Brihadeshvara Temple

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

Thanjavur (British Tanjore) is located at the head of the Kaveri river delta, where it dominates the heartland of Tamil Nadu. The favored capital of the Cholas (10th - 12th century), Nayakas (16th century), and Marathas (17th - 18th century), Thanjavur contains over 90 temples.

Brihadeshvara, also called Rajarajeshvara after its founder (Rajaraja I, 985 - 1012), was built from 1003 to 1010. It is the greatest of Chola temples, and was one of the largest structures in the world at the time. Its thirteen-storied tower (all temple towers in India have an odd number of storeys) is about 66m (200ft) tall. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Shiva.