Rajarājeśvaram or Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
This is Brihadishvara Temple dedicated to Shiva is located near Cauveri River delta in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. Referred by many names - one of them being Rajarājeśvaram - it was built by the victorious Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD.
The Brihadishvara temple is recogized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Great Living Chola Temples’. Other temples recognized by UNESCO in the same group are Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple (73 km) and Airavatesvara temple (37 km).
Brihadishvara is a Sanskrit composite word > Brihat/d = great or vast and Ishvara = Shiva or the supreme atman-soul - hence the name Brihadishvara Temple. An exemplary example of Dravidian architecture it is also called as Dakshina Meru for its majestic Vimana that symbolically represents Mount Meru. Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil is called Peruvudaiyār Kōvil temple since located in Thanjavur is also referred to as Thanjai Periya Kovil [ Periya in Tamil means ‘great’]. How to reach Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur?