Brihadeeswara Temple – The Temple with no shadow in Thanjavur

Brihadeeswara Temple

Brihadeeswara Temple also called Peruvudaiyar Kovil, RajaRajeswara Temple, and Rajarajesvaram. This is a Hindu temple dedicated to lord Shiva, sitting in his dancing pose called the Nataraja. The temple is situated in Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the largest temples in India and is an example of Dravidian architecture during the Chola period, as it was Built by an emperor Raja Raja Chola I, and the entire construction is completed in 1010 AD, the temple turned 1000 years old in 2010. Now the temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Great Living Chola Temples, with the other two being the Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Brihadeeswara Temple, and Airavatesvara temple.

The temple is a magnificent example of an ancient architectural structure, that attracts thousands of tourists a year. The temple was built using over 130,000 tons of granite, this amazing unique architectural structure shows the excellence and harmony of the south Indian Kings.

However, the major attraction of the temple is a 216 feet tall tower that is built above the temple. Even the tower can be seen by anyone while entering the city from afar. Another major attraction is that there is a magnificent Nandi statue built at the temple, it is about 2 meters in height, 6m in length, and 2 and a half meters in width, and weighs around a whopping 20 tons for a statue built from just a single stone, even the different postures of the famous classical dance Bharatanatyam, are carved on the walls of the upper floor of the temple.

Let’s talk about the history of the temple, an Arulmozhivarman who was a Tamil King and as popular as Raja Raja Chola I established this magnificent temple during 1002 CE. And this was the first great project among other projects by Tamil Chola. This temple has a symmetrical and axial geometry rules layout of this temple. Temples from the same period of time of Tamil Chola Power, artistic expertise, and wealth. This is one of the greatest examples of great architecture, which represents the true form of Dravida kind of architecture in the temples and is a representative ideology of the Chola Empire and Tamil civilization. Additionally, this temple testifies to chola’s brilliant achievements in architecture, bronze casting, painting, and sculpture.

There is a story, it is said that after seeing the Pallava Rajasimha temple in Kanchipuram, king Raja Raja Cholan had the dream of constructing a such great temple for Lord Shiva. And then this temple is the first among all the structures and monuments which used granite and it was finished within the 5 years from 1004 AD to 1009 AD.

Also Visit : Somnath Temple – The First Jyotirlinga Temple of Lord Shiva

Hence, the great dynasty of Chola kings, the Raja Raja, the son of Sundara Chola, and Vanavan Mahadevi established this magnificent example of architecture and named it Brihadeeswaram at Thanjavur, which was the capital of the Chola Dynasty. The temple took 5-6 years to complete its entire construction. Brihadeeswara Temple is also the first all-granite temple in the world, and the fact that granites are not available within a 100-mile radius of the temple only makes it all the more astonishing and stunning. Granite is a heavy stone, but none of that seemed to have shied the king from realizing the temple the way he envisions it.

There is a Nandi Shrine, two continuous extensive Mandapas called worship rooms, an Antarala means antechamber, and a Vimana with a high tower, all in line on the east-west axis. On the same axis stand the Gopurams temple gateways of the early time at the eastern center of the priests and the brick wall.

How to reach the temple?

BY AIR- The nearest airport to Brihadeeswara Temple is the Tiruchirappalli Airport 65 kms.

By Train- Thanjavur is the nearest railway station, which is only 1.9km from the temple.

BY ROAD- Thanjavur can be easily accessed from the nearest cities via bus. There are some frequent government and private buses running to Thanjavur across the day. Brihadeeswara Temple is just 1 Km from Thanjavur Old Bus Stand, 60.3 Km from Trichy Central Bus Stand, and 5.2 Km from Thanjavur New bus stand.

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