Gangaikondacholapuram templeChola rulers were active patrons of the arts. They flourished in architectures, education, science, arts, ship construction, poetry, drama, music, business trading, dance. The beautiful Nataraja figure was first conceived during the Chola empire. They constructed enormous stone temple complexes decorated inside and out with painted sculptures. While the stone sculptures and the inner sanctum image empowering the temple remained immovable, changing religious concepts during the 10th century demanded that the deities take part in a variety of public roles similar to those of a human monarch. As a result, large bronze images were created to be carried outside the temple to participate in daily rituals, processions, and temple festivals. The round lugs and holes found on the bases of many of these sculptures are for the poles that were used to carry the heavy images. They were admired for the sensuous depiction of the figure and the detailed treatment of their clothing and jewelry in Chola-period bronzes.
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