This tallest temple in India’s Tamil Nadu is over 1,000 years old and its engineering is still a mystery to historians

One of the prized possessions of India is this Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil Nadu, which is an example of exemplary Tamil architecture during the Chola period.

Also known as RajaRajeswara Temple Rajarajeswaram, this temple is located in Thanjavur in southern Tamil Nadu state and was built by Raja Raja Chola I and completed in 1010 CE.

The temple entered the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1987 and is also a part of "Great Living Chola Temples". The temple turned 1000 years old in 2010.

The temple, which is the tallest in India and one of the tallest in the world, still remains an engineering mystery as it is completely made of granite and archaeologists still don’t know how the builders got such huge pieces of granite for construction at this height.

The temple is said to be made up of about 60,000 tonnes of granite.

It is also said that the shadow of the temple disappears at noon.

Here are some other interesting facts about the temple

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First granite temple:

First granite temple:
Archaeologists and histories still can’t digest the fact that how granite was carried at this height, especially when there is no granite quarry within 100 km radius of the temple. A huge 81.3-tonne capstone lies at the top of the temple tower and a ramp at the temple has a gentle six-degree slope.

No shadow at noon:

No shadow at noon:
This is the most bewildering part as the shadow of the temple disappears at noon. It is so designed that the viman (the tower above the main temple) does not cast a shadow at noon during any part of the year.

Whopping height:

Whopping height:
The vimana (the tower above the main temple) is 216 feet high. The apex structure on top of temple is believed to be carved out of a single stone carving and weighs 80 tonnes.

Beautiful carvings:

Beautiful carvings:
The temple has more than 100 underground passages, including the secret passages in the temple. The temple walls are adorned with beautiful colour paintings and murals.

Who constructed it

Who constructed it
The architect and engineer of the temple was Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Rama Perunthachan as stated in inscriptions found at the temple. The solid base of the temple raises about 16 feet, above which stone deities and representatives of Shiva dance.
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