The temple stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The 'Vimana' – or the temple tower – is 216 ft (66 m) high and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. There is a big statue of Nandi, carved out of a single rock, at the entrance. The entire temple structure is made out of hard granite stones, a material sparsely available currently in Thanjavur area where the temple is located. Built in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola in Thanjavur, Brihadishwara Temple also popularly known as the ‘Big Temple’ has turned 1000 years in 2010.