India is a land of rich heritage and culture, and temples form a huge part of that recognition. The Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu is the world’s first ever all-granite temple and it is 1,000 years old. By Kumar Shree
The southern part of the country is famous for a lot of things, and temples is one of them. While these are not only centers of religious practices and beliefs, they are also architectural marvels in themselves. Adding its name to the already long list of these marvellous institutions is the Brihadeeswara Temple. The 1,000-year-old temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu is the world’s first all-granite temple.
The temple is dedicated to the dancing pose of Lord Shiva—Natraj and reflects the power and glory of Rajaraja Chola I. Its walls and the entrance resemble that of a fort. While all of these facts are astonishing without a doubt, it is the granite part that takes the cake. 130,000 tons of granite was used to make this temple. Now, if you think about it, that amount is huge.
What will add to your bewilderment is the fact that granite is not found in any nearby area, which suggests that such humongous amount of this rock was brought in from other places. It’s noteworthy here that granite is one of the few stones that are tough to carve and it requires fine-trained hands to handle them. Given that, the temple adorns some of the most intricate designs you’ll ever come across—kudos to the carvers and architects.
The temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another interesting fact about the temple is that: the Reserve Bank of India released INR 1,000 currency notes in 1954 with the Brihadeeswara Temple featuring on it.
Address: Membalam Rd, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu – 613007
Timings: 6 am to 12:30 pm, 4 pm to 8:30 pm