Legend of Brihadeeshwara Temple

Raja I ruled during the period 985 to 1013 AD. He built the magnificent temple of Brihadeehswara or Raja Rajeswara. It is said that the king was suffering from black leprosy. The remedy to get rid of this was to build a great temple to Lord Shiva after bringing the Shiva lingam from the river Narmada. The disease was the result of infliction of injuries to animals during his past birth as hunter, said his spiritual preceptor. The King did not waste time and within six months visited Narmada River with 64 merchants and brought the Shiva lingam. It is said that when the Shiva lingam was taken out of the water, it went on increasing in size; that is why the Lingam is known as Brihadeehswara. The King took his bath in the tank and was cured of his black leprosy. The glory of the newly enlarged empire was reflected in the grandeur of the great temple, a masterpiece of Dravidian architectural glory. Erected out of the spoils of the conquests, the temple is a fitting memorial to martial achievement. It towers as a monument of piety and religious zeal.