Explore The Brihadeeswarar Temple

Brihadeeswarar temple images

Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 by Sidakbir Singh

The Brihadeeswarar Temple, located in Thanjavur, India, is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built over a thousand years ago, it is renowned for its towering architecture and intricate carvings. The temple’s main attraction is its massive granite lingam (symbol of Lord Shiva), which stands as a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of ancient Indian artisans. It’s a sacred place of worship and a marvel of ancient engineering.

NameBrihadeeswarar Temple
LocationChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
TypeHindu temple
AreaVaried, temple complex and surroundings
DepthNot applicable
PurposeReligious worship and pilgrimage destination
Construction Year11th century AD
FeaturesMagnificent Dravidian architecture, towering gopuram
Historical SignificanceUNESCO World Heritage Site, cultural icon

History and Origins

The Brihadeeswarar Temple, also known as the Big Temple, is a historic Hindu temple located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. The great Chola emperor built it, Raja Chola I, around 1010 AD. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture.

Legend says that Raja Chola was inspired to build this grand temple after a divine dream. He wanted to create a temple that would showcase the glory of Shiva and his empire. The temple was constructed using granite stones brought from distant quarries, and it took several years to complete.

The Brihadeeswarar Temple is famous for its towering vimana (temple tower), which reaches a height of over 200 feet. The vimana is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting various mythological stories and scenes from Hindu scriptures.

One of the most remarkable features of the temple is its massive lingam, a sacred symbol of Lord Shiva, housed within the sanctum sanctorum. The lingam is believed to be one of the largest in India.

Over the centuries, the Brihadeeswarar Temple has stood as a symbol of architectural brilliance and religious devotion. It has survived invasions, natural disasters, and the passage of time, continuing to attract devotees and visitors from all over the world. Today, it is not only a place of worship but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, representing the rich cultural heritage of India.

Architecture of Brihadeeswarar Temple

The Brihadeeswarar Temple features a great Dravidian style of architecture. Its main structure called the vimana, is a towering tower adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. The temple is built entirely from granite stones, showing the engineering skills of ancient craftsmen. The vimana’s height symbolizes the grandeur of Lord Shiva. Inside, the sanctum houses a massive lingam, representing Shiva’s presence. The temple’s architecture stands as a marvel of ancient Indian craftsmanship.

How to Reach Brihadeeswarar Temple

  • By Bus – Reach Tiruchirappalli Airport from Delhi and then take a direct bus to Brihadeeswarar temple.
  • By Flight – Reach Tiruchirappalli Airport from Delhi and then rent a car or take a taxi to the temple.
  • By Train – Reach Thanjavur junction from Delhi and then take a bus or texi to the temple. 

Best Time To Visit Brihadeeswarar Temple

The best time to visit the Brihadeeswarar Temple is during the cooler months of November to February. The weather is pleasant, making it comfortable to explore the temple complex and enjoy the surroundings. It’s also less crowded during this time, allowing for a more peaceful and enjoyable experience.

Interesting facts about Brihadeeswarar Temple

  1. At the base of the temple, statues of Shiva in dance poses add beauty.
  2. A large roof, made from a single stone, adds charm to the temple.
  3. The top part of the temple showcases 81 figures of Bharatnatyam dancers.
  4. Different rulers added shrines for different gods like the goddesses, Subramanya, and Vinayaka.
  5. The temple, like a fortress, has structures arranged by height.
  6. Two entrances, one big and one small, welcome visitors.
  7. The main tower boasts beautiful art and scriptures.
  8. The shortest tower has a unique design.
  9. Inside, there are statues, assembly, and pillared halls.
  10. The innermost hall has intricate carvings and paintings of ancient times.
  11. Beneath is a room for worshipping Lord Shiva.
  12. The outer path leads to another hall with rectangular rooms and columns.
  13. The outer gateway showcases 400 pillars with stunning paintings.
  14. Chola frescoes adorn the walls, depicting Shiva, gods, demons, and kings’ stories.

