Brihadeshwara Temple

    Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

    Photo Credits: Ar. Harshan Thomson

    Thousand-year-old temple is reborn with LED lighting

    The historic Brihadeshwara Temple is a brilliant architectural marvel. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the massive UNESCO world heritage site celebrates the rich Tamil culture and represents the 9th century South Indian era through its intricate structure, carved from 130,000 tons of granite – a material that is unavailable within a 100-mile radius of the site.


    Supported by the Indian Oil Foundation, the Archaeological Survey of India sought to enhance tourism and ensure safety, while respecting and celebrating Tamil heritage. Given that the thousand-year-old Temple is an integral part of local culture, great care was taken to illuminate the structure in a manner that honored its rich history and grandeur.


    The lighting design recreates the Temple's majestic daytime appearance at night. The luminaires are concealed as much as possible and create visual drama with light and shadow by selectively highlighting and concealing specific features of the structure’s sculptures, murals, and inscriptions.


    A range of Color Kinetics outdoor-rated LED luminaires were used for their high quality, precision, and durability, including ReachElite High Punch Powercore, eW, Vaya Flood, and Graze MX Powercore, eW. ReachElite and Vaya Flood are mounted on roof of the side structures to provide general illumination to the top portions of the Temple. Graze and Vaya Linear located on the sides of the structure accentuate its architectural and artistic details from below, bringing them to life.


    Completed in February 2021, the Temple is a luminescent wonder. The new lighting enables evening tourism, while minimizing light pollution and maintenance.

    Project credits


    Archaeological Survey of India, supported by the Indian Oil Foundation


    Lighting Designer:

    Sarvdeep Basur, Kunal Gupta, Parveen Kumar, Lucent Worldwide



    Certified System Integrator and Electrical Contractor:

    Kunal Chowdhuri- Midas Electricals


    Share this page:

    Want to learn more?

    Browse our growing library of educational materials to keep you informed about critical and often confusing issues related to LED lighting technology.