Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur
Temple

Brihadeeswara Temple

Brihadeeswara Temple snapshot

Rank 1
Ranked 1 of 38,
Sightseeing
in Thanjavur
Average Rating
6.5 / 7 1
69 Ratings & 52 Reviews

About Brihadeeswara Temple

97%
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 44
  • Very Good 6
  • 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

1 Video Reviews for Brihadeeswara Temple

Manoj Menon

  • Scout
  • Manoj Menon
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 215 photos
  • 22 Reviews
  •  23 helpful votes
  •  8037 readers
  • Posted Nov 5, 2016
Overall Rating
6/7
  • 1.2K

52 traveller reviews for Brihadeeswara Temple

WRITE A REVIEW
Sort by:
Saranya Devanathan

  • Guru
  • Saranya Devanathan
  • Cityslicker
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 934 photos
  • 281 Reviews
  •  2819 helpful votes
  •  300400 readers

"A temple with many architectural styles" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
At the temple office itself Mr. Vinoth, a guide for Rs. 400, was arranged to explain in English. He took 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 garbhagriha 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 Tamil Nadu government has asked for regular pujas. There was a long queue for the darshan 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 up to certain height. One can appreciate the joints in stone roofs just like Kerala's temples' wooden roofs.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Yugesh E

  • Tourist
  • Yugesh E
  • Lives in Thanjavur
  • 16 photos
  • 3 Reviews
  •  519 readers

"Brihadeeshwar temple"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Brihadeeshwara temple is a perfect example for Cholas architecture. It has lot of traditional aspects including many statues also. Definitely all people feel peace in their heart in the temple.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Yugesh E

  • Tourist
  • Yugesh E
  • Lives in Thanjavur
  • 16 photos
  • 3 Reviews
  •  519 readers

"Magnificent"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Payalgangwal

  • Tourist
  • Payalgangwal
  • 35 Reviews
  •  41 helpful votes
  •  19431 readers

"Wow! Perfect and beautiful architecture example."

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Feb 26, 2017
We visited Thanjavur in the month of November ... It is very huge and beautiful temple I have seen ... Temple was build by 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 surrounding 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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Jagdish Raval

  • Guru
  • Jagdish Raval
  • Lives in Ahmedabad
  • 503 photos
  • 412 Reviews
  •  141 helpful votes
  •  195135 readers

"Our heir of Great Architecture - An Excellent Temple"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Aug 24, 2016
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 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 13ft high at the entrance. The temple reminds us of our glorious past. Must visit place for devotee of Lord Shiva.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

S.baskara rao

  • Tourist
  • S.baskara rao
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 4 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  2478 readers

"Big temple"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jul 23, 2016
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. Mi) away from the city. The nearest seaport is Karaikal Port, which is 94 km (58 mi) away from Thanjavur.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Piruthivi Raj

  • Tourist
  • Piruthivi Raj
  • 71 photos
  • 9 Reviews
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  3312 readers

"Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, tamilnadu, India"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jul 6, 2016
Brihadeeswarar Temple
Peruvudaiyar 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 Chola I. This temple remains as India's largest and Indian architecture's one of greatest glories. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site as Living Chola Temples".
This great temple is India's 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 Thanjavur's west, where temple is.
Built by Raja Chola I in 1010 AD in Thanjavur, Brihadeeswarar Temple is also popular by name of Temple' and it turns 1000 years in 2010.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Rathi Devan

  • Scout
  • Rathi Devan
  • Lives in Ramanathapuram
  • 10 photos
  • 6 Reviews
  •  18 helpful votes
  •  8185 readers

"Architecture at its best"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jun 13, 2016
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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 3 votes

Mahalakshmi Vaitheeswaran

  • Scout
  • Mahalakshmi Vaitheeswaran
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 10 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  6018 readers

"Must visit place"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted May 31, 2016
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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Panneer Selvam

  • Tourist
  • Panneer Selvam
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews
  •  2493 readers

"A temple with amazing sculptures"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Mar 29, 2016
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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Other sightseeing options in Thanjavur


Brihadeeswara Temple Blogs

Best time to visit Thanjavur with family

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Have you been to Brihadeeswara Temple?