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Indira Srivatsa
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Thanjavur Big Temple, The Architectural Wonder: Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, India Vijay Rajarajan Gopuram: This gopuram is built by Rajaraja-I and depicts the mediaeval chola architecture where the Raja gopuram (the entrance gopuram) diminish in size and the Karpagraham (the main deity's gopuram) is significant. The two huge 15 feet monolithic Dwarapalas on either side of this entrance is seen The 15 feet huge monolithic stone sculpture of the Dwarapala revals the Thattva (concept) that God is Everywhere as shown by the upper two hands and the pose of right hand index finger denotes that God is one and only one. On keen notice one can see a Elephant is being swallowed by a snake and the Lion standing behind. This denotes, even if one faces such a big problem as of this magnitude a strong stand (a firm belief in God) similar to that of a Lion's strong standing posture will lead ways to realize God. The temple is open daily. The sanctum sanctorum opens only during Pooja times. Please check with the temple pooja timings. Considering the technology of those ancient times, it is undoubtedly a marvel of engineering. More on this Grand structure, as we celebrate a thousand years of the ‘Big Temple' in Thanjavur – Rajaraja Chola dedicated it to Brahadeeswara, Lord of the Universe in 1010 – an ode to the monument that has never ceased to amaze with its simple design, stupendous proportions and grandeur! This “Big Temple” [Peria Kovil] in Thanjavur, is one thousand years old. Rajaraja Chola I commissioned this A TO Z INDIA AUGUST 2022 PAGE 6

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