THE BRIHADISWARA TEMPLE
Let us now enter that imposing temple to acquaint ourselves with the rich heritage, those historical
luminaries have bequeathed to us and asses how best we can live up to their expectations by
implementing in Toto, if not at least a few of their lofty ideals and unsurpassable humanist thoughts.
This magnificent temple is called Brihadeswaralayam and is dedicated to Lord Siva, the most
compassionate among the Trio of the Hindu gods. It has several names testifying to the enormity of
its dimensions and immensity of sanctity. It is called Rajarajeswaram, Perivudayar Koil,
Peria Koil, Adavallan Koil, the Tanjore temple, beside Brihadiswaralayam to mention only
a few, all but tell that it is a big temple enshrining a very big linga in it.
It is appropriately called the Dhakshina Meru, suggesting thereby, that it is the Himalayas of
the South; needless to say, for its gigantic size and imposing vastness of the tower.
Its spectacular appearance and awe-inspiring eminence keep us exclaiming; "Sure, it is not wrought
by mortals, but it is the work of superhuman beings". Credit goes to Rajaraja I, the master builder
whose magnitude of patronage aw! enormity of expenditure materialized this super monument
mark it in a very short period of six years only.
glittering cap; for the craftsmanship of the sculptor touched the meridian of excellence, and it can
be said without any trace of doubt that it is the touch-stone of Dravidian style of architecture and
sculptural arts. And a splendid relic of their genius. Hence the unqualified praise by exert critics
like Ferguson, who said, "It is a perfect gem of carved stone work, the tooling of the stone in the most
elaborate patterns, remaining as clear and sharp as the day it left the sculptor's hands". A little
background helps adequate understanding of this monumental monument.