Brihadeeswarar temple’s architect, history and of course it’s secrets urged my interest during my dance class session. The beauty of Brihadeeswarar is that the more you get to know about it, the more you get perplexed and awestruck.

Known by names like tanjai periya Kovil, peruvudaiyar Kovil, rajarajeshwaram and so on, the Brihadeeswarar is an epic temple built by the chola king Rajaraja chola 1, between 1003 and 1010CE.

I would recommend everyone to visit at least once so that you will also feel the immense pleasure that I felt whenever I see this magnificent glory. With that I would like to unfold the secrets and facts of Brihadeeswarar Temple


 “I think there is no place in the World where I feel closer to the lord than in one of his holy places” by saying this I would like to give the preamble about the eponymous Brihadeeswarar Temple which is located in South India at Thanjavur which is a district in Tamil Nadu.

King Rajaraja chola built this temple as his way to show love to the great lord Shiva. Hence it is known as “the great living of chola temple”. Rajaraja Chola was inspired by the Kailasanathar temple in Kanchipuram to build the Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur.

Etymology of Brihadeeswarar is ‘Brihad’ meaning great, boundless, tremendous and so on and ‘Ishvar’ is the other name of Lord Shiva.



       What if I say that the temple has more than 100 secret passages. Sounds fascinating, right?! These passages are to ensure the safety of people and for the smooth movement of the King, Queen, sages, military men during the time of need.

      It is found that some of the secret passages are closed by the government since they are labyrinthine tunnel where people find difficult to return safe and sound. Some of the passages are used to obtain freshwater from the other side of the temple in the present time.


        Another interesting architecture of the temple is the Vimana, tower above the sanctum sanctorum which does not cast shadow at noon. It’s still an unsolved mystery. Some of the theories are given here:

  • The construction of basement is huge and it absorbs the shadow, hence it’s not seen.
  • Some say it’s a mere illusion and does not work in reality.
  • Some others say the shadows are casted in the trees.

We don’t know what to believe or not , as it’s not proven practically.


  Do you know that the temple is entirely built by one of the strongest stone in the world none other than granite, which is not even native to Thanjavur. They used 1,30,000 tons of granite to build the temple but how did they carry the granite which cannot be found within 50km parameter? then the other fact which puzzled me was the design and discreet sculptures they made using granite .

Also, Brihadeeswarar temple is built without any binding agents like soil, cement or anyother binding agents. Another genius architecture of the temple. So you might be thinking how does the massive structures of this temple stand. Well the whole temple is built with strong interlocking stones before 1000 years.

Some of the theories are:

  • Shivalinga was brought from Gujarat which is 2100 kms away, so the theories say that they used elephant to transport them, as they were no vehicles during their time.
  • British colonists used the same method and same granite to construct buildings but they failed to do so.
  • Even Mughals tried to destroy the temple using various methods but failed miserably.
  • The theories say that they used special method for cutting the granite. They used wooden sticks by inserting holes in the granite and filled it with water, then they started to do the process of breaking for a longer period.


Even using present technology, it is difficult to carry 80-ton weigh stone but I can’t believe my eyes that they did carry the 80-ton cupolic dome using man power, it still astonishes and inspires lot of architects.

         Now do you understand why I said Brihadeeswarar Temple is a must visit place in your lifetime, so hurry up and add it in your bucket list and explore it.

The funny fact is that some people say it’s actually built by aliens ,as they can’t believe the facts!

I would like to conclude by saying ..,

“You are never lost when you see the Temple “

Happy Reading!

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