Entry fee and timings of Brihadeeswarar Temple

The timings of Brihadeeswarar temple are 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM on all days and there is no entry fee. 

Nearby Attractions in the Brihadeeswarar Temple  

  1. Thanjavur Palace –Historic royal residence with ornate architecture and vibrant murals, showcasing rich heritage in Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur Palace is just 0.5 km away from Brihadeeswarar Temple. 
  2. Thanjavur Maratha Palace – Majestic palace complex featuring grand halls, courtyards, and the iconic Saraswati Mahal Library in Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur Maratha Palace is just 0.6 km away from Brihadeeswarar Temple. 
  3. Schwartz Church – Charming Anglican church known for its serene ambience and colonial architecture in Tamil Nadu. Schwartz Church is 1.5 km away from Brihadeeswarar Temple. 
  4. Saraswati Mahal Library – Ancient repository of manuscripts, palm leaf texts, and historic artifacts in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. Saraswati Mahal Libray is just 1.8 km away from the temple. 
  5. Thanjavur Art Gallery – Showcases exquisite bronze sculptures, ancient artifacts, and traditional artworks, reflecting Tamil Nadu’s cultural richness. Thanjavur Art Gallery is 2.0 km away from temple. 

Visitor Guidelines and Pro Tips

  1. Dress Code – Dress modestly and conservatively. Avoid wearing revealing or inappropriate attire.
  2. Photography – Respect any guidelines regarding photography. Some areas of the temple may be off-limits for photography, while others may allow it. Always ask for permission if unsure.
  3. Silence and Serenity – Maintain a quiet and peaceful demeanour inside the temple. Refrain from loud conversations or disruptive behaviour.
  4. Offerings – If you wish to make offerings or participate in rituals, inquire about the procedures and timings beforehand.
  5. Time Your Visit – The temple can get crowded, especially during festivals and auspicious days. Plan your visit accordingly to avoid long queues and crowded spaces.
  6. Donations – Consider donating to support the maintenance of the temple. Your contribution helps sustain the temple’s activities and services.
  7. Stay Hydrated – Carry a water bottle, especially during hot weather, to stay hydrated while exploring the temple complex.

Other Activities To Do in Chennai 

In Chennai, besides its beaches, you can explore historic landmarks like Fort St. George and Kapaleeshwarar Temple. Enjoy shopping at bustling markets like T. Nagar and explore the vibrant food scene with local delicacies. Tourism In Chennai also thrives with cultural events, music concerts, and dance performances.

Other Popular Attractions in India 

India has diverse attractions, including the iconic Taj Mahal, Jaipur’s Amber Fort, and Delhi’s Red Fort. Kerala’s backwaters and Rajasthan’s deserts offer unique experiences. From the Himalayas to bustling Mumbai, Tourism In India has been enriched by its rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and vibrant cities, captivating travellers worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there any special rituals or festivals celebrated at the Brihadeeswarar Temple?

A: Special rituals and festivals, such as Maha Shivaratri and Arudra Darshanam, are celebrated at the Brihadeeswarar Temple.

Q: When was the Brihadeeswarar Temple built, and where is it located?

A: The Brihadeeswarar Temple was built around 1000 AD in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India.

Q: What impact has the Brihadeeswarar Temple had on tourism in its region?

A: The Brihadeeswarar Temple, also known as the Big Temple, has a significant impact on tourism in its region. It attracts visitors from all over the world who come to admire its architectural grandeur.

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About Sidak | View Posts

A creative person by profession and by passion, Sidak Bir is an enthusiastic writer who adores his job. His passion for writing has inspired him to pursue writing as a career. His commitment to creating quality content shines through, offering readers a blend of enlightenment and knowledge in every piece. Because he reads, writes, travels, and has an enjoyable time, some people claim he is leading the best life possible. They're right because what more could a person possibly need!

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