Posted on: 25 September 2010

The great Pagoda at Tanjore with corridor on the northern side - 1869

Photograph of the Great Pagoda of the Brihadishvara Temple at Tanjore, taken by Samuel Bourne in 1869. The Brihadishvara Temple built by the Chola king Rajaraja around 1010, is a monumental temple standing in the middle of a large courtyard surrounded by smaller shrines. To the east, a monolithic Nandi is sheltered in a 16th century pavilion. On the north-west of the main shrine, there is a temple dedicated to Subrahmanya dating to the 17th century. The temple is entered through the east by two gateways. The tall pyramidal tower over the sanctuary reaches 70 metres and consists of diminishing storeys culminating in the octagonal domed roof and the golden pot finial. It is covered with miniature edifices and figure sculptures that symbolise the cosmic manifestation.

Source : British Library

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This monumental granite temple ,the finest example of Chola Architecture is now a UNESCO World Heritage sight.The temple basement basement is covered with inscriptions that give details of the temple's admin and revenue--and provide valuable historical information on Chola society and govt. The Reader's Digest--Penguin India has an excellent "Illustrated Guide to INDIA" WHICH IS A MUST FOR ALL THOSE WHO LOVE INDIAN ART AND HISTORY and has a superb set of pictures on its pages on Tanjore