Appealing with a touch of mystery

Travel tale

It was one of those beautiful and mysterious journeys which can’t be forgotten. Though I crossed this temple on my visits to my native place Thanjavur many times, I had never visited it.

The Brihadeeswarar temple popularly known as the ‘Periya Kovil’ (Big Temple) is a piece of excellent workmanship. Though the temple is a popular tourist spot and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, what personally appealed to me was its bag of secrets besides its grand architecture.

When I approached the main standing of the temple it took me to another world. I was totally amazed when I saw that the temple’s shadow never falls on the ground, especially at noon, which was the first point of interest for me.  As a main attraction of the Chola dynasty during the rule of King Raja Raja Chola, each granite stone of the temple portrays the ancient Dravidian architecture. As an unfamiliar person with the
Hindu traditions, I unfortunately couldn’t understand its depictions but somehow my friend Swathi informed me about the importance of the temple which dedicated to Lord Shiva.

We entered the temple in the evening and the view of the temple along with the cool breeze just made our day. We felt a unique form of energy that many might understand as the ‘holiness’ of the place.

It’s pertinent to mention the people in the temple who were inviting. They helped us by making us understand each aspect of the temple including the walls that have been built like a fortress. When I found out that many underground vaults were built for hiding and escaping the enemy during battles of the Chola rulers, it piqued my interest to another level.

The mystery is that only the people of the kingdom can travel or place their foot in the underground vaults. Still no one knows the secret of its underground vaults and few archaeologists across generations have tried but unfortunately they perished. Though the curiosity in me made me approach the temple head to find out the truth, he was very reluctant to reveal.

Meanwhile, Swathi explained that people of the temple know all the secrets but they can’t reveal to anyone including the higher officials of the government.

We acquired that the people of the temple personally believe that revealing of the temple’s secret will be against the will of God. I still wanted to find out more, but it was time to leave. Yet, it was a simple journey shrouded in mystery which made it an exciting place to visit.

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