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Brihadisvara Temple

Brihadisvara Temple

The Brihadisvara Temple of Tanjore (also spelt Thanjavur) in India is one of several spectacular Hindu temples built by the leaders of the Chola Empire and inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

History of Brihadisvara Temple

Built from 1003 to 1010 during the reign of Rajaraja I, the Brihadisvara Temple was constructed in honour of the Hindu deity Shiva (Siva), who had a vision of the temple in a dream.

The original temple would have been built around a moat, and was ornately decorated. It’s believed that when it was constructed, it was one of the tallest buildings in the world, standing at 216 feet. The temple is primarily built of granite, which has confused historians and archaeologists as there is no granite to be found in the immediate vicinity, suggesting it must have been imported from much further afield.

Underneath the temple lies a complex system of underground passages which would have been used to prevent intruders and allow for the royal family to move between buildings.

It is an incredibly ornate and grand mostly granite structure, with seemingly endless sculptures and carvings chronicling this deity’s life as well as that of other holy figures.

Brihadisvara Temple today

The temple looks at its most beautiful at sunrise and sunset: the softer light looks fantastic on the honey-coloured granite. The temple itself is part of a group of temples known as the ‘Great Living Chola Temples’ and remains one of the most popular sites in Tamil Nadu so it does get busy.

Look out for the amazing paintings inside the temple and some of the remarkable statues outside it, many of which are the largest of their kind in India.

Getting to Brihadisvara Temple

The temple is located just outside the town of Thanjavur: it’s about a 20 minute walk from town, or else you’ll find plenty of willing tuktuk drivers to take you.


Know the Interesting Facts about Brihadisvara Temple, Tamil Nadu

In South India, you will find several old temples which are dedicated to Hindu Gods. One such temple that we are going to talk about today is Brihadisvara Temple. It is one of the largest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. In addition to this, the temple is located in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.

The temple depicts amazing Dravidian Architecture and Brihadisvara Temple is also referred to as Dhakshina Meru. Let us learn more about the Brihadisvara Temple below.

During 850 AD and 1290 AD, Chola was a dominant dynasty and they developed several temples in South India. This was mainly because they had large territories in South India.

Talking about the history of Brihadisvara Temple, the very first thing that you must know is that the temple was built by Raja Raja Chola I and the temple was built between 1003 and 1010 AD. There are several inscriptions on the temple which are in Tamil and Grantha Scripts.

Today, the temple is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is known as Great Living Chola Temples. There had also been several attempts to repair the temple in past. The temple had been damaged during the wars with Muslim rulers but the rulers of that era renovated the temple. There had also been the addition of shire in 16th and 17th century in the temple. Like for example, Shrines of Kartikeya, Parvati, Nandi and Dakshinamurti were added in the later part of the century.

Architecture

  • The area occupied by the temple is 44.7 acre and there is also a buffer zone of 23.7 acres. The complex is in a rectangle shape and it is divided into 5 different sections.
  • The face of the temple is in the east with a water moat around it. The water moat has now been filled up and you might not be able to notice it at all. As mentioned earlier, there are two gates to the temple
  • At the entrance of the temple, there is a statue of Nandi Bull which is 2 meter high, 6 meters tall and 2.5 meters It is known that the statue of Nandi bull is made of single stone.
  • There are pictures of many deities in the temple but since the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the first thing that you will notice is a 3.7 meter tall Shiva Linga inside the temple. It is also known that there is another Shiva Linga in the temple with a height of 8.7 meter
  • There are two entrance to the temple and the height at which the temple was built is 5 meters. The outer walls of the temple have a deep moat and they resemble the walls of a fort.
  • The total height of the temple is 60.96 meter and you must also know that the temple has two mandapas.
  • The first mandapa in the temple is known to be pillared while the second one is the assembly hall.
  • There is also a Pradakshina in the temple which is made with the help of the inner and outer wall.
  • Apart from the information listed above, we know that there are several more statues in the temple and most of them are at least 6 feet tall.
  • There are sculptures and mural all around the temple.

Interesting Facts about the Laxmi Narayan Temple

1. One of the most interesting facts that we found out about the temple is that there is a chamber inside the temple which is called Karuvarai. It does not clearly know what is inside this chamber because the only a priest is allowed to enter this chamber.

2. Earlier, there was a different Nandi Bull in the temple which was removed and replaced by the new one. As per one of the story, the Nandi kept growing in the size and hence it was bolted to the ground to stop the growth.

3. The structure is massive and it required a lot of planning. It is known that each and every detail related to construction, ceremonies and gifts received was documented. All this was documented as an inscription on the walls of the temple.

4. As you might know, the temple is made of granite and it is one of the hardest material known to man. Presently, diamond tipped tools are used to work with granite and it was surely an archaeological wonder to build the temple in that era.

5. It is also known that Vimana has hollow interiors and it was made with the help of interlocked material. The structure is very stable even when it was constructed without any binding material

Things to Do

  • One of the major festivals at Brihadisvara Temple is Mahashivratri so you can visit the temple during this time and witness the rich heritage and culture. The celebrations are grand.
  • There are also some cultural events organized at Brihadisvara Temple during the year. Brihadisvara Temple Is fixed venue for annual dance festivals which are organized around Mahashivratri. The festival lasts 10 days and it is something that you can’t miss.
  • You can explore the architecture in and around the temple if you plan to visit the Brihadisvara Temple. For example, you can visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram, The Serfoji Saraswati Mahal Library, Tirunallar Saniswaran Temple, Thanjavur Royal Palace, Vijayanagara Fort etc.

The temple is well connected by road and train but you need to plan your visit according to the time of the temple. The visiting hours for the Brihadisvara Temple are 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

Since the temple is huge, you would need 2 to 3 hours to complete the whole tour of the temple. It should be noted that the temple is open for 365 days a year.

There is no entry fee for the temple and anyone can visit the temple in the right faith.

I hope the information about the great Brihadisvara Temple will help you understand its significance and the beauty of its modern architecture blended with Indian mythology.


Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

The temple of Brihadisvara or Brihadeeswarar is one such brilliance of Chola's art and architectural style. The temple is dedicated to the most revered God of the Cholas Empire, Lord Shiva. There are other temples also in the temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Lady Shakti and other gods of Hindu mythology.

