Saturday 16 February 2008

Tanjai Periya Kovil

A 107 paragraph long inscription on the walls of the Vimanam records the contributions of Raja Raja Chola and his sister Kundavai to the Thanjavur temple. The temple stands within a fort, whose walls are later additions built in the 16th century. The towering vimanam is about 200 feet in height and is referred to as Dakshina Meru. The octogonal Shikharam rests on a single block of granite weighing 81 tons. It is believed that this block was carried up a specially built ramp built from a site 6 kilometeres away from here. Huge Nandis dot the corners of the Shikharam, and the Kalasam on top by itself is about 3.8 meteres in height. Hundreds of stucco figures bejewel the Vimanam, although it is possible that some of these may have been added on during the Maratha period. The Shivalingam - Peruvudaiyar, Rajarajeswaramudaiyar - is a huge one, set in a two storeyed sanctum, and the walls surrounding the sanctum delight visitors as a storehouse of murals and sculpture.

The long prakaram surrounds the great temple (500 feet/250 feet), and the walls surrounding the prakaram again go back to Raja Raja Cholan's period. The walls house long pillared corridors, which abound in murals, Shiva Lingams and Nandis. The Periya Nayaki temple within the temple is a later addition from the Pandya period, and so is the Subramanyar Temple sung later by the Saint poet Arunagirinathar.

Incidents from the lives of the Nayanmars, several of the 108 Bharata Natyam Dance postures, manifestations of Shiva (Aadalvallaan - Nataraja, Tripurantaka, Dakshinamurthi etc.) are depicted in sculptured panels or in exquisite Chola murals. Both the interior, and the exterior walls of the temple, are replete with images of the kind described above.

The sanctum, the ardhamandapam, the mukhamandapam and the Mahamandapam, although distinct, form a composite unit with an imposing appearance that awes visitors, forcing one to wonder how such timeless architectural feat was executed about a 1000 years ago. Entrances to the Mandapams and the towered entrances to the Prakarams are majestic. The grandeur of the architecture and the sculptural finesse speaks volumes of the skills of the Imperial Cholas.

Inscriptions refer to Shiva as Dakshina Meru Vitankar and Aadavallan. The Nandi, which dates back to the Nayak period, is housed in its own mandapam and it matches up to the grandeur and size of the temple. It is a monolithic Nandi weighing about 25 tonnes, and is about 12 feet high and 20 feet long.

Brihadeeswarar temple

The temple was built by Chola king Rajaraja Chola I. Construction was completed in 1009-10 CE.
his temple is a prime example of the Dravidian style of temple architecture The central temple known as the Periya Kovil (Big Temple) stands within a fort, whose walls were later additions built during the 16th century. The name thanjai periya kovil came from its original name "thanjai periya aavudayar kovil" (aavudayar being a local name of Lord Shiva). The vimana (main tower) of the temple is approximately 65 m (215 ft) high and is the tallest in the world.[citation needed] It was so designed that the vimana never casts a shadow at noon during any period of the year and also the tower of this temple is build by single rock

Tanjai Periya Kovil

The Brihadeeswarar temple (Tamil: பெருவுடையார் கோவில்; Peruvudaiyar Koil[1][2]) is an ancient Hindu temple located at Thanjavur in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and dates to the Chola dynasty rule in the 11th century CE.

The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples". This temple is one of India's most prized architectural sites. It depicts the amazing and outstanding efforts of the ancient Indians. The building that carries the main sanctum is known as the 'Periya Kovil'. This stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The 'Vimana' of the temple is about 70 meters and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The 'Shikharam' (crown) of Brihadeswara temple is itself very large and heavy (81.25 tons) and has been carved out of a single stone.