There are different criteria that lead to the christening of The Great Living Chola Temples. These temples epitomize the precision and beauty of Dravidian temples and are considered to have reflected outstanding creative achievement in the architectural front. Stone carvings and inscriptions of these temples are heavily acclaimed.
The Great Living Chola Temples have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes three temples; The Brihadesvara Temple (Tanjavur), Brihadisvara Temple (Gangaikondacholisvaram) and Airavatesvara Temple (Darasuram).
The history of these temples dates back to 11th century CE. Chola Empire ruled over Southern India for quite a long time and built many temples during that span. Cholas were staunch followers of Lord Shiva and their temples reflect stability, prosperity and glory. Granite was mainly used by the Cholas for designs that consisted of kings, dancers, warriors and deities.