Brihadeeswarar Temple is Thanjavur's Big Temple was built by the King Raja Raja Chola who ascended the throne in 985 A.D.
Brihadeeswarar Temple History
This temple was built during the reign of King Raja Raja Chola. From the inscriptions, it is known that this temple was constructed exactly 25 years and 275 days after his ascension to the throne. In the 13th century, Pandya built shrines for Goddess Varahi. Subramanya Swamy temple inside the temple complex was built in 15th Century AD
Brihadeeswarar Temple Architecture
The 13 tier Vimana Gopura is of 58 mt tall. 29 mt Square base supports the octagon shaped Sikhara. This cupolic dome weighs 81 tons rests on a single block of granite, which is 7.8 mt square. The four corners of the Sikhara are ornamented by two Nandis each. The unique feature of this Vimana is that its shadow never falls on the ground. This Vimana Gopuram is considered as Dakshina Meru ( Meru Mountain of the South). Huge Siva Linga in the Vimana Gopuram is of 8.7 mt high. Lord Siva her known by Brihadeeswarar.
Ardha Mantap, Mukha Mantap, Maha Mandap are located right in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. Nandi Mandap shelters monolithic Nandi statue which is of 3.7 mt high and 6 mt long and 2.5 mt broad.
There are two stories associated with this Nandi statue. It is said that this Nandi starts growing continuously, worried people nailed its back from then on it stopped growing.
Another version is that there lived a toad inside the temple which made Nandi grow continuously. When they removed the toad, the bull stopped growing.
How to reach Brihadeeswarar Temple?
- Tiruchirapalli International airport is 61 km away
- Direct train is available from Chennai Central to Thanjavur.
- From Chennai, Temple is 382 km away.
- From Tiruchirapalli, it is is a 1-hour drive from the airport.
- A direct bus is available from Chennai CMBT to Thanjavur.
Reference Link: Temple History