- The Peruvudaiyar Kovil, also known as Brihadeeswara Temple is situated at Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It remains India's largest temple and is one of the greatest glories of Indian architecture.
- The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples".
- The temple, built in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola I, also popularly known as the ‘Big Temple', turned 1000 years old in 2010. It is a tribute and a reflection of the power of its patron Raja Raja Chola I.
- The temple had its foundations laid out by the Tamil emperor Arulmozhivarman, popularly called Rajaraja Chola I, (Tamil: இராசராச சோழன், Rājarāja Choļan ?) in 1002 CE, as the first of the great Tamil Chola building projects.
- It was built to grace the throne of the Chola empire in compliance of a command given to him in his dream. The wish to build a mammoth temple like this is said to have occurred to Raja Raja while he stayed at Sri Lanka as an emperor.
- This temple, the entire structure of which is made of granite, was finished within 5yrs[1004AD - 1009AD]. The solid base of the temple raises about 5 metres (16 feet), above which stone deities and representatives of Shiva dance
- The huge kalasam or Vimanam (top portion of the shrine) is believed to weigh 81.28 tonnes and was raised to its present height by dragging on an inclined plane of 6.44 km.
- The temple "testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze "
Here is a Video Movie from our Partner team about the Thanjavur Big Temple
- The temple complex sits on the banks of a river that was channeled to make a moat around the complex's outer walls, the walls being built like a fortress. The complex can be entered either on one axis through a five-story gopuram or with a second access directly to the huge main quadrangle through a smaller free-standing gopuram.
- The gopuram of the main entrance is 30 m high, so smaller than the vimana. It is unusual in the dravidian architecture where the gopurams are generally the main towers and taller than the vimana.
- The temple stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The vimana or (temple tower) is 216 ft (66 m) high and is among the tallest of its kind in the world.
- There is a big statue of Nandi (sacred bull), carved out of a single rock, at the entrance measuring about 16 feet long and 13 feet high.
- Surrounding the main temple are two walled enclosures. The outer wall is high, defining the temple complex area. Within this a portico, a barrel vaulted gorpuram with over 400 pillars, is enclosed by a high wall interspersed with huge gopurams axially lined up to the main temple.
- The temple had always been serving as a platform for the dancers who excelled in the traditional dance forms
We Organize Day Tours and Multi-day Tours to Thanjavur from Chennai and Bangalore. Please contact us for the tour details