Guide to Thanjavur (Tanjore)

A world heritage site preserved by UNESCO, Thanjavur or Tanjore is one great destination to see especially for the history lovers. The rock temples located in and around this city are the brilliant example of the architectural marvel of Chola rulers. It is called the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is well-known throughout the world for being the home of the Brahadeeswara temple, the magnificent palace, Rajah Serfoji’s Saraswathi Mahal Library, Art Gallery and also for its exquisite handicrafts like the Art Plate, pithwork, bronze icons, Thanjavur paintings and the classical South Indian musical instruments.

Having a great historical significance there is so much to explore here with Thanjavur tourism that you will never get enough of it. Indian Rides must see places:-

Sri Bragadeeswarar Temple

Built by the great Chola King, Rajaraja.1 and designed by his chief architect Sama Varma in the 10th century AD is an outstanding example of Chola architecture. It is one of the tallest temples in the world. The ‘Vimana’ of the temple is about 70 meters and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The ‘Shikharam’ (crown) of Brihadeswara temple is itself very large and heavy (81. 25 tons) and has been carved out of a single stone.

Saraswati Mahal Library

Saraswati Mahal Library, one of the oldest libraries in Asia, and stocked with over 60,000 volumes, is a veritable mecca for all bibliophiles. Fittingly, in 1918 when the library was acquired by the State of Tamil Nadu, it was renamed ‘Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Sarasvati Mahal Library’. Stocked with over 60,000 volumes and some exceedingly rare and one-of-its-kind manuscripts, Saraswati Mahal Library has on display rare Palm leaf manuscripts collection with bulk of the manuscript in Sanskrit, covering titles in medicine, music and literature.

Sangeetha Mahal

The Hall of Music or Sangeetha Mahal is located on the first floor of the Tanjore palace. This used be the auditorium where the musicians and dancers performed in front of the Chola and Nayak rulers. The hall was constructed in such a way that there is a balanced absorption and deflection of sound waves. The hall is also devoid of excess amplification. The water-pool in front of the stage as well as the decorations and perforations also helped in the deflection of sound waves.

Royal Palace Museum

Thanjavur is an important tourist destination that attracts thousands of tourists every year. The rich heritage can be seen in the huge collection of the antiques, images, paintings and art in the museum. The idols and the old sculptures from the age old temples like Brihadeshwara Temple and Gangaikondacholapuram Temple decorate the museum and allow the tourists to get an idea of the past.

Schwartz Church

The 18th-century Christ Church or Schwartz Church a legacy of Tanjore colonial past, stands to the east of the Shivanganga Tank. This church was founded by the Danish missionary, Reverend Frederik Christian Schwartz, in 1779. When he died in 1798, the enlightened Maratha ruler, Serfoji II, donated a striking marble tablet, made by John Flaxman and this has been placed at the western end of the church.

Vijayanagara Fort

Vijaynagara Fort is one of the popular historic monuments in Thanjavur. The fort, built in early 1550 AD, is located at a distance of 2 km towards the North East of Brihadeshwar temple or the Big temple.

Our Lady of Sorrows Church

Our Lady of Sorrows Church, known also as Viagula Madha Church, is a prominent attraction of Thanjavur. This is the oldest church in Thanjavur District, which is believed to have been erected even before the period of Veramamunivar or Constanzo Beschi (1740 A. D.), an Italian Jesuit priest and Missionary of South India and a famous Tamil poet.

Shiva temple of Darasuramis

Darasuram is home to Airavateswar Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Airavateswar Temple was built by Chola King Raja Raja II in the 12th century AD. This shiva temple at Darasuram near Kumbakonam is a UNESCO world heritage site and a treasure trove of Art, Carvings and Architecture.

Rajagopala Beerangi (Cannon)

This is a huge cannon placed at the eastern gate of the Fort. The place is called ‘Beerangi Medu’. The Cannon is amazing in size and the quality speaks of the metallurgical knowledge of the people of those times. The Beerangi is the biggest in India.

Tourism in Thanjavur district offers various options including the visit to some of the renowned places of interest, a number of places of pilgrimage and several festivals.

Categories:   India, South India

Comments