The Brihadeeswarar temple is a great architectural feat and comes in a trio with other two. The Brihadeeswarar temple was built by the great Cholas King Raja Raja I, in around 1003 to 1010 CE. The others of the trios are located to the northeast of the Brihadisvara are Airavatesvara and Gangaikoda Cholapuram. The sculpture of the temple and the architecture is off the chart. The towering tomb of the main temple is the tallest in the Southern India and is built with granite about the sacred sanctum of Lord Shiva. The corridor of the temple complex is a long and arched one, mesmerising enough to make one fall into illusions. The Lord is worshipped in his Nataraj form made form brass. The sheer magnanimity of the temple indicated the name Brihadishwara meaning Massive Lord complementing the proficient Tamil architectural style. The Brihadeeswarar Temple has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great place for visiting the unearth secrets and majestic of affluent latter Sangam Era.


Brihadisvara Temple: A Treasure Trove of Culinary Inscriptions

Photo Credit Karty JazZ Wikimedia Commons

As one walks past the huge granite walls and enter the Brihadisvara temple in Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu, South India) through the ninety-five feet tall multistoried entrance (gopuram) one is mesmerized by the sheer enormity of this architectural marvel.

Built by emperor Rajaraja Chola I in 1010 AD, in the heart of Thanjavur, stands this imposing and enormous temple dedicated Lord Siva. Epigraphical evidence show that Rajaraja Chola I built this temple in six years starting from his 19th year of reign and completed on 275th day of his 25th year. Erected with over 130,000 tons of granite, the temple showcases the true form of Dravidian architecture and remains a testimony to the Chola dynasty’s brilliant achievements in architecture, sculpture, painting, and exquisite bronze idols which were expressions of great devotion. This thousand-year-old temple is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites adding to its exceptional historical and cultural value.

Photo Credit Jean-Pierre Dalbera Wikimedia Commons

The reign of imperial Chola dynasty reached its zenith during the 9th through the 13th centuries A.D. Rajaraja Chola I came to power in 985 A.D., and under him, the Chola dynasty rose to heights never achieved before. He was unmatched in his war triumphs (across India and Southeast Asia), administrative skills, patronage of art and literature, and as an epitome of religious tolerance. During the three decades of his rule (985 A.D.-1014 A.D.), the Chola dynasty established themselves as a formidable power.

By the turn of the 9th century A.D. Shaivism (one of the major traditions within Hinduism) that reveres Lord Siva as the supreme being became the dominant religion of the Chola empire. Saiva theology was reinforced by the imperial Chola kings and they commissioned many beautiful Siva temples across their empire in Dravidian style architecture. The innumerable inscriptions on temple walls and pillars allow a glimpse into the temple practices observed, including ritual food offerings that were prepared at the temple kitchens.

Not many temples recount the stories of their glorious past as Brihadisvara Temple does. The numerous detailed inscriptions in elegant calligraphy on the temple structure, some as lengthy as 107 paragraphs, give a glimpse into the temple’s history. They reveal that this temple was exclusively conceived, designed, and managed by Rajaraja Chola I himself. He also inspired the royal family, officers, and feudal kings to voluntarily participate in the activities of the temple and make generous gifts which are also recorded in inscriptions of this temple. His older sister Kundavai Pirattiyar made several generous endowments to the temple and set up four idols at the temple. The king had great respect for his sister and only his and her donations were inscribed on the walls of the central shrine. Donations from his own queens, feudal kings, and officers were inscribed on the niches and pillars.

Photo Credit Richi Choraria – Pexels

All inscriptions begin with the customary Sanskrit and Tamil language introduction to the king or donor who authorized it. They describe the many gifts of land, money, silver, gold, precious gems, and jewelry received by the temple. Rajaraja Chola I not only endowed the temple with capital and art, he also provided ways for the temple to function through guaranteed revenue. He gifted the revenue from several villages to the temple. He assigned numerous villages to assign guards to protect the wealth of the temple and asked to provide men to serve as accountants, treasurers, and cleaners.

Inscriptions also describe how donated gold coins, and money were loaned for eternity to the inhabitants of nearby villages by the temple treasury at a set interest rate. What is most impressive is that the inscriptions go into great detail about how much in interest on the funds should be paid to the temple, and in what form, and how it should be used in the temple. The interest had to be paid yearly into the treasury in kind by providing paddy, milk, and ghee for food offerings and to light the hundreds of lamps in the temple.

Culinary Inscriptions
The inscriptions describing nivedyam (food offerings) allow a surprising glimpse into foods cooked in temple kitchens and served to God everyday as well as on festive occasions. These medieval recipes typically lack the specific directions for method of preparation that we consider to be the essential content of a recipe. These detailed inscriptions only mention the total amount of salt, pepper, mustard seeds, and yogurt to be used for all offerings for one specific occasion they do not break them down by the exact amount to be used for each individual dish. Chola temple recipes are descriptive in terms of which food items should be prepared on a daily basis as well on festival days, and at what time of the day, but they are not a perfect illustration of how they ought to be prepared.

Photo Credit Tamizzhpparithi Maari Wikimedia Commons

Feeding God properly, was very significant to the donors even when the details of ingredient quantities, and type of spices used, did not. Temple priests, especially those who cooked these offerings in the temple kitchens were expected to know the proportions of ingredients for preparing them. However, there are certain inscriptions where we see remarkable interest on the part of the donors in specifying precise quantities of ingredients for a particular food offering such as “one and a half sevidu measure of cumin seeds and one uri measure of ghee is to be used in the daily offerings given to god”.

Recipes engraved in stone
The sixth inscription on the second tier of the south wall of the central shrine of Lord Siva, filling the whole first section and part of the second section describes the lavish gifts Kundavai Pirattiyar made to two of the shrines she set up in the temple complex.

Various gold and precious stone encrusted jewelry she donated to these shrines are described in detail in paragraphs 1 through 9. Paragraph10 – 13 as well as 15 -17, and 20 describe the deposits of money she gifted to the temple treasury which were subsequently loaned to the inhabitants of nearby villages, and how they have to pay the interest in kind. In two instances (paragraphs 18 and 21), money deposited was loaned to two individuals for purchasing a certain number of sheep, from the milk of which they had to supply daily a certain amount of ghee for the lamps.

