Brihadishvara Temple

   The Brihadishvara (Great Lord) Temple was built around 1009 C.E. by the emperor Rajaraja Chola in the Chola capital of Tanjore (Tanjavur) and is dedicated to Lord SHIVA. It is the tallest of all extant premodern Indian temples and covers the largest area. The round stone crown on top of its soaring tower is estimated to weigh 20 tons; it could have been moved to its current position, 120 feet in the air, only by a construction ramp approaching from a distance. The temple is also known for its 250 carved LINGAMs. The luxuriant and elegant artistry of this temple has been praised over the centuries. It is considered among the finest pieces of premod-ern Indian architecture still standing.
   Further reading: R. Nagaswamy, “Iconography and Significance of the Brhadisvara Temple, Tanjavur.” In Discourses on Siva: Proceedings of a Symposium on the Nature of Religious Imagery, edited by Michael Meister, 156–169 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984); Pierre Richard, Tanjavur Brhadisvara: An Architectural Study (New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, 1995).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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