Brihadeeswara Temple or Brihadishwara Temple is the major attraction of Thanjavur. The temple is the standing example for the power and glory of its builder, Rajaraja Chola, an erstwhile King. The temple tower of 216 feet is the tallest of its kind in the world. Also the main tower was constructed in such a way that its shadow will never fall on the ground. The temple is 1000 years old. The entire temple was built using Granite Stones. It is often termed as “Thanjai Periya Kovil (Tanjore Big Temple). Tourists will be excited for being welcomed by a huge Nandi Statue (Bull) at the entrance of the Sanctum Sanctorum. This Nandi Statue was carved out of single rock. The architectural style of the temple is of blend of Dravidian Style and Chola Ideology.
Each and every work over stone, bronze, sculpture etc. exhibits the excellence of art which prevailed during the Chola period. The entrance to the temple has magnificent sculptures on the wide Gopuram. The main deity of the temple is “Shiv Lingam”. There are many sub shrines within the fortified walls. The inscriptions found inside the temple reveals that on those days (1000 years ago) nearly 1000 staffs were employed to maintain the temple. Among which 400 were temple dancers. On the walls of main enclosure of sanctum sanctorum, tourists can see mural paintings and Chola frescoes.
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