Paragraphs 14 and 19 details contain specific instructions about food offerings at these two shrines within the temple complex. The amount of various daily requirements of ingredients given in measures of paddy how much paddy is required to be converted into rice for tiruvamudu (cooked rice) offering, and how much paddy is required for procuring other ingredients. Whether the paddy was first sold and then used the proceeds to buy these ingredients or whether it was barter system of exchanging paddy for ingredients is not clear.

Paragraph 14 describes how to fund the food offering at one shrine the princess set up within the temple complex. The members of the assembly of the village called Gandaraditya-chaturvedimangalam in Poygai-nadu, have to measure every year one hundred and thirty kalam of paddy for the five hundred and twenty kasu (money) they have received from the funds the princess has deposited in the Lord’s treasury, as long as the moon and the sun endure.

Paragraph 19 describes the food offering at another shrine set up by the princess within the temple complex. The villagers of Kundavai-nallur in Karambai-nadu of Nittavnoda-valanadu, have to measure every year one hundred and thirty kalam of paddy for the five hundred and twenty kasu (money) they have received from the funds the princess has deposited in the Lord’s treasury, as long as the moon and the sun endure.

The foods offered at both shrines are exactly alike. Each offering consisted of a wide variety of dishes like- Tiruvamudu (cooked rice), three types of kari-amudu (vegetable curries), porikkari-amudu (also known as poriyal. A dish in which vegetables are pan-fried in ghee), paruppu-amudu (dal) sakkarai-amudu or sakkarai pongal (rice cooked with raw sugar), and tayir-amudu (yogurt rice) were offered twice daily at both these shrines. Besides this, coconut, ripe bananas, areca nuts, and betel leaf offerings embellished the customary Tamil practice. The methods of preparation are not detailed, but the amount of most ingredients are specified in great detail.

One kuruni and two nazhi of paddy are required for converting into four nazhi of old rice to be used for tiruvamudu at both times of the day, two nazhi of old rice used each time.
Four nazhi of paddy for buying one azakku of ghee, two sevidu and half used each time.
Six nazhi of paddy to be used for purchasing the ingredients for six kinds of kari-amudu, three curries prepared each time.
One nazhi and one uri of paddy for purchasing one uri of pulse for paruppu-amudu, one uzakku used each time.
One nazhi and one uri of paddy for purchasing half a palam of raw sugar, one kaisu used each time.
Two nazhi of paddy for purchasing two sevidu and a half of ghee, to prepare porikkari-amudu one and a quarter sevidu of ghee used each time.
Three nazhi of paddy for purchasing two vazaippaza-amudu (bananas), one used each time.
Three nazhi of paddy for purchasing one nazhi of tayir-amudu, one uri used each time.
One uri and one drakku of paddy for purchasing kadugu (mustard), milagu (black pepper) and uppu (salt).
Four nazhi of paddy for viragu (firewood) and one nazhi of paddy for buying eight adaikkay-amudu (areca-nuts), four of them used each time, and for thirty-two vetrilai-amudu (betel-leaves).
Weights and measures frequently found in inscriptions are complex.
Liquid and grain measurements used during the Chola period were as follows:

An approximation of conversion rate to modern measurements is 1 nazhi equals to 1 ¾ cups.

These temple inscriptions are also essentially culinary artifacts, authenticating the tastes of the past. The extend of details in these inscribed culinary writings proves that the particulars of food preparation was especially important to the devotees. They cared very much about feeding the gods sumptuously just as they would about feeding their own families. And it makes these inscriptions a priceless cultural heritage of culinary practices of medieval South India.

Besides these inscriptions, there are more culinary inscriptions at the Brihadisvara temple and many other temples all or South India, some of which will be featured in upcoming articles.

Resources
Achaya, K.T. Indian Food: A Historical Companion. Oxford University Press 1994

Balambal. V. Kundavai- a Chola Princess. Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, Vol. 39, 1978

Balasubrahmanyam, S.R. Middle Chola Temples: Rajaraja I to Kulottunga I (985 A.D.-1070 A.D.) Amsterdam Oriental Press 1977

Professor Hultzsch, Eugen Ph.D. South Indian Inscriptions of Rajaraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola, and others (edited and translated) 1886 and 1903

Iyyar, Jagadisa P.V. South Indian Shrines. Asian Education Services, Madras 1993

Sastri, K.A. Nilakanta. A History of South India. Oxford University Press 1999

Subbarayalu, Y. South India under the Cholas. Oxford University Press India 2012


Thanjavur Brihadisvara Temple

Brihadishvara Temple, also referred to as Rajesvara Peruvudaiyar or Brihadeeswarar Temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India.

This article is about the Temple in Thanjavur. For the temple in Gangaikonda Cholapuram, see Brihadeeswarar Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
“Rajarajeswaram” redirects here. For the Shiva temple in Taliparamba, Kerala, see Rajarajeshwara Temple.
Brihadishvara Temple, also called Rajarajesvaram or Peruvudaiyar Kovil, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the largest South Indian temple and an exemplary example of a fully realized Tamil architecture It is called as Dhakshina Meru of south. Built by Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD, the temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”, along with the Chola dynasty era Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple and Airavatesvara temple that are about 70 kilometres (43 mi) and 40 kilometres (25 mi) to its northeast respectively.

The original monuments of this 11th century temple were built around a moat. It included gopura, the main temple, its massive tower, inscriptions, frescoes and sculptures predominantly related to Shaivism, but also of Vaishnvaism and Shaktism traditions of Hinduism. The temple was damaged in its history and some artwork is now missing. Additional mandapam and monuments were added in centuries that followed. The temple now stands amidst fortified walls that were added after the 16th century.


Contents

Rajaraja Chola, who commissioned the temple, called it Rajarajeshwaram (Rajarājeśwaram), literally "the temple of the god of Rajaraja". [12] A later inscription in the Brihannayaki shrine calls the temple's deity Periya Udaiya Nayanar, which appears to be the source of the modern names Brihadisvara and Peruvudaiyar Kovil. [13]

Brihadishwara (IAST: Bṛihádīśvara) is a Sanskrit composite word composed of Brihat which means "big, great, lofty, vast", [14] and Ishvara means "lord, Shiva, supreme being, supreme atman (soul)". [15] [16] The name means the "great lord, big Shiva" temple.

