Tanjore Temple: all you need to know before visiting.

The land of temples -India is home to some of the most beautiful, historic, and architecturally fabulous temples in the world. Often a hot topic for researchers when it comes to building techniques and heights achieved in ancient times as compared to the technological progress achieved in building monuments today. The Tanjore Temple is an architectural marvel, which stumps historians even today.

While this temple is closed temporarily, just like all the others in India, we hope you have enough information around it to plan a trip to this wonder when its doors open.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Thanjavur Brihadeshwara Temple, symbolises heritage and culture of the Tamilnadu state. Locally known as the Thanjavur Periya Kovil, this temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and is one of the largest temples in India. King Raja Raja Cholan had this temple built between 984 A.D. and 1010 A.D. The temple shows the creative skills and affluence of the Chola kingdom

History

Arulmozhivarman, the emperor, popularly known as Rajaraja Chola I, was a Lord Shiva devotee and laid the foundations of the Tanjore temple after he dreamt about it in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). This temple was the center of most festivals celebrated in the Chola kingdom and it served as the center of economic and religious activities. Villages from the country provided human resources and material to maintain the temple.

Location

Called the Big Temple, it lies is in the Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu. Built on the banks of the river Cauvery, where the water was diverted to the moat, this temple is made entirely of granite, and it stands tall amidst fortified walls. The closest airports are Tiruchirappalli and Madurai and closest seaport is the Karaikal port.

The Tanjore temple is on the top Archaeologist List of top picks for its unsolved mysteries and engineering feats in the 11th -century.

Places to visit while visiting Tanjore Temple

1. Airavateshwara Temple: It is one of the greatest living Chola temples in Darasuram, Tanjavur. The legends say Lord Shiva’s white elephant Airawat worshipped the Lord to clear the curse Sage Durvasa gave him. A visit to this temple is a must.

2. Thanjavur Royal Palace: Located inside the Vijayanagara fort complex, the royal palace was once the residence of the Nayak Kings. The Nayak Hall, Saraswati Mahal library and the durbar hall are worth a visit.

3. Gangaikonda Temple: The architectural brilliance of Thanjavur does not end with the Tanjore temple. The 1000-year old Gangaikonda temple is an instance of the beautiful temple carvings, engineering virtuoso and historic significance of the Chola reign. It is a part of the UNESCO’s Living Chola temples World Heritage sites.

4. Vijayanagar Fort: Just 2-km away from the Brahadeeswara temple lies the celebrated Vijayanagar Fort. This stately fort was built partly by the Nayak and the Maratha monarchs in early 1550 AD. The Shiva Ganga Gardens are also a part of the complex. Though the fort is mostly in ruins today, it still resonates the métier and opulence it must have once had.

Read More : Things to Do in Thanjavur

How to reach the temple

The temple is easily accessible with direct flights to Tiruchirappalli or Madurai or the nearest railway station Thanjavur or Trichy. You can even use the bus or local taxi to reach Thanjavur.

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