Brihadeeswarar temple is one of the largest South Indian temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. Brihat which means "big, great, vast" and Ishvara means "lord, Shiva". The name means the "great lord, big Shiva" temple. The Big Temple was constructed by Raja Raja Chola I, the greatest king of the Chola dynasty between AD 985 and 1014. Built out of granite, the vimana tower above the sanctum is one of the tallest in South India. The vimana of the temple never casts a shadow at noon during any period of the year. The temple was an expression of the success of Raja Raja Chola's empire. The gigantic statue of Nandi (bull) is made of a single stone and is the second largest Nandhi in India. Besides these, each wall of the temple and the surrounding architecture are filled to the brim with carvings and paintings depicting the rich history of art, culture, mythology and science of the era.