Brihadeshwara Temple is located in the city of Thanjavur in Tamil nadu. Brihadeshwarar Temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva. Important festival in this Brihadeshwarar Temple was Maha Sivarathri.
Brihadeshwarar Temple was also known as "Peruvudaiyar Temple". Brihadeshwarar Temple is one of the largest temples of India and built built by emperor Raja Raja Chola. Peruvudaiyar temple also popularly known as "Big Temple". In ancient days, Thanjavur (British Tanjore), "the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu" was the favored capital of the Chola Empire from the times of Vijayalaya in 850 A.D. till the decline of the Chola Empire in 1279. Under the Cholas, Thanjavur thrived as a center for Architectural marvels as well as for Arts and Crafts, particularly, bronze sculpture and painting. Naturally, it goes without saying that many temples were built by them and all of them are fine examples of South Indian Temple Architecture.
In 1002 A.D. the Chola Emperor Rajaraja Chola I (also known as the Emperor Arulmozhivarman) laid the foundation of the "Brihadeeswarar Temple"or "Big Temple", at Thanjavur. It is said that the Emperor conceived the idea to build this temple, because he had been instructed to do so by the main deity, in one of his dreams.
Accordingly, it was designated as the Royal Temple, where major royal ceremonies such as anointing the emperor and linking him with its deity, Shiva, were held. This architectural masterpiece has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Brihadeshwarar Temple is one of the most beautiful architectural sites in India. The entire temple is built on the rules of axial and symmetrical geometry, displaying an engineering marvel of that time. Brihadeshwarar Temple was also popularly known as the "Rajarajeshwarar Temple".
The Brihadeshwarar Temple was built to be the royal temple to display the emperor's vision of his power and his relationship to the universal order.
Brihadeshwarar Temple is the first building fully built by granite and finished within 5 years[1004AD-1009AD].
The Temple "testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting".
The Brihadiswarar Temple is one of the rare temples which has idols for "Ashta-dikpaalakas" (Guardians of the directions).
The Temple is said to be made up of about60,000 tons of sandstone and granite.
Only granite was used to make the entire temple structure.
It is believed that about 130,000 tons of granite was used to construct the Brihadeeswara Temple.
Brihadeshwarar Temple is the tallest in the world.
Just at the entrance of the temple, there is a large statue of Nandi.
The topmost structure of the Temple known as "Kumbam" is also carved out of a single granite stone.
The entire temple is built on the rules of axial and symmetrical geometry, displaying an engineering marvel of that time.
The Temple maintained a staff of 1000 people in various capacities with 400 being temple dancers.
Besides the Brahmin priests, these included record-keepers, musicians, scholars, and craftsman of every type as well as housekeeping staff.
In those days the temple was a hub of business activities for the flower, milk, oil, and ghee merchants.
In April 1954, (much before the millennium celebrations in 2010), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued a 1000 rupees currency note featuring the Brihadeeswara temple recognizing its cultural heritage, (this note was subsequently demonetized in 1975 along with other higher denomination currency notes).
Do pray your Ishta Devata before pilgrimage to Temple.
Do contact Temple Devasthanam information centre for enquiry, temple information and for Pooja details etc.
Do reserve your travel and accommodation at Temple well in advance.
Do bath and wear clean clothes before you enter the temple.
Do concentrate on God and Goddess inside the temple.
Do maintain silence and recite Om Namahsivaya or your Istamantram to yourself inside the temple.
Do observe ancient custom and traditions while in Temple.
Do respect religious sentiments at Temple.
Do deposit your offerings in the hundi only.
Do not come to Temple for any purpose other than worshipping of God and Goddess.
Do not smoke at Temple.
Do not consume alcoholic drinks at Temple.
Do not eat non-vegetarian food in the Kshetram.
Do not approach mediators for quick Darshanam. It may cause inconvenient to others.
Do not carry any weapon inside the temple.
Do not wear any head guards like helmets, caps, turbans and hats inside the temple premises.
Do not perform Sastanga Pranama inside the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Do not take much time while performing Sparsa Darshanam to God in Garbhagriha.
Do not buy spurious prasadams from street vendors.
Do not encourage beggars at Temple.
Do not spit or create nuisance in the premises of the temple.