Brihadeeswara Temple


14.7/5(71 Ratings)

Brihadeeswara Temple Overview

Ranked 1 of 38 sightseeing in Thanjavur

Brihadeshwar temple or the Big temple is the prime attraction of Thanjavur. Brihadeshwar temple was built in the early 11th century by Rajaraja Chola I. The temple is built in Dravidian style of architecture in granite.

Brihadeshwar temple, known also as Rajarajesvaram, is one of the well preserved Heritage Sites in Tamil Nadu. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has a 2.7 m high Shivalinga, which is about 7 m in diameter. The construction which encloses sanctum sanctorum is known by the name 'Periya Kovil' or the ‘Big temple’.  The 70 m high ‘Vimana’ of the temple is built in such an architectural precision, that its shadow never falls outside itself.  The Shikharam, which weighs about81.25 tons, is carved out of a single stone.

Brihadeshwar temple also features a massive idol of Nandi (bull), the mount of Lord Shiva. This idol, which weighs about 25 tons, has a height of about 3.6 m, length of 5.94 m and a width of 5.56 m.  This idol is seated in ‘Nayak Mandapam’, which is decorated with intricate carvings. The ceiling of this mandapam is noted for its 1000 year old frescoes. Portraits of Sevappanayakan and his son Achyutappa Nayak (the early Nayak rulers) can also be seen on the front pillars of Nandi Mandapam.

What travellers are saying about Brihadeeswara Temple

Experience scale
  • Excellent 33
  • Good 2
  • Very Good 2
  • Terrible 0
  • Poor 0
  • Below Average 0
  • Average 0
Travellers recommend
  • Best Time: During DayLength of visit: 2-3hrs
  • Length of visit: 2-3hrsBest Time: During Sunset
Facilities available
  • Food available for purchaseFood available for purchase
  • Bathroom facilitiesBathroom facilities
  • Camera/Video allowedCamera/Video allowed
  • Wearing of shoes/footwear allowedWearing of shoes/footwear allowed
  • Lockers/StorageLockers/Storage

Timing, fees and more


Operating hours

Monday - Friday:
6:00 AM -9:00 PM
6:00 AM -9:00 PM
6:00 AM -9:00 PM
Public Holidays:
6:00 AM -9:00 PM

Other Details

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97% voted as clean

Video Reviews

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Must see destination in Tanjavur

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Amazing temple

Reviews and Ratings

Ramakrishnan Tk

Ramakrishnan Tk5.0/5

5 reviews

Terrific architecture

Amazing piece of Architecture and well maintained. The construction looks marvellous and it is tough to register so many details in a single view. There is no entry ticket. There is a cloak room as well as a place to leave your footwear and a small shop for snacks and souvenirs. sharma sharma5.0/5

2 reviews

Baahubali like places in reality


Saranya Devanathan

Saranya Devanathan5.0/5

331 reviews

A temple with many architectural styles

At the temple office itself Mr Vinoth, a guide for Rs 400, was arranged to explain in English. He tookre us through the shady outer pathway to enjoy the various architectural styles and the paintings. Still it is better to carry a pair of socks to go around in summer The shoe rack do not give any foot covering. It is better to spend at least 2 hours at the temple. The gopuram on the garbhagruha itself very tall. Free refreshing watery buttermilk was served for visitors. A huge dance gallery was there inside the temple premises. I visited during the summer festival's cultural program. The inscriptions are not only in Tamil but also in Devanagari. Though it was maintained by ASI, the Tamilnadu government has asked for regular pujas. There was a long queue for the dharshan of 13' tall lingam. By bribing the guard by 100, one can bypass the queue. The second largest Nandi of 13' was later addition. The old one was kept on the side. Please go through the photos. There is a lot to write about this temple. But i have to mention about a foreigner with a hat sculpted on one of the gopurams 3rd tier. i was pleasantly surprised to find Hoysala architecture at one corner upto certain height. One can appreciate the joints in stone roofs just like Kerala's temples' wooden roofs.

