Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur Tamilnadu

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Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur Tamilnadu

India is one of the few countries of the world, which can boast of so many rich and diverse religious structures. The cultural heritage of India gets its distinct identity mainly due to its temples, mosques, churches and gurudwaras. However, since India has pre – dominantly been a Hindu country, the temples of India are the most breath taking and finely sculpted. Several of the temples in India belong to the ancient era and till today not lost their beauty and magnificence. One such temple is the Brihadisvara temple, India.

Enchantment of Brihadisvara

The ancient Hindu temple of Brihadisvara is located at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu in southern India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the holy trinity, worshipped by the Hindus. This temple was built during the Chola dynasty during the 10th century AD. The Chola Emperor who has the pride of building such a stupendous temple was Raja Chola, who was considered as one of the most able kings in ancient India. The most striking feature of the Brihadisvara temple, India is its height.

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The main tower of the temple or “vimana” has a height of 215 feet and has the record of being the tallest in the world. The temple tower has been designed in such a way that it never casts a shadow at noon during any time of the year. This temple is considered as one of the most stunning examples of Dravidian style of architecture. The sheer magnanimity of the temple holds the onlooker in great awe and admiration. The UNESCO has declared the Brihadisvara temple, India as a World Heritage Site for its architectural excellence.

The Brihadisvara temple, India comprises of two huge pyramidal towers, known as the “gopuras”. On the edge of these gopuras there are two gigantic guardian figures while the gopuras themselves comprise of intricate and captivating carvings of Lord Shiva. The actual Brihadisvara temple is located inside the second gopura and is surrounded by carvings of heads of sea monsters. The vimana attracts the maximum attention due to its extraordinary height and spread. The tower comprises of inscriptions of 100 paragraphs that describe the gifts and other donations that the King gave towards the construction of the temple. The vimana is adorned by golden finial, which is referred to as “kalasam”. Another inspirational factor of the temple is the octagonal crown or “shikaram” that rests atop the vimana. This crown is similar to a dome and is made up of two huge granite blocks. Each block of granite weighs 40 tons. The fact that people in that era moved such huge stones atop a 65 – meter tower without any advanced machinery speaks volumes about the unbelievable skill and technique of the people at that time.

The Brihadisvara temple, India can easily be termed as one of the architectural wonders of the world and continues to cast a spell on the visitors.

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