Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thanjavur Big Temple

Tamil Nadu is a land chock-a-block with temples, big and small. I am not exaggerating when I say that it will take one's full life time to attempt to check out most of them. Famous temples are of course Madurai Meenakshi temple, Srirangam Ranganatha temple, Rameshwaram, Chidambaram. The most important one on the heritage front is the Big Temple of Thanjavur. Incidentally this year, 2010, marks the thousand years anniversary of its completion. Temple is also called Brihadisvara temple. It is a veritable architectural masterpiece built by Rajaraja I, the illustrious Chola emperor (985-1014). As The Hindu in its edit puts it "The high point of design is the vimana (tower over sanctum). This unusually tall vimana was a structural innovation of the first rank....on top of good design, the choice of granite contributed to its endurance. About 50,000 cubic meters of granite were utilized to build this complex..the abundant and richly detailed inscriptions found on the temple walls make it a treasure-house of historical information....Rajarajesvaram's (as the temple was known during the Chola period) contribution to the history of dance is no less important: it is the only temple to have 81 of the 108 karanas or dance postures carved on its walls."

Hoping to make a visit sometime this year.

You can learn more about the temple at

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