evolving the political iconography of the Cholas through the stupendous
  royal temple projects, marking the zenith of the Dravida style of
  architecture and allied arts. A near total identity was established between
  God and the king, which enabled the sacred and temporal domains to
  coincide. The bhakti ideology assisted in the process of enhancing the
  power of both the divine and human sovereigns through the symbolism of
  the cosmos/temple/territory.
Determination of Urban Growth Temple geography and ecology have
provided a useful method of contextualising the data on temple distribution
and its correlation with actual politico-economic integration. In the
subsequent economic diversification leading to the growth of urban centres,
the temple’s role has been significant. The character of the towns/cities was
determined by the temple, which formed the core of a settlement and its
expansion in a horizontal pattern with a remarkably clear horizontal
stratification of space for hierarchical caste and occupational groups. This
process is illustrated by both the single-temple and multi-temple complexes
of urban growth.
Cultural Importance
                   PROGRESS OF DRAVIDA STYLE
  The study of temple art and architectural styles in the Pallava-Chola
  periods (seventh to thirteenth centuries AD) has established the importance
  of art history in providing additional insights into the role of the temple in
  the socio-political and cultural integration of this region. Rock-cut
  architecture and its allied technique of rock-carvings dominated Pallava–
  Pandya art of the seventh-ninth centuries, while the structural mode
  replaced it entirely by the tenth century AD on account of its potentialities
  for the horizontal spread of temple sites as nuclei of agrarian settlements
  and for the expansion and concentration of temple complexes in the
  manifestation of urban forms and space. The Dravida style of architecture
  progressed from a small, unpretentious shrine (garbha-griha) with a
  moderate sized tower (sikhara)     and a pillared porch (ardha-mandapa) in