Darasuram forms the pinnacle of Chola art, a must visit in the golden triangle of middle chola art, Tanjore, Gangai Konda Cholapuram and Darasuram.

What you are seeing is a staircase leading to the hall,the humble handrail has been transformed into a splendid interplay of beautiful mythical animals – a delightful concoction of animal figurines ,called yaazhis ,..mythical beasts of gigantic proportions ,. Bulging eyes, horns, claws ,..the artist imagination is running riot here,.due to predominance of the elephant motif here, we will call it an elephant yaazhi which is set off at the bottom by his aquatic counterpart ,.a fish yaazhi,.if you watch closely you can spot the solider on top of the elephant yaazhi complete with as assortment of arms ..sword and shield ..and another one emerging from the mouth of fish yaazhi below!!

darasuram original sculpture.jpg
darasuram wrong piece inserted.jpg
darasuram wrong piece detail.jpg

We are now looking at a similar flight of stairs ..but this has been crudely repaired by the powers to be !! you can compare the two side and by side and notice that the centre block just under the Yaazhi doesn’t fit.. its been crudely set into the composition, anyway lets look at what is depicted there,looks like some form of martial school, two people jesting in sport and another pair sparring with swords, in between the two pairs is the master..overseeing her wards,yes all are women fighters !!!


Thanks to my young friend Shriram, got better pictures of the rail and inlay panel.

the full handrail.jpg
the inset panel.jpg

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This entry was posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2008 at 11:30 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

9 Comments so far


Congrats on your blog..you bring darasuram come alive :)

September 2nd, 2008 at 10:43


இது மிகவும் அருமையான blog!



September 2nd, 2008 at 16:32
ashok krishnaswamy

Great effort to enlighten our society

September 2nd, 2008 at 17:03

great work vijay..kudos

September 2nd, 2008 at 19:45

Marvellous Work! I am much impressed with the contents of the site.

I give u the title VALAI SIRPI.

September 2nd, 2008 at 21:09

Hi Madhumitha,

Thanks for the kind words. Prophetic, the art of stone is lost today, not because of the lack of artists but more due to the lack of patrons. So if good souls like you champion the cause of art, maybe there is still hope for this endangered art. If not for new creations, we can atleast respect, love and protect current ones.


September 4th, 2008 at 12:22

Great Work Vijay !!!

September 5th, 2008 at 15:39

kallialae kalaivannam kandaan -

andha kaliavannathai nam baashaiyil thoguthu alikum um muyarchiku em vaazhthukal

September 5th, 2008 at 16:42
Narasimhan Srinivasan

Wonderful work once again dear VJ. Pardon me for these comments because though this article is quite old but I, being new to this site am posting my comments only now.

I just have this point to make for you to consider, if considered ok:

In the first line, you say: Darasuram forms the pinnacle of Chola art, a must visit in the golden triangle of middle chola art, Tanjore, Gangai Konda Cholapuram and Darasuram.

I think this should be modified when you consider that it is universally accepted that there are not three but four major and absolutely great Chola temples. Of course you have named the first three, but the fourth (I do not know if the fourth also is one of the World Heritage Sites among Chola temples) definitely deserving a mention is here is the Kampahareswarar temple at Tribhuvanam built by Kulothunga III (probably the last great Chola king) who ruled between 1176-1218 AD. The Kampahareswarar temple is located at Tribhuvanam which is just 6 kms. outside Kumbakonam and is very conveniently connected through buses, autos etc. (and like Darasuram, there is also a railway station near Tribhuvanam, though I do not know the exact name of the Railway station). So the introductory words in the text could be changed as under:

Darasuram forms the pinnacle of Chola art, a must visit in the golden quartet of middle chola art of the period 1000-1215 AD), Tanjore, Gangai Konda Cholapuram, Darasuram and Tribhuvanam.

Of course, it would be subject to acceptance to you and indeed depend on the views of other very knowledgeable participants in this website.

October 29th, 2008 at 14:00

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