Chola Frescoes at Tanjore Big Temple

After my eyes feasted and my lens scanned the spectacular stone sculpted images of Brihadeeswara Temple, I moved on to the murals on the walls around the temple. These huge murals are now of great interest to the historians, mainly because three different styles have been portrayed through them. The Nayak and Maratha paintings were known for long. In 1931 the Chola frescoes were accidentally discovered by S.K. Govindaswami, a young history lecturer from Annamalai University. The Nayaks who ruled in 17th century had painted in their own style over the Chola frescoes.

Lord Shiva is depicted in various forms, each mural telling a story, even hairdos of queens, their ornaments drawn in detail. The fine proportions in the drawings make them comparable to the frescoes of Ajanta.

Click to enlarge the pictures to see the details and some of them peeling off at the edges.

Ardhanarishvara, Symbolism and Interpretations
Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

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