Posted On : 2023-03-29
One of the most sacred emblems of faith in the South is the Brihadeshwar temple. It is also known by different names as Rajarajeshwaram and Peruvudaiyar Kovil. The temple was built by Raja Chola, the Chola emperor in the 11th century. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Brihadeshwar temple is amongst the largest Indian temples, located in the Thanjavur city of Tamil Nadu.
Brihadeshwara temple is famous worldwide for its incredible anecdotes and fascinating history. It is observed that the shadow of the temple vanishes from the earth during noontime. Further, the fortified temple is built of 1,30000 tons of hard-to-carve granite stones. The temple is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its remarkable craftsmanship.
The top of the Brihadeshwara temple is carved out of a single stone weighing over 80 tons. It also houses a 216 feet tower which is believed to be the largest in the world. As you enter the premises of the temple, you are greeted by a 16 feet long statue of Nandi rising 13 feet high from the ground. On 1st April 1954, an image of Brihadeeswarar temple was imprinted by the reserve bank of India on the first 1000 rupees note. It emphasizes its cultural significance and architectural importance in South India.
The ancient Brihadeshwara temple is located in Thanjavur city in Tamil Nadu. Built on a Dravidian Architecture style, the temple is a treat for the eyes of the beholders. Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple every year to seek the blessings of Lord Brihadeshwara (Lord Shiva) and Goddess Peruvudayar (Goddess Durga).
A large crowd gathers in the city to visit the temple during the Krithika festival, celebrated every year in Kartika month. The annual festival continues for nine days in Visakha month, according to the Hindu calendar. Other festivals celebrated at the temple include Chithrai Bramothsavam, Shivarathiri, Navarathiri, Panchami Abhishekam for Goddess Varahi, Astami Abhishekam, and Thanoormadha Pooja.
The temple gates open twice every day for the devotees. In the morning, the temple opens at 6:00 a.m. The gates remain open for visit by the pilgrims till 12:30 pm. Again, the temple gates open in the evening at 4:00 p.m. The temple is open for visits till 8:30 p.m at night.
The daily pooja rituals at Brihadeshwara temple follow a specific routine. The Palabhishekam or morning pooja begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Vucha Kalai Pooja at noon. In the evening, the Sai Rakchay Pooja is performed at 6:00 pm. Finally, the Arthajamam pooja ritual is done at 8:30 p.m.
Pilgrims are allowed to watch the pooja rituals for about 30-45 minutes. The Abhishekam pooja ritual is held once a year on the occasion of Thai Masam. Naivedyam or prasad is provided in the form of all varieties of rice. The pooja timings may vary according to different festivals and auspicious months throughout the year.
You can reach the Brihadeshwara temple by air, train, and road. The nearest airport to the temple is the Tiruchirapalli International Airport. You can take a taxi or book a cab to reach the temple from the Thanjavur Railway Station. Tourist buses often drop passengers at the Thanjavur Bus Stand. From there you can take a taxi or cab to reach the temple.
Another more convenient way of visiting the temple is to book a rental ride from your state of residence. Reputable rental service providers like Japji Travel offer affordable tour packages with luxurious rides to the temple. You can easily pick a tour package according to your budget and travel preferences for a hassle-free commute with an experienced chauffeur cum guide.
There are numerous beautiful temples near the Brihadeshwara temple, including the Thiruvayur temple, Darasuram Airavatheswar Temple, Kumbakonam, Punnai Nallur Mariamman Temple, Darasuram, and Subramanya, Swamimalai Temple. Other tourist locations near the temple include the Manora Fort, Thanjavur Palace, Saraswathi Mahal Library, Siva Ganga Garden, and the Schwartz Church.
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