The Brihadeswara Temple is located in the city of Thanjavur, about 350 kilometres (220 mi) southwest of Chennai. The city is connected daily to other major cities by the network of Indian Railways, Tamil Nadu bus services and the National Highways 67, 45C, 226 and 226 Extn. [17] [18] The nearest airport with regular services is Tiruchirappalli International Airport (IATA: TRZ), about 55 kilometres (34 mi) away. [19]

The city and the temple though inland, are at the start of the Cauveri River delta, thus with access to the Bay of Bengal and through it to the Indian Ocean. Along with the temples, the Tamil people completed the first major irrigation network in the 11th century for agriculture, for movement of goods and to control the water flow through the urban center. [20]

A spectrum of Hindu temple styles continued to develop from the 5th to the 9th century over the Chalukya era rule as evidenced in Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal, and then with the Pallava era as witnessed at Mamallapuram and other monuments. Thereafter, between 850 and 1280 CE, Cholas emerged as the dominant dynasty. [2] [21] The early Chola period saw a greater emphasis on securing their geopolitical boundaries and less emphasis on architecture. In the 10th century, within the Chola empire emerged features such as the multifaceted columns with projecting square capitals. This, states George Michell, signaled the start of the new Chola style. [2] [note 1] This South Indian style is most fully realized both in scale and detail in the Brihadeshwara temple built between 1003 and 1010 by the Chola king Rajaraja I. [1] [2]

Additions, renovations and repairs Edit

The main temple along with its gopurams is from the early 11th century. The temple also saw additions, renovations, and repairs over the next 1,000 years. The raids and wars, particularly between Muslim Sultans who controlled Madurai and Hindu kings who controlled Thanjavur caused damage. [8] [note 2] These were repaired by Hindu dynasties that regained control. In some cases, the rulers attempted to renovate the temple with faded paintings, by ordering new murals on top of the older ones. In other cases, they sponsored the addition of shrines. The significant shrines of Kartikeya (Murugan), Parvati (Amman) and Nandi are from the 16th and 17th-century Nayaka era. [8] [25] Similarly the Dakshinamurti shrine was built later. [25] It was well maintained by Marathas of Tanjore

Architecture Edit

The Brihadeshvara temple's plan and development utilizes the axial and symmetrical geometry rules. [26] It is classified as Perunkoil (also called Madakkoil), a big temple built on a higher platform of a natural or man-made mounds. [27] The temple complex is a rectangle that is almost two stacked squares, covering 240.79 metres (790.0 ft) east to west, and 121.92 metres (400.0 ft) north to south. In this space are five main sections: the sanctum with the towering superstructure (sri vimana), the Nandi hall in front (Nandi-mandapam) and in between these the main community hall (mukhamandapam), the great gathering hall (mahamandapam) and the pavilion that connects the great hall with the sanctum (ardhamandapam). [28]

The temple complex integrates a large pillared and covered veranda (prakara) in its spacious courtyard, with a perimeter of about 450 metres (1,480 ft) for circumambulation. Outside this pillared veranda there are two walls of enclosure, the outer one being defensive and added in 1777 CE by the French colonial forces with gun-holes with the temple serving as an arsenal. They made the outer wall high, isolating the temple complex area. On its east end is the original main gopuram or gateway that is barrel vaulted. It is less than half the size of the main temple's vimana. Additional structures were added to the original temple after the 11th century, such as a mandapa in its northeast corner and additional gopurams (gateways) on its perimeters to allow people to enter and leave from multiple locations. [28] [29] Some of the shrines and structures were added during the Pandya, Nayaka, Vijayanagara and Maratha era, before the colonial era started, and these builders respected the original plans and symmetry rules. Inside the original temple courtyard, along with the main sanctum and Nandi-mandapam are two major shrines, one for Kartikeya and for Parvati. The complex has additional smaller shrines. [28] [30] [31]

The Brihadisvara temple continued the Hindu temple traditions of South India by adopting architectural and decorative elements, but its scale significantly exceeded the temples constructed before the 11th century. The Chola era architects and artisans innovated the expertise to scale up and build, particularly with heavy stone and to accomplish the 63.4 metres (208 ft) high towering vimana. [30] [28]

The temple faces east, and once had a water moat around it. This has been filled up. The fortified wall now runs around this moat. The two walls have ornate gateways called the gopurams. These are made from stone and display entablature. The main gateways are on the east side. The first one is called the Keralantakan tiruvasal, which means the "sacred gate of the Keralantakan". The word Keralantakan was the surname of king Rajaraja who built it. About a 100 metres (330 ft) ahead is the inner courtyard gopuram called the Rajarajan tiruvasal. This is more decorated than the Keralantakan tiruvasal, such as with its adhishthanam relief work narrating scenes from the Puranas and other Hindu texts. [28] The inner eastern gopuram leads to a vast courtyard, in which the shrines are all signed to east–west and north-west cardinal directions. 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, smaller than the vimana. [10]

The main temple-related monuments and the great tower is in the middle of this courtyard. [28] Around the main temple that is dedicated to Shiva, are smaller shrines, most of which are aligned axially. These are dedicated to his consort Parvati, his sons Subrahmanya and Ganesha, Nandi, Varahi, Karuvur deva (the guru of Rajaraja Chola), Chandeshvara and Nataraja. [10] The Nandi mandapam has a monolithic seated bull facing the sanctum. In between them are stairs leading to a columned porch and community gathering hall, then an inner mandapa connecting to the pradakshina patha, or circumambulation path. The Nandi (bull) facing the mukh-mandapam weighs about 25 tonnes. [32] It is made of a single stone and is about 2 m in height, 6 m in length and 2.5 m in width. The image of Nandi is a monolithic one and is one of the largest in the country. [33]