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  • A temple with many architectural styles
  • A temple with many architectural styles
  • A temple with many architectural styles
  • A temple with many architectural styles

Yugesh E

Yugesh E5.0/5

3 reviews

Brihadeeshwar temple

Brihadeeshwar temple is an perfect example for cholas architecture.It has lots of traditional aspects including many statues also. Definately all people's feel peace in their heart in the temple
  • Brihadeeshwar temple

Yugesh E

Yugesh E5.0/5

3 reviews


It was built by rajarajacholan before 1000+ years and it was standing till now without a damage,astonishing.Very beautiful place for tourist.Being living in Thanjavur,I feel very proud.
  • Magnificent



38 reviews

Wow! Perfect and beautiful architecture example.

we visited thanjavur in the month of November... it is very huge and beautiful temple i have seen... temple was build by raja raja chola the kung of chola dynasty.... it's the perfect example of Dravidian architecture... the art and cut work on temple wall include ceilings was marvellous and awesome...... at entrance of temple have a huge sacred bull made by the single rock about 19 ft in height... temple have a huge lord shiva statue... along with a sarrounding walls covered with the large temple area..... this temple is world famous and also included in unasco the world's heritage list.... very beautiful ancient temple with beautiful architect must visit.....

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Jagdish Raval

Jagdish Raval4.6/5

414 reviews

Our heir of Great Architecture - An Excellent Temple

On 3rd day of our twelve days religious personal tour in pious Shravan month from Chennai to Trivandrum by taxi, we visited this holy temple. It was our 7th and last destination of the day. Brihadeshwara Temple is dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur. It is also known as RajaRajeswara Temple Rajarajeswaram and Brihadeshwara Temple. It is one of the largest temples in India and is an example of Tamil architecture during the Chola period built by Raja Raja Chola I and completed in 1010 AD. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Great Living Chola Temples". The vimanam (temple tower) is 100 ft. high and is the tallest in the world. There is a big statue of Nandi, carved out of a single rock measuring about 16 ft. long and 13 ft high at the entrance. The temple reminds us of our glorious past. Must visit place for devotee of Lord Shiva.

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  • Our heir of Great Architecture - An Excellent Temple
  • Our heir of Great Architecture - An Excellent Temple

S.baskara rao

S.baskara rao5.0/5

4 reviews

Big temple

Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the centre of the city. Thanjavur is also home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region.Thanjavur is the headquarters of the Thanjavur District. The city is an important agricultural centre located in the Cauvery Delta and is known as the "Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu". Thanjavur is administered by a municipal corporation covering an area of 36.33 km2 (14.03 sq mi) and had a population of 222,943 in 2011. Roadways are the major means of transportation, while the city also has rail connectivity. The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli International Airport, located 59.6 km (37.0 mi) away from the city. The nearest seaport is Karaikal Port, which is 94 km (58 mi) away from Thanjavur.

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Piruthivi Raj

Piruthivi Raj4.3/5

9 reviews

Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, tamilnadu, India

Brihadeeswarar TemplePeruvudaiyar Kovil, which is also famous as Brihadeeswarar Temple, and RajaRajeshwara Temple, is located at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu state of India. It is one Hindu temple, which they dedicate towards Lord Shiva. It is one luminous example of major heights, which Cholas achieves within Tamil architecture. This temple is one tribute and one reflection of power of its supporter Raja Raja Chola I. this temple remains as Indias largest and Indian architectures one of greatest glories. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site as Great Living Chola Temples.This great temple is Indias one of most prized site for its architecture. It stands in middle of fortified walls added probably in sixteenth century. There is one temple tower, which people call as Vimana. It is 216 feet or 66 meters high. It is also one among tallest tower in whole world in its kind. Kumbam, Chikharam or Kalasha, which is bulbous, or apex structure on top of temple, people believe that it is made out of a single stone carving.There is one statue of a sacred bull or Nandi at entrance of this temple measuring about thirteen feet high and sixteen feet long. It is result of a single rock carving.Entire structure of temple is made of granite, whose nearest source are near Tiruchchirapalli, which is nearly 60 kms to Thanjavurs west, where temple is.Built by Raja Raja Chola I in 1010 AD in Thanjavur, Brihadeeswarar Temple is also popular by name of Big Temple and it turns 1000 years in 2010.

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  • Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, tamilnadu, India

Rathi Devan

Rathi Devan5.0/5

6 reviews

Architecture at its best

Architecture at its best. built using granite and its look was awesome. it will make you to mesmerize & make to capture photos in all direction. I wondered how the king brought those rocks and how he built those astonishing architecture.