Tamilnadu Tourism Chola Temples The great Cholas established a powerful monarchy in the 9th CE at Thanjavur and in its surroundings. They enjoyed a long, eventful rule lasting for four and a half centuries with great achievements in all fields of royal endeavour such as military conquest, efficient administration, cultural assimilation and promotion of art. All three temples, the Brihadisvara at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara at Gangaikondacholapuram and Airavatesvara at Darasuram, are living temples. The tradition of temple worship and rituals established and practised over a thousand years ago, based on still older Agamic texts, continues daily, weekly and annually, as an inseparable part of a life of the people. These three temple complexes, therefore, form a unique group, demonstrating a progressive development of high Chola architecture and art at its best and at the same time encapsulating a very distinctive period of Chola history and Tamil culture. These temples represent the development of Dravida architecture from Chola period to Maratha Period. All three monuments have been in a good state of preservation from the date of the inscription of the property and no major threats affect the World Heritage monuments. These monuments are being maintained and monitored by the Archaeological Survey of India.