The Tanjore Temple or Thanjavur Temple is a temple dedicated to lord Shiva known as Brihadeshwara or Brihatheeshwara. This temple built by a Chola king called Raja Raja Chola is place of many mysteries. This famous Tanjore Temple was built over 1000 years ago fully with Granite stones. The temple’s dome raises upto height of 216 feet has withstood all the weak and violent disturbances of nature – winds, rainfalls, storms.
The Great Tanjore Temple is built of interlocking stones without any binding material. Even with the most modern technologically of today such a feat is not possible. According to the experts such highly developed, flawless and perfect temple was built by following the occult science of Vedas.
Here are some mysteries of behind the Thanjavur’s Brihadeshwar Temple:
1. Underground passages all over the Temple
It is believed that the temple houses more than 100 underground passages. Few even connect to the Raja Raja Chola palace. These secret passages were used by important government officials and by the King himself.
It is believed that the tunnels were made wide enough to let even a whole horse ride inside it.
2. Huge capstone of the temple
The capstone which weight 80 tonnes is placed on the top of the temple. Considering the period when it was built, it is probably impossible to lift such a huge stone and place it high in a height of 216 feet. The only medium of strong carriers were elephants. It seems completely mysterious to think how they made it happen just with elephants.
With the same capstone there comes the engineering marvel too. It was built in such a manner that the shadow of the head capstone never hits the ground. Masters of the architecture wonder over this architectural marvel built by Cholas.
3. Paintings of the Brihadeshwara temple
Believe it or not, all these were made centuries ago using natural ingredients like flower petal extracts, turmeric powder, neem extracts and other natural colouring agents. They still look visible and bright enough to get admired!
4. Usage of granite stones for the temple construction
The entire temple was built using granite stones. The most astonishing fact was that, archaeological evidences suggest there were no traces of granite sources in the nearby area of the temple complex. It is said all these were brought miles afar just using the only way of carriers – The elephants. It is also the fact that each granite block weighed tonnes, so how was it possible to bring such heavy granite blocks with the help of Elephants.
5. Cutting and carving of Granite Stones
It is just like the above the granite stones are cut in these modern days. Even this looks hard and robust to make it get broken. A fact says it takes minimum of one hour and gallons and gallons of water to break these stones(even these days). Imagine the period when this temple was built, it would have needed extreme efforts to get them broken. How did the Cholas make it happen in their life time? A mystery!
6. Secret passages inside The Temple
This passage was totally different from the other underground passages. These so called secret passages were used by the Royals and their subordinates in their extreme emergencies like ambush enemy attack when the only way left for them to protect the nation is to survive first and face the rest later. These passages were highly confidential that they were discovered only generations later for the commoners.
7. Second biggest Nandi
The Nandi statue located at the entrance of the temple is said to be carved out of a single rock. It is the second biggest Monolithic Nandi in India.
Considering every mystery and every astonishing fact residing behind this Temple, it can be said it is a wonder in itself. This temple is also listed in the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. So these were the secrets about the most famous Thanjavur’s Brihadeshwara Temple of South India.