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Brihadeshwara Temple

Brihadeshwara Temple

World's first complete granite temple... about 68 m high Vimana, which is the tallest of its kind in the world... the biggest and richest temple in Thanjavur... and one of India's most prized architectural sites – Brihadeshwara Temple in Tanjore is full of countless attractions. This holy revered site is dedicated to Lord Shiva as a temple fortress with a moat. When it comes to the monumental, conceptual and executional pattern, Brihadeshwara temple boasts of being the greatest architectural achievement of the Chola rulers.

Architectural Attractions
Built by the Chola King Rajaraja (985-1014), this temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Great Living Chola Temples' and is an ultimate testimonial for the Vishwakarmas architectural cognizance in planning and sculpting this temple. The fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century, surround the entire temple, which add some more beauty to the structure.

Some major attractions of the temple are:

  • An Archaeological Museum in the inner courtyard of the temple.
  • An idol of Nandi Bull guarding the gopuram.
  • Rich carvings of the ancient times.
  • A portrait of the king Rajaraja with his Guru, Karur Thevar.
  • A picture of royal visit to Chidambaram, and lord Shiva riding a chariot drawn by Brahma.
  • A huge Shiva lingam inside the sanctum.
  • The inner mandapa, surrounded by massive walls that are divided into different levels by sharply cut sculptures and pilasters providing deep bays and recesses.

The temple has a record of earning an annual income including 250 kg of gold, 300 kg of silver and many precious stones. The revenue of the temple also comes from hundreds of villages that are donated for the upkeep of the temple.

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