The Brihadeeswara Temple, also known as the Big Temple, stands as an awe-inspiring testament to the architectural prowess and cultural legacy of the Chola dynasty in South India. Located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, this grand temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an iconic symbol of Dravidian architecture, drawing pilgrims, historians, and art connoisseurs from around the world.

Commissioned by Rajaraja Chola I and consecrated in 1010 AD, the Brihadeeswara Temple is a masterpiece that reflects the zenith of Chola architectural and artistic achievements. It was built to honor Lord Shiva, the presiding deity, and served as a center for worship, art, and cultural patronage during the Chola dynasty's reign.

The Brihadeeswara Temple is renowned for its towering vimana (temple tower), which stands at an impressive height of 66 meters (216 feet). The vimana is capped with a massive monolithic cupola, weighing around 80 tons, creating an architectural marvel that remains unparalleled in its grandeur.

The temple complex is laid out in a carefully planned manner, featuring a large courtyard, a massive entrance tower, and intricately carved pillars. The main sanctum houses a lingam, representing Lord Shiva, and is surrounded by various shrines dedicated to deities such as Nandi, Parvati, and Subrahmanya.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

In recognition of its architectural significance and cultural value, the Brihadeeswara Temple was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. The inscription underscores its importance in preserving the cultural heritage of humanity and acknowledges its role in shaping the evolution of temple architecture in South India.

Cultural Impact

Beyond its religious importance, the Brihadeeswara Temple has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of India. The intricate carvings and sculptures serve as a visual chronicle of the rich mythological stories, cultural practices, and societal norms of the Chola period. The temple is a living museum, providing a window into the artistic and cultural achievements of ancient India.

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    Timings and Guidelines

    • Morning Time : 6.00 AM to 12.30PM
    • Evening Time : 4.00 PM to 8.30 PM
    • Dress Code Men : Men the Dress Code is Shirt & Trouser, Dhoti or Pyjamas.
    • Dress Code Women : Women the Preferred Dress Code is Saree or Half-Saree With Blouse or Chudidhar with Pyjama.
    • No Mobile or Cameras are allowed inside the temple premises.


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