Polo (late 13th century), the Venetian traveller. The temple of Gangaikonda
Cholapuram (also dedicated to Siva or Brihadesvara), the creation of
Rajendra I, was meant to excel its predecessor in every conceivable way.
Erected around 1030, the greater elaboration in its appearance attests to the
more affluent state of the Chola empire under Rajendra I. It is larger in plan
though not as tall as the previous one.
Later Phase In this category, two Chola temples worth mentioning are the
Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram (Tanjore District) and the
Kampaharesvara temple at Tribhuvanam.
Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple
The Chola period also witnessed great strides in the field of sculpture. The
three main classes of Chola sculpture are the portraits, icons and decorative
There are three well-preserved and nearly lifesize portraits on the walls of
the Kuranganatha temple at Srinivasanallur, and several others in the
Nagesvara temple at Kumbhakonam.
The Siva temple at Tiruvalisvaram is a veritable museum of superb early
Chola iconography. The walls of the Brihadesvara temples at Tanjore and
Gangaikonda Cholapuram contain numerous icons of large size and fine
execution. The Chola sculptors started bronze-casting sometime around the
middle of the 9th century. The Cholas are particularly known for their