Art of Living and Brihadisvara Temple

Art of Living and Brihadisvara Temple

What is the news?

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has ordered an interim stay on Art of Living’s planned two-day event that was to begin in the picturesque Brihadisvara temple in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.

Archeological Survey of India (ASI) had granted permission to the group to conduct a ‘meditation’ programme inside the temple complex.

Art of Living said that it got permission from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department also. After the stay, the foundation changed its venue.

About Brihadiswara Temple

  • Brihadishvara Temple is also called as Rajarajesvaram or Peruvudaiyar Koyil.
  • Brihadiswara temple at Tanjore was built by Rajaraja I.
  • This is also called the Rajaraja temple because the Cholas were in the habit of installing images of kings and queens in the temples, in addition to the deity.
  • It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
  • It is an exemplery example of a fully realized Dravidian architecture.
  • Built by Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Brihadiswara temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”, along with the Chola dynasty era Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple and Airavatesvara temple.

Structural details of the temple

  • It included gopura, the main temple, its massive tower, inscriptions, frescoes and sculptures predominantly related to Shaivism, but also of Vaishnavism and Shaktism traditions of Hinduism.
  • The temple was damaged in its history and some artwork is now missing.
  • Additional mandapam and monuments were added in centuries that followed.
  • The temple now stands amidst fortified walls that were added after the 16th century.

Mahalingam and Nandi

  • The temple has  gigantic “Mahalingam” in the shrine, measuring 4 meters in height.
  • The second largest Nandhi in India, a monolithic Nandhi chiselled out of a single rock is also facing the sanctum.

Complete Granite temple

  • The entire temple is made of granite and it is the first complete granite temple in the world.
  • The granite stone quarry is not available surroundings of the city, It is not known where this massive granite was brought from.

No shadow at noon

  • The most widely belief about this temple is that at noon the shadow of the temple disappears.
  • The Brihadeshwar Temple is One of the outstanding temples in South India and as widely believed it is so designed that 14 tier pyramid shaped vimanam never falls on the ground at noon during any part of the year.

Ashta – Dikpalakas

  • The Brihadiswarar temple is one of the rare temples which has idols for “Ashta-dikpaalakas” (Guardians of the directions) — Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirṛti, Varuṇa, Vāyu, Kubera, Īśāna – each of whom was originally represented by a life-sized statue.
  • However, only four out of eight -Agni, Varuṇa, Vāyu and Īśāna are preserved today.

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