Amazing facts of Brihadishvara temple
Brihadishvara temple

Brihadishvara temple is the only shallow shiv temple in the world, situated on the bank of the Cauvery river in Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu, India.
The temple was built by King Raja Raja Chola 1 of the Chola dynasty in 1003 to 1010 A.D. and popularly known as the “Big Temple “. The temple comes under UNESCO world heritage site in the group of “Great living Chola Temple ''.
The Brihadishvara temple was built on Dravidian architecture also literally known as “Dakshina Meru (Meru of South) or “Peruvudaiyar Kovil''.

Amazing facts of Brihadishvara temple
The Brihadishvara temple is a Sanskrit word in which Brihat means Big, Great, loft, and ishivarn means lord, Shiva. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva but also for Vaishnavism and Shaktism of Hindu tradition.

Unique features of Brihadishvara temple:

Vedic architecture:  

Amazing facts of Brihadishvara temple
  • Brihadishvara temple built on Vedic principles of Silpa Sastra-  the science of stone sculpture and Agama Sastra- the science of temple building. 
  • The temple is an example of Vedic building technology. 
  • The Vedic structures showcased the divine technology of Hindus in ancient times. The temple is a living temple which means thousand of years held worship in it.

Granite temple: 

  • The Brihadishvara temple is the first temple in the world built from granite. The granite stone is the strongest stone in the world and hard to carve it.
  •  The temple used approximately 130000 tons of granite to build it. The granite broke by a special technology in which small holes were pierced in the stone and filled by water, after sometime stone-broke easily to get the desired shape or design.
  •  But no granite stone was present in the 50 miles surrounding areas of the temple.
  •   The sculpture inside the temple is covered by a thin layer of mortar to preserve it.

Interlocking technology: 

  • The Brihadishvara temple constructed from granite stone. 
  • These stones were attached to each other through interlocked technology and not used any binding materials such as cement.
  • The technology helps to stand temples in all types of disasters such as earthquakes, floods, etc.
  •  The interlocked technology and puzzle technology became held in straight temples for many years. The temple is the tallest free-standing temple in the world.


Amazing facts of Brihadishvara temple

  • The Kumban is a huge granite capstone in octagonal shape present on top of Vimanam. The capstone is 80 tons in weight. 
  •  The biggest mystery in the temple is how the capstone was installed in shikhara or the top of Vimanam.
  •  One mythology associated with Kumbam is that the Lingam of Lord Shiva in garbhagriha emits huge amounts of electromagnetic positive energy. The 80 tons of capstone was kept as a repulsive force so as to make energy revolve around the temple to keep the place pious and divine.


Amazing facts of Brihadishvara temple

  •  The Vimanam (temple tower) of the Brihadishvara temple is the tallest in the world and its Kumbam weighs approximately 80 tons.
  •  The height of the main Vimanam is 216 ft. hollow structure and often called Dakshin Meru. Meru signifies the center of the universe and axis of the world. 
  •  The hollow structure of Vimanam echoed in the temple during the chanting of Vedic mantras.

Nandi mandapam: 

Amazing facts of Brihadishvara temple
  • The idol of Nandi (Seated Bull) in the Brihadishvara temple built from monolithic stone which is the second-largest monolithic idol of Nandi in India with 2 m height and weighs 25 tons.
  • The ceiling of the mandapam is decorated with splendid images built by the Nayak dynasty. The face of Idol Nandi is towards the Shiva temple.

Ashta Dikpalakas:

  •  The eight statues in the Brihadishvara temple dedicated to gods of eight cardinal directions called Ashta Dikpalakas- Indra, Varun, Agni, Vayu, Eesana, Niruthi, Yama, and Kubera( N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW).


Amazing facts of Brihadishvara temple

  •  In most temples in South India, the gates(gopuram) are taller than the main temple tower (Vimanam) but in the Brihadishvara temple, it is exactly the opposite it means the gopuram is smaller than the main Vimanam. The gopuram is five storey and free-standing gopuram through which reach to the quadrangle.

No Shadow: 

  • The Brihadishvara temple is the only architecture in the world to have peculiar features.
  •  The shadow of Vimanam at noon never touches the ground.
  •  The main reason behind it is the structure of the temple which is big enough to absorb the shadow of the Vimanam on its base itself.

Dance Mudras: 

  • The Brihadishvara temple depicts dancers showing eighty-one of one hundred eight Karanas (108 synchronized movements of hand and feet) in Bharat Natyam were carved out.
  •  These parts of Karanas are mentioned in the Natya Shastra of Rishi Bharat.                                                                                         

  • Huge Lingam:                                                  The temple is dedicated to God Shiva and a huge lingam in the main temple (A phallic representation of deity). it is 8.7 m approximately 29 ft. high and is one of the largest monolithic lingam structures in India. 

Secret passage:

  1.  The Brihadishvara temple contains more than 100 secret underground passages that lead to different places in and around Thanjavur. 
  2. The passages were sealed if the people chose the wrong passage. 
  3. This can also be a trap for the Kingdom safety of Raja Raja Chola.

Temple paintings: 

Amazing facts of Brihadishvara temple
  • The paintings in the Brihadishvara temple showed great knowledge of colours and painting skills in Hindu saged. 
  • The Hindu sages used natural elements such as flower petals, coloured leaves turmeric, crushed salts, neem, and pressed herbs, etc.
  •  The lasting of such Vedic designs was ensured using medicinal learnings of Ayurved.


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  1. Brihadishvara temple is one of best temple in South India. Temple architecture gave us importance to knowledge about ancient Indian architecture. Thanks a lot give lot of knowledge.


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