Thanjavur Brihadeeswara temple is one of the most ancient temple, situated in the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple was built in the Chola capital of Tanjavur under the aegis of the Chola king Rajaraja Chola in 1010 A.D. Designed by Sama Varma, the architecture of Brihadeeswara temple is unique in that the temple casts no shadows on the ground at noon during any time of the year. Brihadeeswarar Temple is also popular by name of ‘Big Temple’ and it turns 1000 years in 2010.
Brihadeswara is the most illustrious and a brilliant example of the Dravidian style temple architecture. The building that carries the main sanctum is known as the ‘Periya Kovil’. This stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. It is believed that about 130,000 tons of granite was used to construct the Brihadeeswara Temple.
The ‘Vimana’ of the temple is about 70 meters (216 ft) and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The ‘Shikharam’ (crown) of Brihadeswara temple is itself very large and heavy (81.25 tons) and has been carved out of a single stone. Just at the entrance of the temple, there is a large statute of Nandi (sacred bull) measuring about 16 feet in length and 13 feet in height. This statute of Nandi facing the inner sanctum is carved out of a single stone. The temple also has a spacious ground, number of pillared halls, shrines and 250 lingams.
Best Time To Visit to Brihadeeswarar Temple
Time between October and March is perfect and ideal for visits by tourists and to temples.
How to Reach Thanjavur
The closest airport is at Trichy, 54 km away. Trichy Airport receives flights from Chennai and Madurai and from Sharjah, Kuwait City and Colombo (Sri Lanka).
Thanjavur is on the route of many trains travelling between Chennai, Madurai and Kanyakumari. It also has direct connections to and from Chennai’s Egmore Station. Trichy is an important junction of Southern Railways and is on the route of almost all southbound trains to Kanyakumari, Madurai or Rameswaram. Passenger trains ply between Trichy and Thanjavur, but roadways buses are better with frequent services.
54 km from Trichy, Thanjavur is connected by excellent roads to Trichy (NH 67), to Madurai, Chennai (NH45) and Kanyakumari (NH7). Inter city buses, taxis and tourist buses are available at Trichy.