What are some interesting facts about Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur?

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

South Indian History is incomplete without a mention to The Lion King Raja Raja Chola and his dream-work, Thanjai Periya Kovil.

It is one of the tallest temple structures constructed 1000 years before with jaw dropping technologies and hard work which is difficult to achieve even in this present century.


Facts:

- Temple with several underground passes that connects various temples in Thanjavur.

- The murals on the temple walls were painted with the colors made from natural sources like flowers, fruits, etc.

- Tons and Tons of granite stones were used for the construction. The temple was constructed in such a way to withstand all type of natural calamities.

- Information about the temple construction on a daily basis, different kinds of poojas performed to worship the deity, festivals, jewels used in that period were given as inscriptions on the temple walls.

- Depiction of Bharatanatyam dancers showing 81 dance postures were carved on the temple.

- The statue of Nandi(white bull) at the entrance weighs 20 ton and it is carved out of a single stone.

- The biggest exclamation is the “kumbam”. The dome which is resting on top of the temple tower is a single granite stone. Resting a stone that weighs nearly 80 ton on one of the tallest temple structures in the world without any advanced technology is still a mystery!


Myth behind temple construction:

Temple won't cast its shadow on the ground.

Reality:

It do cast its shadow.


When Thanjavur temple was complete, the King Raja Raja Chola asked Kunjaramallan Raja Raja Perunthachan(the chief architect) - “Sthapati(architect) will this huge structure ever fall down?” The reply from the master craftsman was “ Even its shadow will not fall Raja” - this metaphorical reaction might turned into a reality!


If you know any unknown facts about the temple, do share in the comments below!


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