Each step that I took in the Periya Koil was nostalgic and I was imagining the days when the temple was built. Kalki’s description of Chola artisans came alive and I had goose bumps just by wondering how Raja Raja managed to design this architectural wonder, in those days! It must have been a herculean task. With capable leadership, strong design skill and raw man power, Raja Raja had managed to build an architectural wonder! It felt so good to walk on the same path of the 10th Century CE legendary ruler!
|The Maratha Fort Entrance and Keralanthakan Gopura (tower)|
The gopura (tower) you see in the above picture was built in the 10th century CE to commemorate the victory of Raja Raja Chola over the Kerala rulers of the Chera Dynasty! However, the Maratha rulers of the 16th/17th Century CE, added the fort that is shown in the foreground of the above shot.
|Layout of the temple and the inscription briefing about the temple|
This has been declared as World Heritage site by UNESCO, but locally it is yet to gain the due recognition:(
|2nd entrance - Raja Rajan Gopuram|
|Sculptures and inscriptions in the Raja Rajan Gopuram|
No words to describe the beauty, and am sure my pics do not justify the grandeur of the granite carvings!
|The majestic courtyard with huge Nandhi Mandapam and renowned granite Raja Gopuram (Main Tower) in the background|
Before, going into the main temple, you will be awed by the larger than life Nandhi. This will be covered in a separate post.
Lord Siva resides in this temple in the name of Brihadisvara or Peruvudayar. Like any living temple, cameras are not allowed in sanctum sanctorum.
|The dome is a single granite weighing around 81 tonnes!|
This tower is built in such a way that the shadow NEVER falls on the ground! Just can't guess how Raja Raja managed to design this architectural wonder, in those days!!!
Let me show you some beautiful sculptures in the external walls...
|Goddess - Sakthi on the left and Vishnu Durga on your right|
|Gate Keeper! - SOOC|
Even the less visible side walls are adorned with sculptures and stone inscriptions. In fact, these inscriptions are a treasure trove that details the life in Chola period.
Here is the abode of Murga, son of Lord Siva
Each step that I took in the temple was nostalgic and I was imagining the days when the temple was built. It felt so good to walk on the same path of the 10th Century CE legendary ruler!