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Thanjavur Periya Kovil History

Thanjavur Periya Kovil History


Thanjavur Periya Kovil, also known as Brihadeeswarar Temple, is a magnificent temple located in the city of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is an exemplary representation of the Dravidian style of architecture. With its grandeur and historical significance, the Thanjavur Periya Kovil has become one of the most iconic landmarks in India. In this blog section, we will delve into the fascinating history of this ancient temple.

Chola Dynasty and the Construction of the Temple

The history of the Thanjavur Periya Kovil dates back to the 10th century during the reign of the Chola dynasty. It was built by the great Chola emperor, Raja Raja Chola I, also known as Arunmozhi Varman. Raja Raja Chola I was a visionary ruler who had a deep devotion to Lord Shiva. He wanted to build a grand temple that would showcase the power and glory of his dynasty.

The Construction Marvels

The construction of the Thanjavur Periya Kovil is a testament to the architectural brilliance of the Chola dynasty. The temple is built entirely out of granite and stands at a height of 216 feet, making it one of the tallest temples in India. The most remarkable feature of the temple is its vimana, a towering structure above the sanctum sanctorum that is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. The vimana is believed to have been built using a single block of granite, weighing around 80 tons, which was transported from a quarry located over 50 kilometers away.

Religious Significance

The Thanjavur Periya Kovil holds immense religious significance for Hindus, particularly devotees of Lord Shiva. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Brihadeeswarar, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The temple also houses several other shrines dedicated to various deities, including Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Kartikeya. It is believed that a visit to this temple and offering prayers to Lord Brihadeeswarar can bestow blessings of prosperity, good health, and spiritual enlightenment.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

In recognition of its historical and architectural importance, the Thanjavur Periya Kovil was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. This prestigious honor highlights the temple’s significance not only in the context of Indian heritage but also on a global scale. The temple attracts thousands of visitors from around the world who come to admire its architectural splendor and experience the spiritual ambiance.


The Thanjavur Periya Kovil is not just a temple; it is a living testament to the rich cultural heritage of India. Its grandeur, architectural marvels, and religious significance make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, architecture aficionados, and spiritual seekers alike. The temple stands as a symbol of the glorious past of the Chola dynasty and continues to inspire awe and admiration in the hearts of all who visit.

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