Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar Temple commonly known as Thanjai Periya Kovil (Big Temple) was built by the famous Chola King “Raja Raja Chola I” around the period of 1003 – 1010 AD. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva which recently celebrated it’s 1000th year anniversary in the year 2010. The Big Temple is based on the Dravidian Architecture and built with all granite stones, although the source from where these granite were transported here are not known. This is one of the most popular architectural sites in South India and is located in Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu, India.
Thanjavur Periya Kovil holds the record for taking part in the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites described under the title “Great Living Chola Temples (1987)“. The first thing that grabs your attention when you enter the temple premises is the height of the main temple tower or Vimana and is one of the tallest temple towers in India, towering at a height of 216 ft. No one will miss the view of the tall tower when entering the Thanjavur city.
The top Kumbam of the tower (Kalasha) is carved with a single stone of 80 tons. There is also a massive Linga (Mahalingam) measuring a height of 4 meters located in the shrine. The Nandhi statue facing the sanctum is gigantic and unique in a way that it is carved out of a single stone as well. The Nandhi stands at a height of 3.66 meters.
The specialty of this Periya Kovil lies in the fact that the tower won’t cast a shadow at noon on the ground i.e the shadow of the tower above the sanctum disappears at noon at any day on anytime of the year.
My visit to this architectural marvel was a wonderful experience and strongly recommend everyone to pay a visit to this magnificent historical place. Below are some of the snaps that I took during my visit.