Dravidian Temples of South India


Brihadeeswarar Temple. A Tamil woman hides from the noon sun at Brihadeeswarar, an 11th century temple at Thanjavur in the south-India state of Tamil Nadu. Brihadeeswarar, built entirely from granite, is the oldest of the three “Great Living Chola Temples.” The temples belong to an era of Indian history in which Vijayalaya and subsequent kings expanded the Chola empire across southern India. Brihadeeswarar exemplifies Dravidian architecture of the period, a pyramid-like style of construction that spread as far as Southeast Asia (both Bihadeeswarar and Cambodia’s magnificent Angkor Wat, a near contemporary, aim to recreate the setting of Mount Meru, the great Hymilayan mountain in Buddhist and Hindi mythology).


At Brehadeeswarar, an avatar is framed by what appears to be the spray from decades of bird poop.


Meenakshi Amman in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. India. Thousands of Hindu gods adorn massive towers at Meenakshi Amman, a 17th-century temple devoted to Parvati, Hindu goddess of love (and wife to Shiva).


Temples of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. India.


Jambukeswarar Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. India.

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