Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur

Brihadeeswara Temple

Brihadeeswara Temple snapshot

Rank 1
Ranked 1 of 38,
in Thanjavur
Average Rating
6.5 / 7 1
66 Ratings & 49 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 41
  • 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

49 traveller reviews for Brihadeeswara Temple

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  • Tourist
  • Payalgangwal
  • 35 Reviews
  •  37 helpful votes
  •  16427 readers

"Wow! Perfect and beautiful architecture example."

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
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.
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Jagdish Raval

  • Guru
  • Jagdish Raval
  • Lives in Ahmedabad
  • 501 photos
  • 407 Reviews
  •  106 helpful votes
  •  170988 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.
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S.baskara rao

  • Tourist
  • S.baskara rao
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 4 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  2016 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.
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Piruthivi Raj

  • Tourist
  • Piruthivi Raj
  • 71 photos
  • 9 Reviews
  •  6 helpful votes
  •  2756 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.
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Rathi Devan

  • Scout
  • Rathi Devan
  • Lives in Ramanathapuram
  • 10 photos
  • 6 Reviews
  •  16 helpful votes
  •  7542 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.
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  • 2 votes

Mahalakshmi Vaitheeswaran

  • Scout
  • Mahalakshmi Vaitheeswaran
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 9 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  5617 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.
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Panneer Selvam

  • Tourist
  • Panneer Selvam
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews
  •  2264 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.
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Sunil Kumar

  • Scout
  • Sunil Kumar
  • Lives in Tiruchirapalli
  • 7 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  4672 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
  •  1551 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
  •  1475 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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