TANJORE, TAMIL NADU
The Sri Brihadiswara Temple in Tanjore is extraordinary. An incredible feat of engineering that could barely be matched today, but more than that, it is the carvings which adorn its walls and the stories which are weaved around every part of its history, architecture, priests and devotees which make this a fabulous place to visit. It is a constant hive of activity, morning, noon and night, some days there are dance performances, some days the cash the temple generates is being counted, but on all days it provides a fascinating insight into Hinduism and its devotees. The temple itself has exquisitely detailed Gopurams (towers) carved with images of Hindu deities on the outside, whilst on the inside the carvings are all Buddhist. For optical pleasure watch the sunset here as the hues on the its stonework, along with the flocks of swooping, diving birds, gives the temple a magical quality. In addition to the temple, Tanjore is famous both for its paintings and veena making, take time to search out these unique crafts too.