Sanctum and the Sri-vimana Edit

The sanctum is at the center of the western square. It is surrounded by massive walls that are divided into levels by sharply cut sculptures and pilasters providing deep bays and recesses. Each side of the sanctuary has a bay with iconography. [34] [26] The interior of the sanctum sanctorum hosts an image of the primary deity, Shiva, in the form of a huge stone linga. It is called Karuvarai, a Tamil word that means "womb chamber". This space is called garbha griha in other parts of India. Only priests are allowed to enter this inner-most chamber. [35]

In the Dravida style, the sanctum takes the form of a miniature vimana. It has the inner wall together with the outer wall creating a path around the sanctum for circumambulation (pradakshina). The entrance is highly decorated. The inside chamber is the sanctum sanctorum, which houses the brihad linga. [2]

The main Vimana (Shikhara) is a massive 16 storeys tower of which 13 are tapering squares. It dominates the main quadrangle. It sits above a 30.18 metres (99.0 ft) sided square. [34] The tower is elaborately articulated with Pilaster, piers(a raised structure), and attached columns which are placed rhythmically covering every surface of the vimana. [36]

Deities and Natya Sastra dance mudras Edit

The temple is dedicated to Shiva in the form of a huge linga, his abstract aniconic representation. It is 8.7 m (29 ft) high, occupying two storeys of the sanctum. [3] [9] It is one of the largest monolithic linga sculptures in India. [33]

Sculptures on the maha-mandapam walls [38]
North side South side
Bhairava (Shiva) Ganesha
Mahishasuramardini (Durga) Vishnu
Saraswati Gajalakshmi

The Shaivism temple celebrates all major Hindu traditions by including the primary deities of the Vaishnavism and Shaktism tradition in the great mandapa of the main temple. The distribution of the deities is generally symmetric, except for the east entrance side which provide for the door and walkway. In addition to the main deities, each side provides for dvarapalas (guardians), and various other sculptures. The vestibule has three stone sculptures that is intricately carved, and mural paintings. [38] The ground floor level sanctum walls have the following sculptures: [38]

  • East wall: Lingodbhava, standing Shiva, Pashupata-murti, plus two dvarapalas flanking the pathway from ardha-mandapam
  • South wall: Bhikshatana, Virabhadra, Dakshinamurti, Kalantaka, Nataraja [note 3] plus two dvarapalas
  • West wall: Harihara (half Shiva, half Vishnu), Lingodbhava, Chandrashekhara without prabhavali, Chandrashekhara with prabhavali, plus two dvarapalas
  • North wall: Ardhanarishvara (half Shiva, half Parvati), Gangadhara without Parvati, Pashupata-murti, Shiva-alingana-murti, plus two dvarapalas

On the second floor, Shiva's Tripurantaka form in different postures is depicted corresponding to these sculptures. Above these floors, the sri-vimana towers above in thirteen storeys (talas). Above these storeys is a single square block of granite weight 80 tons, and 7.77 metres (25.5 ft) side. On top of this block, at its corners are Nandi pairs each about 1.98 metres (6 ft 6 in) by 1.68 metres (5 ft 6 in) in dimension. Above the center of this granite block rises the griva, the sikhara and the finial (stupi) of Tamil Hindu temple architecture. This stupi is 3.81 metres (12.5 ft) in height, and was originally covered with gold (no longer). The sikhara at the top is cupola-shaped and weighs 25 tons. [38] [39] Each storey of this tower is decorated with kutas and salas. The shrinking squares tower architecture of this temple differs from the tower at the Chola temple at Gangaikondasolisvaram, because this is straight in contrast to the latter which is curvilinear. The temple's sri-vimana magnitude has made it a towering landmark for the city. [38] The upper storey corridor wall of the aditala is carved with 81 of the 108 dance karanas – postures of Natya Sastra. This text is the basis of the Bharathanatyam, the classical dance of Tamil Nadu. The 27 unrepresented karanas are blank blocks of stone, and it is unclear why these were not carved. The 81 postures carved suggest the significance of this classical Indian dance form by early 11th century. [9]

The garbhagriha is square and sits on a plinth. This is moulded and 0.5 metres (1 ft 8 in) thick. It consists of upapitham and adhishthanam, respectively 140 cm and 360 cm thick. [9]

Mandapa Edit

The two mandapa, namely maha-mandapa and mukha-mandapa, are square plan structures axially aligned between the sanctum and the Nandi mandapa. The maha-mandapa has six pillars on each side. [40] This too has artwork. The Vitankar and Rajaraja I bronze are here, but these were added much later. The maha-mandapa is flanked by two giant stone dvarapalas. It is linked to the mukha-mandapa by stairs. The entrance of the mukha-mandapa also has dvarapalas. With the mandapa are eight small shrines for dikpalas, or guardian deities of each direction such as Agni, Indra, Varuna, Kubera and others. These were installed during the rule of Chola king Rajendra I. [40]

Inscriptions indicate that this area also had other iconography from major Hindu traditions during the Chola era, but these are now missing. The original eight shrines included those for Surya (the sun god), Saptamatrikas (seven mothers), Ganesha, Kartikeya, Jyeshtha, Chandra (the moon god), Chandeshvara and Bhairava. [40] Similarly, in the western wall cella was a massive granite Ganesha built during Rajaraja I era, but who is now found in the tiruch-churru-maligai (southern veranda). Of the Shaktism tradition's seven mothers, only Varahi survives in a broken form. Her remnants are now found in a small modern era brick "Varahi shrine" in the southern side of the courtyard. The original version of the others along with their original Chola shrines are missing. [40]


A brief about Brihadeeswarar Temple

This temple is a perfect illustration of the great heights achieved in the field of architecture by the Chola rulers. It is a homage paid to Lord Shiva and is a display of power of Raja Raja Chola I.

Brihadeeshwar Temple is one of the most beautiful architectural splendors of the country. It is erected amidst the great walls made perhaps in the sixteenth century. Inside the temple, there is a temple tower famous as Vimana among the devotees and tourists. This temple tower has an elevation of 66 meters. Vimana is one of the tallest temple towers on the earth. A rounded apex structure is there in the Brihadeeshwar Temple, which is believed to be constructed out of carving on a single stone only.

There is also located a figurine of a consecrated bull or Nandi at the entry of this Brihadeeshwar Temple, which is approximately thirteen feet in elevation and sixteen feet in length. Remarkably, this idol is made by a single rock carving.

