Rajarajeshvara Temple complex: Overall view, central temple and shrine area, on a raised platform



Thanjavur was capital of the Chola dynasty from the mid-9th century AD to the mid-12th, in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple to Shiva as Great Lord (Brihadishvara) is a royal foundation of Rajaraja I (reigned 985-1014), after whom it is best known as Rajarajeshvara. It was consecrated in 1010. Size is its most striking feature, and in its time it must have been the largest temple in India. In addition to the tower (vimana) of the main temple, there are numerous shrines and sculptures, courtyards and two halls with pillared porches (mukhamaṇḍapa). The two dominant themes are Tripurantaka and Shiva as Nataraja.


Attribute NameValues
Alternate Title
  • Brihadeeswarar Temple

  • G. Massiot & cie

  • Temples

  • Architecture

Date Created
  • 1910-01-01

Date Digitized
  • 2007-01-01

Cultural Context
  • Chola

Place of Creation
  • +10.780556+79.141667

  • Thanjavur

  • Thanjavur,, Tamil Nadu, India

Departments and Units
Member of
Temporal Coverage
  • before or circa 1910

Record Visibility Public
Content License


Collections Featuring this Image
Architectural Lantern Slides of India (includes present-day Pakistan)


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