This celebrated Saiva temple, appropriately called Brihadisvara and Daksinameru, is the grandest creation of the Chola emperor Rajaraja (AD 985-1012). It was inaugurated by the king himself in his 19th regnal year (AD 1009-10) and named it after himself as Rajesvara Peruvudaiyar. Architecturally, it is the most ambitious structural temple built of granite. The temple is within a spacious inner prakara of 240.90m long (east-west) and 122m broad (north-south), with a gopura at the east and three other ordinary torana entrances on at each lateral sides and the third at rear. The prakara is surrounded by a double-storeyed malika and parivaralayas.