Last August I had the chance to go on a trip with some friends from Team CRI. The group looked like this: Amar to drive the car, Jaideep to curse the natives, Manohar for sobriety, Suhas for wit-and-occasional-humor and Rangesh for a well informed guide. I went for the sheer fun!
The trip lasted four days and was titled ‘Chola Desha Darshana’ by Amar. If you are not a Southerner I must explain the name to you. It means a darshana of regions that made for the nucleus of Chola country: Srirangam, Thanjavur and Kumbakonam. This region is renowned for its spectacular temples that are more than a millennia old.
Since this is a Mindsnack and because someone in the editorial team of CRI is working on a travelogue I’m only going to share some pictures from the trip. When you are visiting the lush paddy fields of Thanjavur, dipping your feet in the Kaveri (Amar wanted to take a dip but the team thwarted a proper dip till the end) and visiting so many temples it is hard to come up with an exhaustive photo gallery without boring the viewer.
1. A horse rider sculpted on a pillar at Srirangam
2. Looking at centuries old wall paintings at Panchanadeeshwar Temple, Thiruvaiyar.
3. A graceful murti of AnnapoorNE – the goddess of nourishment
4. An adjacent hall at the Darasuram Temple
5. Team seeking shade. At Darasuram.
6. A view of Darasuram Temple from the corridors
7. A murti of Vishnu Durga (Darasuram)
8. A family poses for a photograph (Gangaikondacholapuram, Thanjavur)
9. The grand entrance to Big Temple, Thanjavur
10. A view of the Big Temple vimana (Thanjavur)
11. The entrance to Gangaikondacholapuram Temple
12. The ruins of Gangaikondacholapuram
13. Excavated statues at Gangaikondacholapuram
14. The Coronation of Rajendra Chola (At the Gangaikondacholapuram)
15. The ever graceful cosmic dance – Nataraja at Gangaikondacholapuram
16. A tired Team CRI at Gangaikondacholapuram (After a particularly heavy breakfast)