Brihadeeswara Temple

brihadeeswarar temple
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The Brihadeeswara Temple, also known as the Peruvudaiyar Kovil or the Big Temple, is one of the most iconic and revered Hindu temples in India. Located in the city of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a fine example of Dravidian architecture. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history, architecture, and significance of the Brihadeeswara Temple.

History of Brihadeeswara Temple

The Brihadeeswara Temple was built in the 11th century by the Chola dynasty king, Raja Raja Chola I. It was constructed to showcase the power and glory of the Chola dynasty and was an important center of worship and patronage for the arts and culture of the time. The temple was completed in 1010 AD after seven years of construction and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Dravidian architecture.

Architecture of Brihadeeswara Temple

The Brihadeeswara Temple is a massive structure that covers an area of 29.6 meters square. The temple is built of granite and has a towering vimana, or tower, that rises to a height of 66 meters. The vimana is capped by a massive dome, which weighs about 81 tons and is carved out of a single block of granite. The dome is considered to be one of the largest in the world and is an engineering marvel of its time.

The temple complex also includes several other structures, including a Nandi mandapa, a massive statue of Nandi, the divine bull, which is carved out of a single block of granite and is 6 meters long, 2.5 meters high, and 2.5 meters wide. The temple also has several gopurams, or gateways, which are decorated with intricate carvings of gods and goddesses.

Significance of Brihadeeswara Temple

The Brihadeeswara Temple is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus and is visited by millions of devotees every year. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to house one of the largest lingams in the world, which is 3.7 meters high and is made of granite. The temple is also famous for its magnificent architecture and sculptures, which depict scenes from Hindu mythology and showcase the artistic prowess of the Chola dynasty.

The temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be an important cultural and historical landmark of India. It has been recognized for its outstanding universal value and is a testament to the rich heritage of South India. The Brihadeeswara Temple is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in Indian culture, history, and spirituality. Its magnificent architecture, rich history, and spiritual significance make it one of the most iconic landmarks in India. Whether you are a devout Hindu or simply an admirer of art and architecture, a visit to the Brihadeeswara Temple is sure to leave you awestruck and inspired.

Brihadeeswara Temple Timings

The Brihadeeswara Temple is open for visitors every day from early morning to late evening. The temple timings are as follows:

Morning Timings: 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Evening Timings: 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM

It is important to note that the temple may remain closed during certain festivals, special occasions, or maintenance work. It is recommended to check the official website or inquire locally about any such closures or changes in timings before visiting the temple.

Also, visitors are required to follow the dress code and other guidelines laid down by the temple authorities. Men are required to wear dhoti and upper cloth or formal pants and shirts, while women are required to wear saree or traditional dress. Photography and videography inside the temple are not allowed.

How to reach Brihadeeswara Temple

Here are some ways to reach the temple:

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Thanjavur is the Tiruchirappalli International Airport, which is located about 60 kilometers away from the city. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.
  2. By Train: Thanjavur has a well-connected railway station that is connected to major cities in India. The Thanjavur Junction Railway Station is located about 2 kilometers away from the temple, and you can easily hire a taxi or take an auto-rickshaw to reach the temple.
  3. By Road: Thanjavur is well-connected by road to major cities in Tamil Nadu and other neighboring states. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from Chennai, Bangalore, or other cities to reach Thanjavur. From there, you can take a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the temple.

Once you reach the temple, you can explore its magnificent architecture and sculptures, offer prayers to Lord Shiva, and learn about its rich history and cultural significance. It is recommended to visit the temple during the early morning or late evening hours to avoid the crowds and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the temple.

Brihadeeswara Temple Photos