The Brihadeeswarar Temple of Tanjore is a mammoth structure with fortified walls and grand quadrangles. Recommended by UNESCO as one of the must-watch Chola Temples, the temple has unparalleled architectural excellence. Brihadeeswarar temple recently completed the millennium of its existence, as it was built in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple’s architectural features have always been the subject of attraction among the tourists.
Brihadeeswara temple was made using tons of hard granite rocks that were imported from distant areas using elephants. Brihadeeswarar temple tower (called vimana) is 66 m high and is acclaimed as the highest of its type. Another highlighting feature is the huge Kumbam which is believed to be dragged to the top by elephants. The grand entrance to the temple is through a five-story gopuram. The mandapas (halls) inside the main temple are big and features amazingly designed pilasters and sculptures.
The image of Lord Shiva is present inside the Garbha Griha (womb chamber). One of the most fascinating attractions is the gigantic state of Nandi, the bull. There are life-size statues of other deities that include Surya, Chandra, Indra, Kubera, Yama, Agni and others. It is believed that the temple’s gopuram and pillars don’t cast their shadows on the ground.