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The Peruvudaiyar Kovil is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva that is located in the city of Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is an important example of Tamil architecture achieved during the Chola dynasty. It is also known as Periya Kovil, Brihadeshwara Temple, RajaRajeswara Temple and Rajarajeswaram, It is one of the largest temples in India and one of India's most prized architectural sites. Built by emperor Raja Raja Chola I and completed in 1010 AD, Peruvudaiyaar Temple, also popularly known as the 'Big Temple', turned 1000 years old in 2010. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Great Living Chola Temples".
Thanjavur Periya Kovil stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The vimanam (or temple tower) is 216 ft (66 m) high and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The Kumbam (Kalasha or Chikharam, the apex or the bulbous structure on the top) of the temple is carved out of a single rock and it weighs around 80 tons. 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 granite, the nearest sources of which are close to Tiruchirappalli, about 60 km to the west of Thanjavur. The temple is the most visited tourist attraction in Thanjavur and the state alike.