Tamil Nadu is a land which is dotted with numerous magnificent and famous temples. Some of these temples are even known throughout the world. Most of these temples are ancient and are also the finest examples of Indian architecture. These temples are either dedicated to Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu. Among all these temples Brihadeeswara Temple of Thanjavur is one of the oldest Shiva temples. Brihadeeswara temple is approximately 1000 years old and was built by Raja raja Chola in 1010 AD. It is also a world heritage site.
Brihadeeswara Temple of Tamil Nadu is a brilliant example of Tamil architecture and it is also the first granite temple of the world. The temple tower is 66 m high and it has a 16 feet long and 13 feet high statue of Nandi carved out of a single rock at the entrance of Brihadeeswara temple. This building was built as a royal temple which used to maintain a staff of 600 people including priests, record keepers, musicians, flower merchants etc. The walls of this temple complex are built like a fortress. Brihadeeswara temple building consists of a 63 meters Shikhara, a main temple which has Mandapam and sub shrines. At the entrance of this Temple is a huge Nandi statue. At the innermost sanctum there is a huge stone Lingam which is about 8.7 m in height. The walls of the temple have many sculptures of gods and goddesses beautifully carved on it. Many mythological animals and legends can be seen on these walls in the form of paintings which are designed by Chola artists.