It will not be wrong if India is called a country of temples because there are so many temples in India that any person will get tired of counting them but will not be able to count. Many such temples in India are known for their grandeur and unique belief. Many such temples in India are thousands of years old. These temples are dedicated to different deities. In this article, we will talk about one such grand and thousands of years old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva Brihadeshwara Temple or Brihadisvara Temple.
This temple is located in Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Being located in Thanjavur, it is also known as Thanjavur Temple. This temple is situated on the south bank of the river Kaveri. This temple is known by many other names, such as Thanjai Big Temple, Thanjai Periya Kovil, and Rajarajeswaram Temple. Lord Shiva is worshiped in this temple. The construction of this temple began in the 11th century, and granite is the material used for the construction of this temple. This temple is the only temple where granite has been used in such quantity. This temple attracts people with its grandeur and architectural and central dome.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated this temple as a World Heritage Site. Rajaraja Perunthachan was the chief architect of this temple. This temple is made of 130,000 granite blocks attached without any cement. Rather these blocks are placed one on top of the other. This technique is also called the puzzle technique.
History of Brihadisvara Temple
Brihadisvara Temple is a 1000-year-old temple of Lord Shiva in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, also known as Rajarajeswaram Temple. This temple is one of the great examples of Dravidian architecture. A temple's architecture gives it a distinct identity. In the early 11th century, it was built by Rajaraja Chola I. Rajaraja I was also one of the great Patrons of Dravidian art and architecture. He decided to build a temple in the name of Brihadeshwar Shiva to take Shiva devotion and Tamil culture to the heights. This temple was ready about 1000 years ago from today, between 1003 AD to 1010 AD. And over time, many other kings contributed to this temple, such As Nayakas had built a statue of Nandi, i.e., bull, in the temple premises, and in this temple, many paintings were made by Marathas, which looks very beautiful.
The height of this temple is 216 feet, made of 1,30,000 tons of granite. There is neither any granite mountain nor any granite plateau for about 60 km around this temple. People say that with the help of 3000 elephants, the king brought these granite stones from far away to construct this temple. Despite this temple being 1000 years old, it is quite straightforward. The construction of this temple has been made without digging the foundation. The base of this temple is also very wide, due to which this temple is still standing upright. The stone placed on the top of this temple called, Kumbam is 81 tons, i.e., 81000 kg.
How to Reach
Thanjavur is a city located in Tamil Nadu. Chennai and Bangalore are well-connected by air, road, and rail with Thanjavur, and not only this, but all the major cities of India are also well connected with Thanjavur. Talking about the first option, it is by rail or train. The nearest largest railway station is Trichy, 55 km away from Thanjavur and then you can come to Thanjavur from here by bus or car. Another option is by air, but there is no airport in Thanjavur so if you want to come to Thanjavur by flight, you have to come to Tiruchirappalli International Airport in Trichy, the nearest airport from here and then from here, you have to come by bus or car. Talking about the third option, it is by road. Thanjavur is easily accessible by road from several cities in Tamil Nadu. Private and government buses also run here, so you will not have any problem coming here by road.
This temple is about 16 stories high. No cement has been used in this temple, yet for 1000 years, this temple made of only stones stands proudly. Due to the huge size of this temple, it is also called Dakshina Meru, i.e., southern mountain. This temple is considered to be the tallest temple in the world. This temple is one of the most beautiful temples of the Chola period. When this temple was built, then this temple was counted among the largest structures in the world. In 1954, the Reserve Bank of India had issued a one thousand note which had a picture of this temple. This temple is very beautiful and a great example of Dravidian architecture. If you are a Shiva devotee or like to see old temples and buildings, this temple is for you.