Chief features of Chola architecture are:
(i) Dravidian feature initiated by the Pallavas acquired the classical forms and features under the Cholas such as gopurams, mandapams and Vimanas.
(ii) In the beginning, gopuram features was subdued and vimana features dominated but in the later stages, gopurams overshadowed the Vimanas.
(iii) In the beginning, Vimanas were constructed in the cellular mode as in the Raja ` Rajeshwar temple (Brihadeewarar temple) at Tanjore where in the Vimana, various storeys were constructed in a graded manner. It had 13 storeys. In the later phase, vimanas began to be constructed in circular concept as in the Nataraj temple at Chidambaram.
(iv) The Brihadeeswarar temple at Tanjore is surrounded by a rectangular wall protected by 8 vimanas which hosed the 8 keepers of directions called Ashtadikpalas. The temple is dedicate to lord Shiva and is known as Dakshimeruvitankar. An enormous Nandi which is the second largest in India, carved out of a single block of granite guards the entrance of the sanctuary. The Brihadeeswarar temple at Tanjore is the Tallest of all the temples in India in the medieval period.
(v) Various public works as cities, roads, irrigation works and artificial tanks were constructed. Rajendra Chola I constructed a city, a water tank and a temple with the same name of Gangaikondacholapuram temple.
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