Top facts about Brihadeshwara temple

  1. A study in Oriental architecture or history is certainly incomplete without a mention of the Tanjore Brihadeeshwara Temple or the Tanjore Periya kovil. This imposing structure was built by Raja Raja Cholan and his sister Kundavai, both ardent devotees of Lord Shiva.
  2. The original name of the deity was Rajarajeshwar. It was the Marathas who gave it the name Brihadeeshwara or the great Ishwara.
  3. The main temple is entirely built of granite. More than 130,000 tons of granite is said to have been used to build it.
  4. A long associated myth with this temple is that the shadow of the main structure does not fall on the ground. However, this has been proven wrong by scientists.
  5. The statue of Nandi at the entrance of the temple is carved out of a single stone.
  6. The main Vimanam, which is at about 200 feet is often called Dakshin Meru or Southern Meru.
  7. The inspiration to build the temple came to Raja Raja Cholan during his visit to Sri Lanka and is a result of a dream he had.
  8. Inscriptions in the temple point towards kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Perunthachan as the chief architect of the temple.
  9. The inscriptions also mention the different kinds of jewels used in the period. Each of these jewels is mentioned in detail. A total of twenty-three different types of pearls, eleven varieties of diamonds and rubies are mentioned in these inscriptions.