Foundation of this temple was laid by Arulmozhivarman, a Tamil emperor who was popular as Rajaraja Chola - I during 002 CE. It is one Hindu Temple , which they dedicate towards Lord Shiva. It is one luminous example of major heights, which Cholas achieves within Tamil architecture. This temple remains as India's largest and Indian architecture's one of greatest glories. Temple testifies to Chola's brilliant achievements in architecture, painting, bronze casting and sculpture. Owing to its splendid architecture, it has been included in UNESCO Worlds Heritage Site as "Great Living Chola Temples".
It lies in middle of fortified walls added probably in sixteen century. There is one temple tower, which people call as Vimana. It is 216 feet or 66 meters high. It is also one among tallest tower in whole world in its kind. Kumbam, Chikharam or kalasha, which is bulbous, or apex structure on top of temple, people believe that it is made out of of single stone carving. Statue of sacred bull or Nandi at entrance of this temple measuring about thirteen feet high and sixteen feet long is result of a single rock carving. Entire structure of temple is made of granite.