A few weeks ago I shared a series of posts about the ancient Chola empire in South India:
- Part 1 – why seek patterns from long-ago civilizations
- Part 2 – who the Cholas were
- Part 3 – photos of temple patterns
I’ve also been collecting images of Chola art on a Pinterest Board. Check it out to see the bronze sculptures and carvings left by the Cholas.
Now, let’s take a trip to the Taj Coromandel and ITC Grand Chola hotels in Chennai to see how the architects and designers there were inspired by the Chola art in that region of India …
Patterns similar to those in the Chola temples were used here in the ITC Grand Chola Residents Lounge:
The ceiling of the shopping arcade:
Enormous circular motif in the ITC Grand Chola with lotus and temple carvings:
There are subtle Chola touches in this lounge, and you can also see how the architecture is arranged like the columned galleries in South Indian temples:
The ITC Grand Chola recently opened — check it out if you’re in Chennai. We stayed at the ITC Taj in Agra and it was a wonderful experience. We had an excellent meal in a restaurant there despite it being a voting day and they were unable to serve wine. The good thing about the voting day was, the Taj Mahal was nearly deserted of people for much of our visit there!
So now let’s travel over to a mainstay of Chennai’s travelers, the Taj Coromandel. Similar to the lounge above, this Taj Coromandel restaurant evokes the pillars and galleries of ancient Chola stone temples:
The Cholas were known for their bronze sculptures that you can see today in museums. The Taj Coromandel uses bronze sculpture as a theme, along with a traditional South Indian swing:
A bronze sculpture in a silk-lined niche at the Taj Coromandel:
It reminds me of the South and Southeast Asia gallery at the Chicago Institute of Arts, where I photographed the sculptures against colors of paprika and saffron and turmeric:
There are Chola sculptures there, but I didn’t realize it at the time only a few months ago.
Whenever we visit Chennai next, I will visit the Chola designs at the Taj Coromandel and ITC Grand Chola hotels, for inspiration for our Chennai apartment. Some of my favorite shopping is around the Taj Coromandel too.
- ITC Hotels Launches ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, India (virtual-strategy.com)
- 5 Reasons Why You SHOULD Stay at ITC Grand Chola,Chennai (heyithinkthisway.wordpress.com)
- Airavateeswara Temple: The best of the Great Living Chola Temples (beontheroad.com)