Today we drove from Pondicherry to Tanjore stoping off at Chidambaram, Kumbakonam & Gangaikondacholapuram.
We left the coast, heading inland to Tanjore stopping to visit impressive temples.
Chidambaram was once the capital of the Cholas from 907 to 1310. Today, it is one of the holiest Hindu sites in South India. The ancient city considered itself at the centre of the universe and therefore lays claim to the place where Shiva, in the form of Nataraja, performed his cosmic dance (108 moves – a bit like Strictly & Shiva won), which is commemorated in many beautiful sculptures
Today, the Sabhanayaka Nataraja Temple is highly active, managed by a group of Dikshitar Brahmins who collect alms and donations in return for religious duties.
Gangaikonda Cholapuram was erected by Rajendra I, with a towered sanctuary which rises to a height of 49 metres and is flanked on either side by small temples housing well-preserved statues of gods and goddesses.
In Kumbakonam there are 18 temples in the town centre and the largest shrine, dedicated to Vishnu, is the Sarangapani Temple. This temple dates from the 13th century; its gopurams stand at 45 metres, with 12 storeys. The main sanctum is constructed in the style of a chariot, with horses and elephants carved in relief. The Nageshwara Temple is also designed in chariot style and is dedicated to Nagaraja, the serpent king.
Tanjore is located 55 kilometres east of Trichy, Tanjore was the capital of the Cholas between the 10th and 14th centuries.
After quite a long drive, we are looking forward to a nice sleep 😴.