The divine dancer in miniature

The best-known, most eye-catching temple of the Chola era is the Brihadeeswara (Rajarajeswaram) temple in Tanjavur, built in the reign of Rajaraja I (985 – 1014 AD). Close behind come the outstanding Chola architectural marvels at Gangaikondacholapuram, Darasuram and Tribhuvanam. Not many are aware of innumerable other temples, big and small, dotting villages, towns and cities across Tamil Nadu and some other parts of south India as well, belonging to the reign of various Chola monarchs, before and after Rajaraja I. Among such less-known Chola temples is one dedicated to Siva called the Brahmapureeswara temple in Pullamangai, a small village near Pasupati Kovil, approximately twenty kilometers from Tanjavur and also accessible from Kumbakonam. It is one of the most remarkable temples of the early Chola era.