The Brihadeeshwar Temple is edified by using granite, which can be brought from the granite sources near Tiruchirapalli, located roughly 60 kilometer from the western side Thanjavur.

Brihadeeswarar Temple is also widely known by name of 'Big Temple'. This temple completed its 1000 years in the year 2010. This temple is swarmed by tourists all through the year, who visit this place to witness the unsurpassed display of fascinating architecture.


Great Living Chola Temples

The Great Living Chola Temples were built by kings of the Chola Empire, which stretched over all of south India and the neighbouring islands. The site includes three great 11th- and 12th-century Temples: the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram, built by Rajendra I, was completed in 1035. Its 53-m vimana (sanctum tower) has recessed corners and a graceful upward curving movement, contrasting with the straight and severe tower at Thanjavur. The Airavatesvara temple complex, built by Rajaraja II, at Darasuram features a 24-m vimana and a stone image of Shiva. The temples testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Les grands temples vivants Chola

Les grands temples vivants de Chola ont été construits par les rois de l’Empire de Chola qui s’étendait sur l’ensemble de l’Inde méridionale et sur les îles voisines. Le site comprend trois grands temples de Chola des XIe et XIIe siècles : le temple de Brihadisvara de Thanjavur, le temple de Brihadisvara de Gangaikondacholisvaram et le temple d’Airavatesvara de Darasuram. Le temple de Gangaikondacholisvaram, érigé par Rajendra Ier, a été achevé en 1035. Son vimana (tour sanctuaire) de 53 m est caractérisé par des angles disposés en retrait élégamment incurvés vers le haut, contrairement à la stricte et droite tour du temple de Tanjore. Le temple d’Airavatesvara, érigé par Rajaraja II à Darasuram, comporte un vimana de 24 m et une image en pierre de Shiva. Ces temples témoignent des brillantes réalisations de l’ère chola en architecture, peinture, sculpture et statuaire en bronze.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

معابد شولا الكبيرة الحية

شيّد ملوك إمبراطورية شولا التي امتدّت على مجموعة الهند الجنوبية وعلى الجُزر المجاورة معابدَ شولا الكبيرة الحية. ويتضمّن الموقع ثلاثة معابد شولا كبيرة عائدة للقرنين الحادي عشر والثاني عشر: معبد برهاديسفارا في ثانجابور ومعبد برهاديسفارا في كانكايكونداشوليزفارامGangaikondacholisvaram ومعبد إيرافاتيسفارا في داراسورام . أُنجز معبد كانكايكونداشوليزفارام الذي شيّده راجيندرا الأول عام 1035. يتميز برج المعبد الذي يبلغ ارتفاعه 53 متراً بزوايا موزعة بطريقة غائرة معقوفة بلباقة نحو الأعلى خلافاً لبرج معبد تانجور الشيق والمستقيم. أما معبد إيرافاتيسفارا الذي شيّده رجا رجا الثاني، فيتضمّن برجاً يبلغ طوله 24 متراً ورسماً حجرياً للإلهة ِشيفا. وتدلّ هذه المعابد على الإنجازات اللامعة التي حققتها حقبة شولا في مجالات الهندسة والرسم والنحت والتماثيل البرونزية.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

朱罗王朝现存的神庙

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Великие храмы империи Чола

Большой храм Брихадисвара в Танджуре (Танджавуре) был сооружен между 1003 и 1010 гг. во времена правления царя Раджараджа, основателя империи Чола, которая охватывала весь юг Индии и прилегающие острова. Окруженный двумя стенами, имеющими в плане форму квадрата, этот храм (построенный из гранитных блоков и частично из кирпича) увенчан пирамидальной 13-ярусной башней – «виманой», имеющей высоту 61 м, с монолитом-луковкой на вершине. Стены храма богато украшены скульптурой. В 2004 г. в объект наследия были включены еще два храма, также относящиеся к временам империи Чола: Гангайкондачолисварам и Айраватесвара в городе Дарасурам. Храм Гангайкондачолисварам, построенный Раджендрой I, был закончен в 1035 г. Его 53-метровая «вимана» имеет заглубленные углы и грациозные, устремленные вверх изогнутые формы, контрастирующие с прямой и суровой башней в Танджавуре. Шесть пар массивных монолитных статуй «дварапала» охраняют вход, а внутри находятся исключительно красивые предметы из бронзы. Храмовый комплекс Айраватесвара, построенный Раджараджа II в Дарасураме, известен 24-метровой «виманой» и каменной скульптурой Шивы. Храмы являются свидетельством великолепных достижений государства Чола в архитектуре, скульптуре, живописи и бронзовом литье.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Grandes templos vivientes cholas

Los grandes templos vivientes fueron construidos por los reyes del Imperio de Chola, que llegaron a dominar toda la parte meridional de la India y sus islas adyacentes El sitio comprende tres grandes santuarios cholas de los siglos XI y XII: el Templo de Brihadisvara en Thanjavur, el Templo de Brihadisvara en Gangaikondacholisvaram y el Templo de Airavatesvara en Darasuram. El Templo de Gangaikondacholisvaram, edificado por orden de Rajendra I, fue terminado el año 1035. Las esquinas de su vimana (torre-santuario) de 53 metros de altura están rebajadas, gracias a lo cual el edificio cobra un gracioso movimiento ascensional ondulante que contrasta con las líneas rectas y austeras de la torre del templo de Thanjavur. El conjunto arquitectónico del Templo de Airavatesvara, construido por el rey Rajaraja II en Darasuram, posee un vimana de 24 metros de altura, así como una escultura en piedra de Siva. Los tres templos constituyen un testimonio de los brillantes logros del Imperio Chola en los campos de la arquitectura, la escultura, la pintura y el arte de trabajar el bronce.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

大チョーラ朝寺院群
Great Living Chola tempels

De Great Living Chola tempels werden gebouwd door de koningen van het Chola Rijk, dat zich uitstrekte over Zuid-India en de naburige eilanden. De plek bevat drie grote 11e-en 12e-eeuwse tempels: de Brihadisvara Tempel in Thanjavur, de Brihadisvara Tempel in Gangaikondacholisvaram en de Airavatesvara Tempel in Darasuram. De tempel van Gangaikondacholisvaram, gebouwd door Rajendra I, werd voltooid in 1035 en heeft een 53 meter hoge vimana (heiligdomtoren). Het Airavatesvara tempelcomplex, gebouwd door Rajaraja II, heeft een 24-meter hoge vimana en een stenen beeld van Shiva. De tempels getuigen van de briljante prestaties van de Chola in de architectuur, beeldhouwkunst, schilderkunst en het brons gieten.

