NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION The temple is in Thanjavur, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu
DATE OF CONSTRUCTION AD 1010
217 ft (66 m)
Jan: 84°F (29°C); Apr: 95°F (35°C);
Jul: 97°F (36°C); Oct: 90°F (32°C)
This magnificent temple, known colloquially as the “Big Temple,” represents the architectural pinnacle of the Tamil Chola Empire, which once dominated Southern India. The huge complex, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, and is decorated with statues and images representing the many elements of Hindu cosmology.
The pyramidal temple at the building’s heart stands 13 stories high, and is gloriously decorated with carvings of the gods. The temple’s inner sanctum contains a huge stone, which worshipers walk around as part of their dedication to Shiva. This is one of the largest temples in India, and at its height over 600 attendants would have served its needs.
Getting There Thanjavur is a 9-hour bus or train ride south of
Chennai (Madras). Brihadishwara Temple is only a short walk from the train station in Thanjavur.
When to Go Aim to visit between November and March, so that you avoid the hot summer and monsoon season.