Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram

Brihadisvara Temple, is a hindu temple located at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu. It is dedicated to lord shiva.

I have visited this temple couple of times, and it never fails to amaze me every single time. The shiva lingam here is breathtaking. It was built in 1035 AD by Rajendra Chola 1.

This temple did not have the typical feel of a temple, rather it felt like a king’s palace/fort to me, with a deity inside. It has a garden and lot of open space surrounding it.

Here is the Dhwaja Stambha at the entrance of the temple.

dhwaja-stambha

There are 3 doorways into the temple. First one is the main door through which Nandi is looking at the Siva (Lingam). The other 2 are to the left and right of the main doorway. We can see Nandi facing the entrance door. Look at the intricate carvings on the Nandi.

nandi

You enter the temple through the main door. There is a Lingam in the sanctum sanctorum. The Lingam is 13ft tall, making it one of the largest linga’s. Once you pray to the lingam, you can exit through the left or the right door. This is how the left entrance looks

left-entrance

One of the carvings near the left doorway. The intricate carvings were mind blowing. The details on the carvings are something to take note of. Have a look at the crown of the deity here and also the arch.

intricate-carving

The Vimana is 180ft high. Shown pic is taken from as soon as one exits through the left entrance from the main temple. We can see there are lot of sculptures for various hindu gods.

vimana

Here is a carving of Vinayaka (Lord Ganehsa)

vinayaka

Here are some carvings. Zoom in and check out all the carvings in the below picture.

more-carvings

I found some inscriptions on the right side of the temple. I think they are in Tamil.

inscriptions