For more than four hundred years, from the ninth to the thirteenth century, the Chola dynasty was the dominant cultural, artistic, religious, and political force in south India. During the golden age of Chola rule, music and dance, poetry and drama, philosophy and religious thought, and the arts of sculpture, bronze-casting, jewelry-making, painting, and architecture reached new heights. The temple was the center of all activity, and the Cholas built and decorated some of the most impressive temples in south India. These were primarily Hindu, though Buddhist and Jain shrines were also supported by Chola royalty.
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