Though the Challenge does not warrant a write up, I feel compelled to pen a few lines about this amazing temple, its architecture and carving. The Brihadeeswara Temple complex completed 1000 years in 2010. An UNESCO World Heritage site, it is one of the largest existing temples of India, located at Thanjavur, a sleepy town of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, built by Raja Raja Chola I of Chola dynasty.
Not a fanatically religious person, I’m not as drawn to all temples, per se, as places of worship. But this was one place which I did not have enough of the first time I saw it and so, made a second trip just to savour the sheer marvel in stone or rather granite. A material that would be difficult to work with using our present day tools, we should remember that it was made a 1000 years ago. The nearest source of granite is a good 60 km away, so all of it was transported. Another amazing fact is that the idol/ structure that is worshipped is several times larger than any doorway into the tower. The temple tower, reputed to be the tallest in the world is surmounted by a global structure weighing nothing less than 80 tons. This engineering feat would be incredible in today’s age! The geometrical symmetry that runs through the entire temple complex is breathtaking a tribute to the talent of the architect, Perumatchan from neighboring state of Kerala.
The beautiful murals, the monolithic Nandi (bull, Lord Shiva’s vehicle)- featured in the post – are but a couple of Marvels that the temple has to offer even to the most jaded tourist.
Given a chance , I would love to visit again, if only to pay obeisance to the rich and aesthetic sense reflected in each stone, in mute testimonial to the Incredible India of yore. Forever ensconced in stone.