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Does Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple contain more stones than Giza pyramid?

Does Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple contain more stones than Giza pyramid?


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I have heard that the Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple or Periya Kovil has more stones than the Giza Pyramid.

Upon performing a Google search on this, I found a website and a blog stating that Brihadeeswarar Temple has more number of stones. But I could not find any valid reference (sch as references to books,journals, etc… ) on this point.

Is it true that Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple has more number of stones than Giza pyramid?


The statement that the Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple or Periya Kovil has more stones than the Giza pyramid is highly doubtful.

Here is why:

First let us set out some assumptions so as to help us calculate the size of both monuments, otherwise the only way to settle the question is to go and count every block which would be rather tedious. The assumptions I have made are as follows:

  • We do not take into account internal spaces within both complexes and treat them as being a whole structure made up of blocks.
  • The metric for measuring the number of stone blocks used is as mentioned in your comment: blocks of 1.27m x 1.27m x 0.71m.
  • The formula for calculating the volume of a pyramid is: Volume = Area of Base x Height / 3.
  • The Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple will be treated as two geometric entities which will be added together to obtain the total volume. The first entity is a rectangular based pyramid. The second entity is a rectangular prism, which we will assume has a constant height from its' highest point, the gopuram.

Now, to calculate the volume and the number of blocks in the Great pyramid of Giza: The base measures 230,4 m by 230,4 m and when constructed had a height of 146,5 m. The volume of the Great pyramid is thus:

V = 230,4² * 146,5/3

V = 2592276,48 m³

The volume of an agreed block is :

V = 1,27 * 1,27 * 0,71

V = 1,145 m³

The number of blocks in the Great pyramid is then:

Nb. Blocks = 2592276,48 / 1,145

Nb. Blocks = 2263996,93 Blocks.

Let's turn to the Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple now, the first entity is a rectangular based pyramid. The dimensions of this pyramid are 27,095 m by 36,226 m and a height of 66 m. The second entity is a rectangular prism of 48,805 m by 66,772 m and 30 m high. The dimensions for the footprint of the monument have been estimated from Google maps and the provided scale.

V = 27,095 * 36,226 * 66 / 3 + 30 * 48,805 * 66,772

V = 119358,18 m³

Nb. Blocks = 104242,95 Blocks.

Now, to compare:

2263996,93 Blocks for the Great pyramid of Giza.

104242,95 Blocks for the Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple.

I think we can agree that the Great pyramid contains more stone than the Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple and by a factor of roughly 21.


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