Brihadeeswara Temple is situated at Thanjavur District
, in Tamil Nadu
. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva
. It was built in the 10th Century by Raja Raja Chola of the Chola Dynasty
. The temple is gigantic in proportions. The rounded monolithic cupola on the summit of the temple tower weighs over 80 tons. The striking feature of the architecture is that the shadow of the cupola never touches the ground.
Brihadeeswara temple contains a gigantic Mahalingam, the symbol of Lord Shiva, and a massive
Nandi, the sacred bull of the Lord. The Nandi is the second largest monolithic sculpture of its kind in the country. It stretches 6 m in length with a breath of 2.6 m and rises almost 4 m. Niches on the walls and inner passages are adorned with representations of
Goddess Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and different forms of Shiva ( Bhikshatana, Virabhadra, Kalantaka, Natesa, Ardhanareeswara and Alingana). Walls are decorated with paintings of Chola and later periods. The temple is famous for its age-old religious, historical and artistic associations.
The nearest airport to Brihadeeswara Temple is at Trichy which is 60 km away. There are frequent bus and train services available to all major and minor cities from here.