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Tamil Nadu: Thanjavur or Tanjore
Thanjavur or Tanjore, situated on the prolonged banks of the Kaveri River, is a renowned spot
for its cultural elegance and is the district head quarter of Tanjavur. Classical singing forms
and Bharatnatyam dance form make the place a very special destination for the intellectual
throng. The impressive creations of Bronze idols will definitely grab your attention. Farming
is the chief source of income of the local people of Tanjavur. Mango, coconut and many
more fruits are produced in large quantity.
Pongal, the prime festival of whole Tamilnadu, is celebrated with lot of warmth and bliss in
Tanjavur as well between 14th to 16th January.
Thanjavur, located at an elevation of 59 meters, is the homeland of more than 3 lakhs
citizens. The temperature of Tanjavur varies from 32.5 degree to 36.6 degree Celsius in
summers where as the temperature various from 22.8 degree to 23.5 degree Celsius in
The city is built on both the banks of Grand Anikat, the narrow water body. The ancient city,
located on the northern banks of Grand Anikat, is well shielded by a wall. It looks like a old
fort which is very safe and secured.
Thanjavur was the capital of Chol dynasty previously. Numerous Chol histories are linked
with the cultures and traditions of the city. However, the city with its ethnicity had marked
its name on the pages of history from Sangam era (Before Chol dynasty). The compelling
architectural sculptures are still maintained in various temples of Cambodia, Thailand and
To let the world know about the victories of the Chol kings, the king Rajan, had constructed
an awe inspiring temple which is known in the vicinity as SriBrihadeshwar temple. Even
though a number of beguiling creations of Chol kings were destroyed long back but 74
temples are still recalling the long lost glory of Chol dynasty.
The Shiva Ganga reservoir is famous for its sweet water. Devotees who flock in to witness
the divinity of the adjoining places of Tanjavur must watch Shiva Ganga reservoir.
Periya Koil or the big temple or SriBrihadeshwar temple, about 2 km towards the north-
west side of the railway station, showcases mind blowing artistic creations. Temple lovers
are attracted to the wonder of the temple mainly due to its architectural grace and panache.
It was one of the richest temples of India earlier. The spiritual rituals were observed with
lot of fondness and admiration. 600 pound silver, 500 pound gold and 250 pound precious
stones were kept safely in the temple. More than 400 workers were there. Even though the
eminent Buddha architectures are prominently visible on the walls of the temple but the
blend of Jain and Shiva architectures are the real treats to the eyes.
The temple has got the recognition of the finest temple of India in Britannica Encyclopedia
in 1987. The artistic touch of the expert hands will surprise many. Britannica has also
recognized the presence of mind and skills of the artists who were solely responsible to
make the enamoring temple. The SriBrihadeshwar temple is also incorporated in the list of
world heritage sites of UNESCO.
The main entrance, located at the eastern side of the stunning temple, can be accessed
through two Gopurams or doorways which are situated at the south- west side of Tanjavur.
Numerous tales of Skanda puran are engraved on the Gopuram. Shiva is the main deity
who is worshipped in the prime temple. The height of the Shiva lingam is 3.5 meters. To
watch and worship the holy deity, devotees have to follow innumerable norms and rituals.
The sculptures of the deities, Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Ganapati, BHudevi and Lakhshmi are
artistically imprinted on the walls. Various idols of Shiva in dancing forms look marvelous for
their excellent architectures. 61 meters tall, 14 storied pyramid type Biman of the temple
is carved out of stones and is the largest in India. The weight of it is 81 metric tons. An
idol of buffalo, made up of granite stone, is built in front of the temple which is covering
an extensive area of 25.5 square feet. The 12 feet tall idol of Nandi, down on knees, has a
length of 16 feet. This is the 2nd highest idol of Nandi in India. The ceiling and walls of the
temple are decorated with wall paintings. However, the excellent looking fresco pictures of
Nayak kings were hidden under the eminent wall paintings of Chola dynasty. Various tales
of contemporary wars and sculptures of Shiva are embossed on the panels of the temple.
Fresco pictures engraved on the 7th and 9th chambers are notable. Numerous memorable
pictures and tales of Chola dynasty are adorning the walls of the temple. The sacred temple
is accessible to Hindus only. The archeological museum is an additional enticement in the
The Royal palace or Shiva ganga fort, about 2 km towards the north- east of the prime
temple, is covering a straggling land of 35 acres. Cross the water body around the fort to
get into the palace on the fort premise. Two pillars are located at both the sides of the fort.
Tamil University museum, royal museum and art gallery showcase valuable old coins,
musical instruments, clothes, weapons and pictures. The Saraswati Mahal library is kept
open for the ardent holiday makers in 1700. Books written in different languages and 44
thousands Sanskrit books are atypical collections of the museum. The wonderfully bedecked
Darbar hall is another special attraction of the fort. Assortments of bronze idols in Darbar
hall and audience hall are worthy of mention. The Sangeet Mahal also deserves a visit. The
structure of the Sangeet Mahal proves that it was a creation of expert artists. The ruins of
the fort still have the power to engross you.
The marble byas relief at the western side of the Skuarz Church is marvelous and
commendable. The doorway to the 7 storied Sarja Madi Bell tower, built in 1800, is closed
for general people.
Thiruvarur: 5 branches of the River Kaveri can be seen here in Thirubarur. Take a bath
to get rid of the committed sins. This is the birth place of the singer and foremost artist
(Tyagraja ) of Karnataka music forms. Raja Swami temple and Kamalalayam reservoir
are the attractions of Thiruvarur. One week long musical festival is observed to show the
respect to the great musician, Tyagraja.
Thiruvarur was also the capital of Chola kings. The Achaleshwar Shiva lingam of 10th century is placed in the Panchanatheshwar temple. The chief hall of the temple is built on
1000 pillars. The Gopuram of the temple looks attractive. 23 meters tall chariot, placed in
the temple premise, weighs 300 tons. Some people opine that 10000 people were needed to
drag the chariot. The car festival which is observed in March fascinates tourists.
Thiruvarus is connected to Nagore and Tanjavur by railways.
VPK Lodge, Sekhar Lodge and Royal Park Inn are the noteworthy places where tourists can
Located at a distance of 10 km from Tanjavur, Thirukandiyur, houses Brhma temple and
Harshabimachan Perumal temple both of which are praiseworthy for their interesting and
Bhelankani, the sanctified pilgrimage spot for the Christians, is situated at a distance of 90
km from Tanjavur.
How to reach: Tanjavur, about 351 km from Chennai Egmore, is well connected to
Chennai Egmore and Trichi by railways. Tanjavur can be accessed from many other cities of
Tamilnadu by road.
Where to stay: Sri Mahalakshmi Lodge, Hotel Karthik, Ashoka Lodge, RVR Residency,
Hotel Arya Villas, Hotel Sangam, Hotel Parisutham, Pandier Residency, Municipal Residency,
Manish Residency and Ananda Lodge.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.