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Indira Srivatsa
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Thanjavur Big Temple, The Architectural Wonder: Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, India Vijay Raja Raja Chola The Great: Raja Raja Chola I [ 985 to 1015 CE] was an unequalled monarch who ruled the entire Southern part of India over thousand years ago, whose greatness and glory can still witnessed by the world by his magnum opus the Brahadeswara Temple in Thanjavur. It's not an exaggeration to call Raja Raja Chola an all round genius earning him the various titles which can be found in his inscriptions. Raja Raja built the Great temple of Thanjavur and covered the two hundred feet high tower with gold to signal his contribution. The temple survives to this day in its original grandeur. It is a magnificent haven of architecture, sculpture and paintings. Raja Raja was a staunch follower of Saivism but ensured religious tolerance and patronized all religions Saivism, Vaishnavism, Saktam, Jainism and Buddhism alike. Rajaraja-I named this temple as Rajarajesvaram and the deity Shiva in Linga form as Peruvudaiyar, the temple is also known in the deity's name as Peruvudaiyarkovil [in Tamil language]. In later period, Maratta and Nayaks rulers constructed various shrines and gopurams of the temple. In later period when the Sanskrit language was more popular during the Maratha rule the temple was named in Sanskrit as Brihadisvaram and the deity as Brihadisvara. Now-a-days it is called as Thanjai Periyakovil (Tanjore Big temple). A TO Z INDIA AUGUST 2022 PAGE 5

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