Situated in the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, The Brahadeewarar temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is also known as The Peruvudaiyar Kovil, The Big Temple , The Brihadisvara Temple, Rajarajeswara Temple and Rajarajeswaram. Built by the great Chola King Raja Raja 1 (985 -1012 A.D), the temple complex is an architectural excellence of ancient India.
Brihadeeshwara temple is the best example of excellent Chola architectural and engineering skills, finest contribution to Dravidian temple architecture and it has stood the testimony of time with its magnificent central dome; The 64. 8 Mt. tall vimanam (tower over the sanctum sanctorum) is a great attraction for one and all. It has been notified as India’s most prized architectural sites and it has been part of UNESCO World Heritage Site and Great Living Chola Temples.
The temple has gigantic “Mahalingam” in the shrine, measuring 4 meters in height. The second largest Nandhi in India, a monolithic Nandhi chiselled out of a single rock is also facing the sanctum.
The entire temple is made of granite and it is the first complete granite temple in the world. The granite stone quarry is not available surroundings of the city, It is not known where this massive granite was brought from.
The most widely belief about this temple is that at noon the shadow of the temple disappears. The Brihadeshwar Temple is One of the outstanding temples in South India and as widely believed it is so designed that 14 tier pyramid shaped vimanam never falls on the ground at noon during any part of the year.
The Brihadiswarar temple is one of the rare temples which has idols for “Ashta-dikpaalakas” (Guardians of the directions) — Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirṛti, Varuṇa, Vāyu, Kubera, Īśāna – each of whom was originally represented by a life-sized statue. However, only four out of eight -Agni, Varuṇa, Vāyu and Īśāna are preserved today.
Thanjavur can be reached easily by road, rail and air. Hence, tourist can come and watch this true Architectural excellence of ancient India.