The Brihadishwara Temple is brilliant in its structure and was built in the year of 1010 by Raja Raja. This is one of the most beautiful examples of Chola architecture and is the main attraction of Thanjavur. This is also called as the Big Temple by the locals. This has been declared as the World Heritage Site and a large number of people from all over the world come to visit here every day. If you are planning to visit, the early morning and late afternoon are the best times to visit as the sun rays make it appear more charismatic and you will enjoy the view of the place.
Brihadishwara Temple open for all days of week at 7:30 AM. to 12:00 PM. and 4:00 PM. to 8:00 PM. And it will take 2 to 3 hours to visit this sacred site.
The whole temple is spacious and there are several pillars in the halls and shrines. There are 250 enshrined along the outer walls. If you go through the inscriptions you will find the names of famous dancers, musicians, poets and many other artists from the history who have contributed towards the cultural growth of this region. There is a huge statue of Nandi bull which is in covered state. It faces the inner sanctum and is 6m long and 3 m in height. This is one of the largest Nandi statues in India and the most amazing part of it is that it has been constructed using a single piece of rock. It weighs 25 tonnes and the structure is amazing. This is quite different from other south Indian temples where the gopuram is the highest point of the temple. Here you will find a 13 storey Vimana above the sanctum at 66 m height and it reaches further high in to the sky. The amazing glided top is real although it does not look like one. If you go to the sanctum you will find a 4 m high Shiva lingam with a circumference of 7m. There is a huge temple elephant at the entrance of this temple who hand is used to accept the donations made by the visitors.