Airavatesvara Temple Analysis

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The sculpture in the Airavatesvara temple may be said to be the best among the enormous mass of extent chola images. In their depth of profundity of the facial expressions and pleasing apotheosis of serenity and dignity, in their technical refinement and excellent modelling and in their sensitiveness and restraint they have few parallels in south India plastic art.

The sculptural art of the Airavatesvara temple compared to the great magnitude of the edifice is not prolific nor is it the product of any atelier noted for refined sensibility and freshness of ideas. Everything has now been standardized in sculpture as well as architecture. All the theme of the bas-reliefs on familiar subjects and episodes even the dance scenes do not cast any spell on the minds of the onlookers. As most of the scenes especially the narrations are restricted to the narrow strip, representing the Kantha of the Upapitha they are devoid of any natural appeal due, in no measure to the positional disadvantage. Besides the black stone images and the icons of dieties the sculptural embellishment of the temple. Includes bas-reliefs of sixty - three Nayanmars in small scales on the walls of the sanctum, decorative designs of different forms like floral and visual patterns and a large variety of architectural motifs.
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The images of Gods and Goddesses enshrined are those of Dakshinamurthi on the southern wall of the sanctum, Lingodbhava on the west wall and Brahma on the north wall besides

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