Chola Art and Sculpture:
Chola art and sculpture styles are famous after the Pallava Sculpture and architecture. Still, we can see many Chola style sculptures adorned the temple walls in South India. Chola Kings encouraged Saivism and Vaishnavism, most of their temples dedicated to either to Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu. During the Chola dynasty, the Vastu Shastra thrived at its peak and all the temples constructed according to Temple Vastu Shastra. Before the Chola period, the stone sculptures placed in the temples. But during the period of Chola dynasty, the kings encouraged the sculptures of Bronze also. These Bronze sculptures were very elegance, rhythmic and grace. The famous Nataraja bronze sculpture is the best example to know the grace of Bronze sculptures.
Cholas as the Patrons of Art:
During the early Chola period the kings Aditya I and Parantaka I constructed several Shaivite and Vaishnavite temples. These temples seem very small; most of them were not constructed according to Vastu Shastra. These temples constructed with bricks. The sculpture of Vijayalacholeswaram near Pudukkoltai in Tamilnadu constructed like what we said above. But the Chola sculptures and temples were quite different to compare with earlier constructed temples. The Chola temples were profoundly constructed by following the Vastu Shastra. These temples have Garbhagriha, Vimana and circumbulatory corridor and the huge sculptures. We can see all these features at Muvarkovil temple to know the glory of Chola Temple architecture.
Rajaraja Chola and Brihadiswara Temple:
Among the kings of Chola dynasty, Rajaraja Chola was a great ruler, who gave the great boost to the Chola sculptures and architecture. He constructed Brihadiswara Temple with huge architecture. The temple construction and architecture is still a surprise to the present engineers. Gangaikonda Chola Puram temple and Tiruvalisvaram temple are the best examples to know the brilliant style and magnificent work of Chola style of art. These temple constructions were the complex of sculptures, relief sculptures and reflect style. The comic figures also studded various places of these temples. In these temples, we can see big building style of Gopurams, majestic Vimanas and mandapas.
Another magnificent thing here, many of the temples constructed with granite and hard rock. The Brihadiswara temple totally constructed with granite and hard stone. The Chola sculpture carved with detailed works. The ornaments dwelled with clear details and done intricately. Besides of the main deities, the artists made the perforated windows, animal images and motifs. While we are looking at these sculptures we can feel those are alive.
Cholas and Bronze Sculptures:
The Cholas sculpture of the temples the combination of stone pillars, Gopurams, magnificent sculptures and well-carved relief works. These combination temples belonged to 12th century. Chola Kings also encouraged the artists who made the bronze sculptures. During Chola period the artists did many experiments in doing bronze sculptures. The artists used the lost wax technique and followed the complete Indian Shilpa Shastra.