Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur

Brihadeeswara Temple

Brihadeeswara Temple snapshot

Rank 1
Ranked 1 of 38,
in Thanjavur
Average Rating
6.5 / 7 1
61 Ratings & 45 Reviews

About Brihadeeswara Temple

voted as clean
    • Not Allowed: Pets
    • Timings - Opening & Closing: Monday - Friday: 6.00 AM - 9.00 PM , Saturday: 6.00 AM - 9.00 PM , Sunday: 6.00 AM - 9.00 PM , Public Holidays: 6.00 AM - 9.00 PM

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 this Sightseeing

Experience scale
  • Excellent 38
  • Very Good 5
  • Good 2
  • Average 0
  • Below Average 0
  • Poor 0
  • Terrible 0
Travellers recommend
  • Best Time:  During Sunset
  • Length of visit:  1-2hrs
Facilities available
  • Food available for purchase
  • Bathroom facilities
  • Camera/Video allowed
  • Wearing of shoes/footwear allowed
  • Lockers/Storage

45 traveller reviews for Brihadeeswara Temple

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Rathi Devan

  • Scout
  • Rathi Devan
  • Lives in Ramanathapuram
  • 10 photos
  • 4 Reviews
  •  10 helpful votes
  •  2947 readers

"Architecture at its best" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
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.
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Mahalakshmi Vaitheeswaran

  • Scout
  • Mahalakshmi Vaitheeswaran
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 8 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  2718 readers

"Must visit place" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
Brihadeeswara Temple or the Big Temple is the first foremost place to visit when you are in Thanjavur. One can admire the sculptural beauty of the ancient Chola dynasty. We went there during the last full moon, and we were blessed to witness the temple Poochoridhal - floral abhishekam. This temple is crowded during weekends, public holidays and full moon days.
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Panneer Selvam

  • Tourist
  • Panneer Selvam
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews
  •  592 readers

"A temple with amazing sculptures"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
As everyone says its worth the visit this small wonder of tamil nadu. Be it you are a devotee or a tourist, this temple has things for everyone.

At first the temple will attract you with its amazing sculptures and the shrine. The big nandhi is another highlight.

I would strongly recommend to visit the in built museum which tells more history on how the temple is built and mainly how it was protected.
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Sunil Kumar

  • Scout
  • Sunil Kumar
  • Lives in Tiruchirapalli
  • 7 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  2128 readers

"Big Temple made up of Granite stone"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Jan 27, 2016
Brihadeeswara Temple or commonly known as Big Temple among local people, is temple of Lord Shiva constructed by Chola Raja more than 1000yrs ago. The building and walls are still strong and there is no sign of aging visible. Temple is made up of Granite stone. A big Nandi statue is also there. Good architectural work. This place can be reached by Bus from Trichy. Food/Snacks stalls available in front of temple. Camera is allowed.
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  • 2 votes

Seshagiri rao k

  • Tourist
  • Seshagiri rao k
  • Lives in Hyderabad
  • 2 Reviews
  •  561 readers

"Amazing experience"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jan 22, 2016
Temple worth visiting art of chola culture and heritage and experience was fantastic. I look forward to visit when ever time permits.
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Rahul bhuraria  nh

  • Tourist
  • Rahul bhuraria nh
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 Reviews
  •  486 readers

"Beautiful temple"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jan 19, 2016
A must visit temple. Pretty big and clean temple. The architecture is very good. It's a pretty old temple. But it's maintained very nicely. There are no beggars outside the temple which is a good thing. The parking facility is also good. On the whole a must visit.
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S.m.bega  Raaj

  • Guru
  • S.m.bega Raaj
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 640 photos
  • 125 Reviews
  •  52 helpful votes
  •  21748 readers

"Absolutely Blissful"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jan 18, 2016
Majestic!!! Huge and Handsome!!

One of the most beautiful Temple in Tamilnadu, symbolizing the pride of Tamil culture. Hats off to the Designer and the team of sculptures for sculpting this monumental structure.

We went to this wonderful Temple on 15th January 2016 and stunned by its Architectural Brilliance!!! One of the most memorable evenings of our lifetime. The Glorious Golden Ball going down the horizon in the background and the Temple Tower (Gopuram ) in the foreground was such a fabulous treat to our eyes, took some gorgeous photos and videos to cherish for our entire lifetime.

Went inside the Temple and it was filled with positive Vibrations and prayed to Lord Shiva and sat in silence to enjoy the Bliss.

Must visit for all age groups when you are in Tanjavur. We stayed in a hotel very close to the temple.
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Bhupalam Kumar

  • Tourist
  • Bhupalam Kumar
  • Lives in Hyderabad
  • 1 Review
  •  491 readers

"A beautiful lifetime memory"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jan 16, 2016
A huge temple you can't even imagine. There is a big Nandi. The premises are neat and clean. We visited the temple at night time. It is very beautiful in lights. The architecture is very nice. We took lot of photos inside the temple complex. You must carry camera to capture the beautiful moments. This is part of our South India tour and although we have been to many places this is one of the locations we would visit again to see a bit more.
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Vinod Ponoth

  • Connoisseur
  • Vinod Ponoth
  • Lives in Kochi
  • 51 photos
  • 23 Reviews
  •  21 helpful votes
  •  9093 readers

"Periya kovil"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Nov 21, 2015
Periya Kovil means the big temple. A visit to Thanjavur or nearby places like Trichy, Kumbokonam cannot be complete without a visit to Brihadeeswara Temple. Of course if time permits, one should visit the temple during sunrise and sunset too. With the occasional call of the peacocks that reside in the adjoining trees/surroundings, this is one monument that invokes a myriad of pictures of an era that has gone by. Visits to similar monuments, sets the individual thinking on the depth of knowledge our heritage holds.
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  • 2 votes


  • Scout
  • Ganesh
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 3 Reviews
  •  889 readers

"Good Temple"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Nov 17, 2015
It was a very good temple that we visited and had ample of place for walking, relaxing etc. It's good to visit the temple after 5:00 PM, so that you will feel the peace and relax.
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