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Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The great Cholas established a powerful monarchy in the 9th CE at Thanjavur and in its surroundings. They enjoyed a long, eventful rule lasting for four and a half centuries with great achievements in all fields of royal endeavour such as military conquest, efficient administration, cultural assimilation and promotion of art. All three temples, the Brihadisvara at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara at Gangaikondacholapuram and Airavatesvara at Darasuram, are living temples. The tradition of temple worship and rituals established and practised over a thousand years ago, based on still older Agamic texts, continues daily, weekly and annually, as an inseparable part of life of the people.

These three temple complexes therefore form a unique group, demonstrating a progressive development of high Chola architecture and art at its best and at the same time encapsulating a very distinctive period of Chola history and Tamil culture.

The Brihadisvara temple at Tanjavur marks the greatest achievement of the Chola architects. Known in the inscriptions as Dakshina Meru, the construction of this temple was inaugurated by the Chola King, Rajaraja I (985-1012 CE) possibly in the 19th regal year (1003-1004 CE) and consecrated by his own hands in the 25th regal year (1009-1010 CE). A massive colonnaded prakara with sub-shrines dedicated to the ashatadikpalas and a main entrance with gopura (known as Rajarajantiruvasal) encompasses the massive temple. The sanctum itself occupies the centre of the rear half of the rectangular court. The vimana soars to a height of 59.82meters over the ground. This grand elevation is punctuated by a high upapitha, adhisthana with bold mouldings the ground tier (prastara) is divided into two levels, carrying images of Siva. Over this rises the 13 talas and is surmounted by an octagonal sikhara. There is a circumambulatory path all around the sanctum housing a massive linga. The temple walls are embellished with expansive and exquisite mural paintings. Eighty-one of the one hundred and eight karanas, posed in Baharatanatya,are carved on the walls of second bhumi around the garbhagriha. There is a shrine dedicated to Amman dating to c.13th century.

Outside the temple enclosure are the fort walls of the Sivaganga Little Fort surrounded by a moat, and the Sivaganga Tank, constructed by the Nayaks of Tanjore of the 16th century who succeeded the imperial Cholas. The fort walls enclose and protect the temple complex within and form part of the protected area by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The Brihadisvara temple at Gangaikondacholapuram in the Perambalur district was built for Siva by Rajendra I (1012-1044 CE). The temple has sculptures of exceptional quality. The bronzes of Bhogasakti and Subrahmanya are masterpieces of Chola metal icons. The Saurapitha (Solar altar), the lotus altar with eight deities, is considered auspicious.

The Airavatesvara temple at Tanjavur was built by the Chola king Rajaraja II (1143-1173 CE.): it is much smaller in size as compared to the Brihadisvara temple at Tanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram. It differs from themin itshighly ornate execution. The temple consists of a sanctum without a circumambulatory path and axial mandapas. The front mandapa known in the inscriptions as Rajagambhiran tirumandapam, is unique as it was conceptualized as a chariot with wheels. The pillars of this mandapa are highly ornate. The elevation of all the units is elegant with sculptures dominating the architecture. A number of sculptures from this temple are the masterpieces of Chola art. The labelled miniature friezes extolling the events that happened to the 63 nayanmars (Saiva saints) are noteworthy and reflect the deep roots of Saivism in this region. The construction of a separate temple for Devi, slightly later than the main temple, indicates the emergence of the Amman shrine as an essential component of the South Indian temple complex.

Criterion (i): The three Chola temples of Southern India represent an outstanding creative achievement in the architectural conception of the pure form of the dravida type of temple.

Criterion (ii): The Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur became the first great example of the Chola temples, followed by a development of which the other two properties also bear witness.

Criterion (iii): The three Great Chola Temples are an exceptional and the most outstanding testimony to the development of the architecture of the Chola Empire and the Tamil civilisation in Southern India.

Criterion (iv): The Great Chola temples at Thanjavur, at Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram are outstanding examples of the architecture and the representation of the Chola ideology.

These temples represent the development of Dravida architecture from Chola period to Maratha Period. All three monuments have been in a good state of preservation from the date of the inscription of the property and no major threats affect the World Heritage monuments. These monuments are being maintained and monitored by the Archaeological Survey of India. The tradition of temple worship and rituals established and practiced over a thousand years ago, based on still older Agamic texts, continues daily, weekly and annually, as an inseparable part of life of the people.

Authenticity

The three properties are considered to pass the test of authenticity in relation to their conception, material and execution. The temples are still being used, and they have great archaeological and historical value. The temple complexes used to be part of major royal towns, but have remained as the outstanding features in today’s mainly rural context. The components of the temple complex of the Brihadisvara at Thanjavur, declared a World Heritage property in 1987, includes six sub-shrines which have been added within the temple courtyard over a period of time. The later additions and interventions reinforce the original concept embodied in the main temple complex, in keeping with homogeneity and its overall integrity. The traditional use of the temple for worship and ritual contribute to the authenticity. However the periodic report of 2003 noted a number of conservation interventions that have the potential to impact on authenticity e.g chemical cleaning of the structures and the total replacement of the temple floor highlighting the need for a Conservation Management Plan to guide the conservation of the property so as to ensure that authenticity is maintained.

Similarly at the Brihadisvara complex at Gangaikondacholapuram, the sub-shrines of Chandesa and Amman were originally built according to the plan of Rajendra I, as well as the Simhakeni (the lion-well).Over time The sub-shrines of Thenkailasha, Ganesha and Durga were added. The authenticity of these additions is supported by the Agamictexts concerning renewal and reconstructions of temples in use.

