A commemorative postage stamp on the 1000 years of Construction of Peruvudaiyaar Kovil (Dhakshina Meru), a Shiva temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as “Great Living Chola Temples” :
Issued on Sep 26, 2010
Issued for : India Post is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Brihadeeswarar Temple on the completion of 1000 Years of construction.
Stamp & FDC : Brahm Prakash
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
- Brihadeeswarar Temple was built by King Raja Raja–1 of Chola dynasty at Thanjavur, the capital of his Kingdom, in Tamil Nadu.
- Originally named as Rajarajeswaram by Raja Raja Chola, it is now called Brihadeeswaram in Sanskrit & Peruvudaiyarkoli in Tamil. The construction of this granite temple began in AD 1003-04 and it was consecrated in the year AD 1009-10. One of the outstanding temples in South India, the Brihadeeswarar Temple is a tribute to the Chola dynasty’s power, wealth and artistic merit. It showcases the pure form of Dravida temple architecture and mathematical prowess & symmetry, covering the skills of architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting.
- The temple occupies an area measuring 800′ x 400′. The 64.8 m tall tower over the sanctum sanctorum is testimony to the engineering skill of the Cholas. 13 tier pyramid shaped vimanam (tower) raised from a square base is topped by a huge monolithic cupola carved from an 81.3 tonne block of granite. It was raised with the aid of a 6 km long inclined plane.
- Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the sanctum sanctorum houses “Mahalingam” in the shrine, measuring 4 meters in height. A monolithic Nandi chiseled out of a single rock, measures 5.94 meters in length, 2.51 meters in breadth and 3.66 meters in height.
- The temple is replete with famous series of paintings by Chola, Nayak and Maratha artists. Beautiful Chola fresco paintings of about 1000 AD and the Nayaks paintings of 17th century can be seen on the four side walls of the central cell along the circumambulatory passage.
- A complete inventory of a number of copper, silver, gold and brass images gifted to the temple by Rajaraja, his family members, officers and others are referred in the inscriptions of this temple.
- This temple is under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1946 and is being maintained as a protected monument of national importance. Recognising its unique architectural excellence, UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Monument.
- Text : Based on materials provided by the proponent.