Friday, September 12, 2008
1000 india banknote with The Bragatheeswarar Temple on back ,
Rajaraja Chola, the Great Chola king built The Bragatheeswarar (Peruvudaiyar) Temple, also known as Big Temple. "In the twenty-fifth year of Rajaraja Cholan (A.D 1009-10) on the 257th day of the year the king handed over the copper pot for the finial at the top of the Vimana". It weighed about 235 lbs., and was overlaid with gold plate of the weight of 292.5 Kalanju or nearly 35 lbs. Troy.
Rajarajeswaram, as the temple was named by its founder, fills a large portion of the small fort (Sivaganga Fort), encircled by moat on the east and west, the Grand Anaicut Channel (Putharu) on the south, and by the Sivaganga Garden on the north. The temple is entered by an imposing gateway on the east, on either side of which stand two small shrine dedicated to Ganapathi and Mrurgan, and further through another Gopuram 90 feet high. This way leads into an outer court. A second and magnificent Gopuram further leads into the main court in which the temple is built. The inner court is about 500 feet long and 250 feet broad, is well paved with brick and stone. The court is surrounded on all sides by a cloister. The western and northern wings have Sivalingams consecrated therein, and there are paintings over these walls depicting sixty-four Nayanmars, sacred sport of Siva. The outer measurement of the temple are 793 feet by 397 feet.