In form divine, heritage takes shape
Tanjay periya koil, a light to drape
Glorious Chola dynasty, its soul does bear,
A thousand years standing, a testament rare,
Living temple, embodying heritage’s grace,
Tanjay periya koil, a hallowed space
The Tanjavur Big Temple is a Shiva temple built in the Chola architectural style. It is situated on the south bank of the Kauvery River in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. This UNESCO World Heritage site is over 1000 years old and remains a vibrant temple, gracefully upholding its rituals and traditions.
Interesting facts about Tanjavur Big Temple:
Magnificent Architecture: Tanjore Periya Koil is a marvel of Chola architecture and is considered one of the finest examples of Dravidian temple architecture. It showcases the architectural genius of the Chola dynasty, with intricate carvings, grand structures, and towering vimanas (towering structures above the sanctum sanctorum).
Giant Lingam: The main attraction of Tanjore Periya Koil is the massive lingam (phallic symbol) of Lord Shiva, which stands at a height of around 13 feet (4 meters). It is one of the largest lingams in India and is made entirely of granite.
Fresco Paintings: The temple is adorned with beautiful fresco paintings depicting various Hindu mythological stories and scenes from people's daily lives during the Chola period. These paintings are preserved remarkably well and offer insights into the art and culture of that era.
Engineering Marvels: The construction of Tanjore Periya Koil involved exceptional engineering techniques. The vimana at the top of the temple is made of a single granite block weighing around 80 tons, which was lifted to its position using a ramp and an inclined plane—a remarkable feat considering the technological limitations of the time.
Musical Pillars: The temple has a famous hall called the "Kanaka Sabha" (Golden Hall) with intricately carved pillars. These pillars, when struck, produce musical notes. It is said that the temple architects designed them to mimic the sounds of musical instruments.