This huge temple which covers a large area of 10 hectares is one of the largest and most attractive temples in India. The temple construction was actually started in the 11th century, although much of the structural work was done during the 17th to 19th centuries. The temple has four large gopurams which are located at each of the cardinal points. The one in the east is 66m in height with 13 storeys in it. The main entrance of the temple is approached through a long queue on the narrow lane where you will find huge rush at all times. The temple remains open on all days from 6 am in the morning till 10 pm with a four hours break in afternoon. You will find a large number of beggars in the temple complex. Once you enter the temple you will see a 1000 pillared mandapa on the right side and a large tank on the left side. Along the straight path that leads the gateway to the main shrine where Shiva lingam is kept. Daily prayers are conducted here at five different times. It is a beautiful temple and the pilgrims have a nice time here.