At Darasuram, archaeological evidence since gazettal enhances the authenticity of the property. The Airavatesvara temple complex itself has been entirely built at the same time with no later additional structures, and remains in its original form. The Deivanayaki Amman shrine built a little later also, stands in its original form within its own enclosure.

Protection and management requirements

The three cultural properties, namely, the Brihadisvara Temple complex at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara temple complex at Gangaikondacholapuram and the Airavatesvara temple complex at Darasuram have been under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India from the years 1922, 1946 and 1954 respectively. Further, all of them were brought under the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act from the year 1959, at the time of its enactment. The management of these cultural properties can, therefore, be divided into two distinct parts: (1) The conservation, upkeep and maintenance of the properties, covering physical structure, architectural and site features, environment and surroundings, painting, sculpture, and other relics and, (2) Temple administration covering staffing structure and hierarchy, accounting and bookkeeping, records and rules.

The management authority in relation to (1) is solely vested with the Archaeological Survey of India while the aspects covered in (2) are entirely looked after by the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Therefore, it is evident that the property management is, in effect, jointly carried out by these two agencies, one a Central agency, the other belonging to the State.

The practice has been for the two agencies to prepare their own management plans independently, and review them from time to time. When necessary, joint discussions are held and any apparent contradiction or points of conflict are given due consideration and sorted out. In the case of the Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur and the Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram, the agencies consult the Hereditary Trustee of the Palace Devasthanam when necessary to finalise any issue which requires the Trustee’s input.

However, since the nomination of the extended property , the Archaeological Survey of India the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, Government of Tamil Nadu, have, in principle, agreed to draft a joint property management plan encompassing the specific requirements of both while meeting the fundamental objectives of protecting and promoting (1) the three cultural properties while enhancing their Outstanding Universal Value (2) the Vedic and Agamic traditions and their significance in the life of the people (3) the arts (sculpture, painting, bronze casting, dance, music and literature) inseparable components of traditional culture and (4) the ancient science of vastu and silpa shastras, the fundamental guidelines to the construction of temples and religious structures, and to sculpture and painting.

Since the inscription of property as World Heritage property, the monuments have been maintained in a good state of preservation and no major threats affect the monuments. Periodic maintenance and monitoring of the monuments by Archaeological Survey of India keeps the monuments to the expectation of tourists. However a Tourism Management and Interpretation Plan and a Conservation Management Plan are required to guide future work and determine priorities for conservation and interpretation effort. Basic amenities like water, toilets, etc. have been provided attracting more tourists to the place. Improving landscaping and tourist amenities are some of the long term plans. The temples have been centres of worship for the last 800-1000 years and continue to serve in this way. Monitoring of visitor numbers and impacts is necessary to ensure that they do not threaten the Outstanding Universal Value.

Notes

The "Brihadisvara Temple, Tanjavur", which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the "Great Living Chola Temples".


The Granite Temple

This temple is of the largest temples of the South Indian culture and is a prime example of Dravidian architecture, which is a form of Hindu temple architecture that emerged in India across the South. There are over 15 different structures that show this type of architecture between temples, castles, and entire kingdoms.

History

The temple we are speaking of today was built by a Tamil King by the name of Raja Raja Chola during the years of 1003 and 1010 AD. The temple is part of a World Heritage Site of UNESCO, the temple being known as “The Great Living Chola Temples”. These 11th-century temples were built around a moat. The temple included a gopura, the main temple, a massive tower, inscriptions, and sculptures.

One tower is built completely of granite and is one of the tallest in South India. The tower’s name is Vimana and consists of a large corridor or prakara as it’s known in India. The tower is structured with granite and framed with brass. The tower holds the shrines of Indian ambassadors, gods, and kings of Nandi, Parvati, Kartikeya, Ganesha, Sabhapati, Dakshinamurti, Chandeshvara, Varahi, and others. This temple is the most visited by tourists wanting to experience the culture.

Location of this Granite Temple

The Brihadeswara Temple is in the city of Thanjavur, India about 220 miles away from Chennai the closest city. The city is close to local railways, bus services, and highways. The temple is at the start of the Cauveri River with access to the Bay through the Indian Ocean. Along with the temples that were completed in the 11th century, the Tamil people also introduced agriculture to their environment allowing for the movement of goods and to control the water flowing in from the bay into the urban areas.

Architecture

The temple was built following the development of axial and symmetrical geometry rules. The temple sits on a higher platform than a traditional man-made mound which is how traditional temples are normally built. The shrines, sculptures, inscriptions, and exterior are all made from granite stone, and brass framing throughout the entire temple.

Over the next few years, there are several renovations in the works for this temple and what it houses. Each monumental piece of the temple is protected and kept up to reduce the deterioration of the structure and the history it holds.

The old murals that are fading away with time will be replaced with new ones or repainted to bring back the original coloration.

Events

Every year there are events of all kinds held here. Cultural events such as dance festivals and car festivals happen here along with novels being written with locations being based at this temple. The temple is currently under the ownership and care of an Indian royal family, Thanhavur Martha. The family serves as a trustee to the original owners of the temple and they manage 88 other Chola temples across India.

This temple is a piece of art and history across the world and especially across India. The temple and its many works of art such as sculptures, reliefs, and murals will continue to stand strong together as a piece of Indian 11th-century history. If you should ever find yourself in India, take the time to visit this monumental temple and all its works of art and architecture.

The temple consists of so many different bits and pieces that it is impossible to explain and mention them all. Research the temple and view some of the amazing pictures of its murals and transcriptions. Who knows you may find inspiration for a painting or work of art to produce yourself?


Frequently Asked Questions about the Brihadishvara Temple-

One hour is required to explore the temple fully.

6:00 AM–12:30 PM, 4:00 PM–8:30 PM are the timings of the temple.

Yes, photography is allowed inside the temple.

Brihadishvara Temple built in 1,009 c. 1010 .

Raja Raja Chola constructed Brihadishvara Temple.

Brihadishvara Temple has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the list of ‘Great Living Chola Temples’.

If you have any questions about the Brihadishvara Temple, please leave a comment below, and we will get back to you within one hour.

About Sasidhar Darla

Sasidhar Darla is Myoksha Travel's Founder. He is passionate about traveling to temples and preparing travel guides to help other pilgrims.


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