Chidambaram and Thanjavur were always on my travel wish list. But then I chanced upon a photograph of Kumbhakonam. The temple town cast its spell on me and promptly put itself on the list. My husband though, wasn’t exactly convinced about my enthusiasm for Chola age temples, considering that temples closer home were not always the places I chose to visit. But, his apprehensions lasted only till we set our eyes on the magnificent ‘Great Living Chola Temples’.
The three temples in this circuit – the Brihadeswara temple in Thanjavur; the temple in Gangaikonda Cholapuram, also dedicated to Brihadeswara; and the Airavateswara temple in Darasuram – are on the Unesco World Heritage Sites list. Tourists flock to marvel at the structures but so do the believers since religious rituals are all followed in these temples dating back to 11th and 12 centuries.
Kumbhakonam – the temple city