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Google Earth Plug-in: Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur

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Brihadeeswara Temple or Peruvudaiyaar Koyil is located at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. It is also known as Rajarajeswaram and is the world's first complete granite temple and a brilliant example of the major heights achieved by Cholas kingdom Vishwakarmas in temple architecture. It is a tribute and a reflection of the power of its patron RajaRaja Chola I. It remains as one of the greatest glories of Indian architecture. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples". This temple is one of India's most prized architectural sites. The temple stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The 'Vimana' - or the temple tower - is 216 ft high and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The Kalash or 'Chikharam' (apex or the bulbous structure on the top) of the temple is not carved out of a single stone as widely believed. There is a big statue of Nandi (sacred bull), carved out of a single rock, at the entrance measuring about 16 feet long and 13 feet high. The entire temple structure is made out of hard granite stones, a material sparsely available currently in Thanjavur area where the temple is located. Built in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola in Thanjavur, Brihadishwara Temple also popularly known as the ‘Big Temple’ has turned 1000 years in 2010.

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