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In and Around Tanjore - Best Places to Visit


Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the centre of the city. Thanjavur is also home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region.


Culture & Tourism

Thanjavur is an important pilgrim centre and a major tourist destination of Tamil Nadu. The most visited monument in Thanjavur is the Brihadeeswarar Temple, whose construction, the historian Percy Brown described as "a landmark in the evolution of building art in South India". Built in the 11th century by the Chola king Raja Raja Chola I (985–1014), the temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The walls of the sanctum are covered with wall paintings from the Chola and Nayak periods. The temple was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is replicated in the Gangaikonda Cholesvarar Temple constructed by Raja Raja's son Rajendra Chola I (1012–44).


Other major tourist spots in Tanjore include:

  • Tanjore Maratha Palace - was the official residence of the Bhonsle family who ruled over the Thanjavur region
  • The Saraswathi Mahal Library, established around 1700 - among the oldest libraries in India
  • Sivagangai Park
  • Tamil University Museum
  • Archeological Museum
  • Nayak Durbar Hall Museum
  • Rajaraja Chola Museum
  • Sangeetha Mahal
  • Navagraha temples (Temples for 9 planets) - located around a radius of 30 km from Tanjore


It is also worthwhile to mention that Carnatic music was codified in Thanjavur and the art flourished during the Nayak rule in the 16th century. The famous Bharathanatyam, a classical dance form of South India, had its major styles developed in Thanjavur.


Thanjavur is the base for the Tyagaraja Aradhana, a Carnatic music festival held annually during January – February at Thiruvaiyaru, located 13 km away from the city. Sathaya Thiruvizha is the annual birthday festival of Raja Raja Chola held during October every year which is of high cultural importance. One can cover all these places in 3 days and can imbibe the cultural flavour of the beautiful city of Tanjore


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