" Thanjavur History
Temples Cholas Architecture Thanjavur History
History of Brihadisvara Temple

The greatest of Chola emperors Rajaraja-I (985 A.D - 1012 A.D) the son of Sundara Chola (Parantakaa-II) and Vanavanmahadevi built this magnificent temple named Brihadisvaram at Tanjore - the capital of Chola dynasty. In later period Maratta and Nayaks rulers constructed various shrines and gopurams of the temple.


From the epigraphical evidence it is known about Rajaraja-I started building this temple on his 19th year and completed on 275th day of his 25th year. It took just 6 years to complete this work on 1010 A.D.

Rajaraja-I named this temple as Rajarajesvaram and the deity Shiva in Linga form as Peruvudaiyar, the temple is also known in the deity's name as Peruvudaiyarkovil (in Tamil language). In later period when the Sanskrit language was more popular during the Maratta rule the temple was named in Sanskrit as Brihadisvaram and the deity as Brihadisvara. Now-a-days it is also known as Thanjai Periyakovil (Tanjore Big temple).

World Heritage Symbol & Protected Monument.
UNESCO declared Brihadisvara temple as World Heritage site.
Archaeological Survey of India renovated and declared the temple as protected monument.
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