We headed towards Darasuram so as to visit another UNESCO designated Temple, the Gangaikondacholapuram, dedicated to Shiva, the God of destruction and of creation, and considered an architectural work of genius.
Built in the 11th century by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of RajaRajachola it is said to have taken nine years to be fully completed.
Its entrance (Mahaduvar) leading to an inner court, was clearly imposing with a huge Nandhi sculpture with its back turned onto us and the moment we walked into the courtyard another huge sculpture onto our right, this time of a lion guarding a well.
The Mandapa was clearly the structure that mostly attracted people's attention. I simply couldn't help photographing the Vimana (sanctum tower) with its recessed corners and graceful upward movement over, and over again. The portion of its structure rising above the main base had a number of niches housing various Deities sculptures which I tried to photograph (though I later realised that I didn't manage to photograph some from among a group of so called masterpieces).
Its inner sanctum housed a big Shiva lingam said to be the biggest in the Southern part of India.
South entrance to the karpagraham
Shiva's dance (right)
Gangadhara (Siva) with Devi from two different perspectives.
Kalari, one of Shiva's images defeating Death (left)
(To be continued)