A celebrated abode of Lord Shiva in South India.
The majestic Chola temple is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO- making it an important monument to be protected Internationally.
The temple is built by Sri RajaRaja Chola in 10nth Century AD. Legend is that he had a dream on which Lord Shiva appeared and asked him to build a grand abode to Lord Shiva for the King’s worship.
One striking feature of the temple is its architecture. Lavish display of architectural skills of Chola builders are wonderful. The structure housing the sanctum sanctorum itself is a master piece. Its built on a single granite stone weighing about 80 tonnes.
The temple has the tallest vimana of about 216 feet. It is multilayer-ed and each and every space of each layer is filled with sculptures by the master craftsmen.
The round kamana, atop this vimana, is eye-catching. It is built of a single granite stone weighing about 85 tonnes. One can only wonder how this massive structure was placed at the top during those time when cranes are even undreamt off!!
Belief is that the Chola builders placed this massive structure on the top with the help of elephants. They made a road on both side of the viamana and elephants carried the massive kamana from one side and after placing that on the top, elephants returned by the road on the opposite side. After the fixation is over, it is believed, the road on two sides where removed making it what we saw now !
The main structure is surrounded by a spacious open court. A big Nandi statue, made of a single granite stone and the artistically built sabhamandap which houses the Nandi statue is note worthy. They testifies the skill and mettle of the Chola builders of the time.
Entrance to the temple is through five Gopuras, followed by one another.
The grand hindu temple is a must visit to a temple lover.
Temple is within the Thanjavur town, only three kilometers from the railway station.