vedic wild god Rudra. Shiva is an god, who delights in stepping outside of the norms of human behaviour and clearly relishes his outrageous conduct and moral ambivalence. With his characteristic dreadlocks he is both beautiful and unpredictable and them object of intense devotion. He is known as Mahadeva (Great God), Nataraja (Lord of Dance), Mahakala (Great Black One) and Sundareshvara (Beautiful Lord). Shiva is essentially found in two forms; aniconic, that is symbolised without aiming at resemblance, and iconic, in which the god is represented.

SHIVA AND HIS MANIFESTATIONS

MEDIEVAL CHOLAS Medieval Cholas rose to prominence during the middle of the 9th century C.E. and established the greatest empire South India had seen. They successfully united the South India under their rule and through their naval strength extended their influence in the Southeast Asian countries such as Srivijaya. They dominated the political affairs of Lanka for over two centuries through repeated invasions and occupation. They also had continuing trade contacts with the Arabs in the west and with the Chinese empire in the east.

MEDIEVAL CHOLAS SRIVIJAYA BRONZE BUDDHA OF GRABI AT NATIONAL MUSEUM BANGKOK

CHOLA DYNASTY The Chola Dynasty (Tamil: , IPA: [' o ]), a Tamil dynasty, ruled primarily in southern India until the thirteenth century. The dynasty originated in the fertile valley of the Kaveri River. Karikala Chola stands as the most famous among the early Chola kings, while Rajaraja Chola, Rajendra Chola and Kulothunga Chola I ruled as notable emperors of the medieval Cholas. The Cholas reached the height of their power during the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries. Under Rajaraja Chola I (Rajaraja the Great) and his son Rajendra Chola, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in Asia.

The Chola territories stretched from the islands of the Maldives in the South to as far North as the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh. Rajaraja Chola conquered peninsular South India, annexed parts of Sri Lanka and occupied the islands of the Maldives. Rajendra Chola sent a victorious expedition to North India that touched the riverGanga and defeated the Pala ruler of Pataliputra, Mahipala. He also successfully raided kingdoms of the Malay Archipelago. The power of the Cholas declined around the twelfth century with the rise of the Pandyas and the Hoysala, eventually coming to an end towards the end of the thirteenth century. The Cholas left behind a lasting legacy. Their patronage of Tamil literature and their zeal in building temples have resulted in some great works of Tamil literature and architecture. The Chola kings avidly built temples, envisioned them in their kingdoms not only as places of worship but also as centres of economic activity. They pioneered a centralized form of government and established a disciplined bureaucracy.

CHOLA DYNASTY

These works of popular literature have helped continue the memory of the great Cholas in the minds of the Tamil people. The most important work of this genre is the popular Ponniyin Selvan.

STANDING HANUMAN, CHOLA DYNASTY, 11THCENTURY.

EARLY CHOLAS The earliest Chola kings for whom there is tangible evidence are mentioned in the Sangam literature. Scholars generally agree that this literature belongs to the first few centuries of the common era. The internal chronology of this literature is still far from settled, and at present a connected account of the history of the period cannot be derived. The Sangam literature records the names of the kings and the princes, and of the poets who extolled them. Despite a rich literature that depicts the life and work of these people, these cannot be worked into connected history.

The Sangam literature also records legends about Chola kings. These speak of the Chola king Kantaman, a supposed contemporary of the sage Agastya, whose devotion brought the river Kaveri into existence. Two names stand out prominently from among those Chola kings known to have existed, who feature in Sangam literature: Karikala Chola and Kocengannan. There is no sure means of settling the order of succession, of fixing their relations with one another and with many other princelings of about the same period.

AN EARLY SILVER COIN OF UTTAMA CHOLA FOUND IN SRI LANKA SHOWING THE TIGER EMBLEM OF THE CHOLAS.IN GRANTHA TAMIL.

THE END