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Amazing 1000 Years Old Big Temple of Thanjavur

Updated on September 24, 2015
Big Temple of Thanjavur
Big Temple of Thanjavur | Source

Great Temple of Thanjavur.

Brahadeswarar Temple, better known as "Big Temple" is an architectural wonder. More than 1000 years ago Emperor Raja Raja Cholan built this great temple at Thanjavur.

His greatness and fame can still witness by the world by his masterwork the Brahadeswarar Temple in Thanjavur.

The temple survives to this day in its original splendor. It is a glorious haven of huge architecture, stone sculptures and wall paintings.

Each one who visited this temple admired the structural beauty. This Temple is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Tamil Nadu,

Big Temple
Big Temple | Source

The Big Temple

Grandest Temple in India.

The Big Temple of Thanjavur, planned by the Great Emperor Raja Raja Cholan and built by his master architects. By bad luck, the temple has gained repute within the state of Tamil Nadu.

But its extravagance is still not well known to the rest of the world. Encyclopedia Britannica calls the Tamil people as the greatest Temple builders in the world.

It describes the great Big Temple as the "grandest Temple in India". As you move toward the city of Thanjavur, you can see the temple from a distance.

The huge Temple with its supercilious tower, is an eye-catching object, striking and elegant. Its base measures eighty feet square and the tower raises fourteen stories to the height of two hundred feet.

The top stone is a huge monolith, with fine carving and weighing eighty tones. The courtyard is not covered over like many other temples in South India.

But are open to light and air, and within the confines is an open square six hundred feet by two hundred feet. Here is the gigantic stone bull Nandhi, fifteen feet long and twelve feet height, in a crouching stance.

It rests upon a podium which you can climb by twelve steps, and has over it a large covering supported by granite pillars. This bull consecrated to Lord Shiva, faces the Temple from the quadrilateral red sandstone building.

The enormous tower rising over the place of worship. Further on the left, but within the enclosed space, is another, but much a small shrine.

It is with beautiful engraved stone art, and covered passage enclose the court with common pictures of heroes. On the right side, within the court, is the temple of Lord Subramaniya.

It is one of the superb a piece of decorative architectures, found in entire India. The steps up to its entry supported by small carved elephants. Extraordinary human sculptures, sitting on or falling from their trunk

Big Temple - Vid

Raja Raja Cholan
Raja Raja Cholan | Source

Raja Raja Chola

The Great Emperor Raja Raja, who came to the royal seat in 985AD. His son and successor is Rajendra I. Both Cholas, developed their empires by invading the peninsular part of India.

They also went, capturing the Maldives, Sri Lanka and portions of Malaysia. And going northwards in India to reach the river Ganga. Their Kingdom prospered.

Being Devotes of Lord Shiva, both Raja Raja as well as his son Rajendra praised Lord Shiva for their good fortune. By constructing magnificent temples with tall towers and glorious temple gateways.

Big Temple is the masterpiece of Chola architecture.

Big Temple - Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Big Temple turned 1,000

Brahadeswara Temple completed of 1000 years of the construction. It is one of the architectural marvels and world heritage sites.

The Big Temple, dream of the Emperor Rajaraja Chola, celebrated its millennium year in a grand manner in Thanjavur.

According to the Archaeology Survey of India (ASI) the construction of the temple started in 1006 AD. And completed in 1010 AD.

The Government of Tamil Nadu, well organized a five day social festivity from 22 to 26 September of 2010. Including thousands of artists to commemorate the millennium year celebration of a Big Temple.

A collection of thousand folk artists from Thanjavur participated in these events. The function held in the evenings from September 22 to 24..

Also Government released the special postage stamps, coins and currency notes. With the emblem of Big Temple for this occasion.

Big Temple Millennium Celebration - Vid

Map of Thanjavur

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India:
Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

get directions

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a beautiful temple this is. I wish I have visited this when I was in India.

    • sukkran trichy profile imageAUTHOR

      sukkran trichy 

      3 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      Thanks Lakshyaa. Glad to meet you.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image


      5 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I noticed in September that the angel dust didn't take, guess we have to wait about a year now, but I'm pleased to return now for this wonderful tribute to Big Temple Of Thanjavur. I love the autumn theme here!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Another astonishing trip in your beautiful country. Thanks!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Returning with angel blessings for The Big Temple, it is a wonder of ingenuity and beautiful craftsmanship, what amazing artisans in your nations history!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great presentation on this lens. I like big temples.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We wonder how civilizations could achieve that amazing feat of building massive structures without cranes and heavy machinery, the technology in ancient times are things to ponder about. This beautiful temple is certainly a place to visit.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      5 stars..good travel

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for posting information on Big Temple- Tanjavur.When i saw the temple myself during my visit to Tanjavur,it admired me and puzzled me - How the Cholas managed to build this temple with tonnes of granite stones with more patience? They did not have ultra powerful handicrafts or tools or machines which are available in this modern era. They did not have calculator or computer to design the architecture of the entire temple.Actually the temple inspired me to read and hear more about Chola dynasty, how they ruled and the history of each and every king especially Raja Raja Chola 1.Thanks again for sharing this to the world.

    • profile image

      ThomasJ4 LM 

      7 years ago

      You seem to have quite a bit of knowledge about temples, good work

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A beautiful presentation on the Big Temple, what a wonderful thing to still have it after 1000 years!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      you could have changed the fonts to attract..

    • lakshyaa profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanjavur is my hometown. Great to see a lens on Big temple! 5 stars from me :)

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      9 years ago from Idaho

      There is so much history and stories in the walls of these beautiful temples, they are so beautiful and peaceful looking!


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