Tanjavur

Sri Brihadisvara Temple

Sri Brihadisvara Temple

The rice bowl of Tamil Nadu, Tanjavur, is a bustling country town, 55 km east of Trichy. Tanjavur rose to glory, during the later Chola reign, between the 10th and 14th centuries, and became a centre of learning and culture. It is also the headquarters of the district of the same name.

Tanjavur is well known for its traditional handicrafts - art plates, bell metal castings, silk carpets, pith work, bronze icons, and classical Indian musical instruments. Out of the 74 temples, the finest is the Sri Brihadeswara temple.

Sightseeing

Sri Brihadisvara Temple

Built by the great Chola king, Raja Raja I in the 10th century AD, this temple is an outstanding example of the Chola architecture. Guarding the inner shrine of the temple, is the gigantic statue of Nandi, the Bull, while the walls of the sanctum are covered, with the wall paintings of Chola and Nayak periods, comparable to the famous Ajanta cave frescoes.

Tanjavur Palace

Thanjavur PalaceThe Palace

The Palace, adjacent to the temple is a vast structure of fine masonry, built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD, and partly by the Marathas.

Saraswathi Mahal Library

This library has one of the most important oriental manuscripts collections, in India. Established around 1700 AD, the library contains a collection of over 44,000 palm leaf, and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. Over eighty per cent of its manuscripts are in Sanskrit, many on palm leaves, some very rare or even unique. The Tamil works includes treatises on medicine, and commentaries on works from the Sangam period.

Tamil University

Established in 1981, the university is engaged in research and advanced study in Tamil.

Art Gallery

A superb collection of bronze statues from the 9th to 12th centuries.

Around Tanjavur

Thiruvaiyaru: 13 kms from Tanjavur is Thiruvaiyaru, where the famous saint Thyagaraja lived and attained samadhi. The famous temple at Thiruvaiyaru is dedicated to Shiva, and is known as Panchanatheswara. An eight day music festival is held here, every January, in honour of the saint.

Thirukandiyur: The temples at Thirukandiyur (10 kms away), are dedicated to Brahmasirekandeswarar and Harshavimochana Perumal, and are noted for their fine sculptural work.

Tiruvarur (55 km) has the Thyagarajaswami Temple famous for the largest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. Tiruvarur is also the birth place of saint Thyagaraja.

Swamimalai: Located 32 kms away, Swamimalai has one of the six abodes (Arupadaiveedu) dedicated to Lord Subramanya.

Kumbakonam: Famous for the Mahamaham festival held every 12 years, Kumbakonam, 36 kms from Tanjore, also boasts of five temples. The important ones among them are Sarangapani, Kumbeswarar, Nageswara and Ramaswamy temples. These temples are noted for their semi erotic sculpture.

Darasuram: Darasuram, 34 kms away, has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which was built by Rajendra Chola. It also boasts a silk weaving centre.

Tirubuvanam: 45 kms away, Tirubuvanam has a 13th century Chola temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Nagore, 88 km, is a famous Muslim pilgrimage site, which is frequented by people of all faiths.

Velangani: 90 kms away, noted for the church dedicated to 'Our Lady of Health', attracts devotees of all faiths.

Point Calimere (112 kms) is famous for its migratory water birds, especially flamingoes. The best time to visit is the period from November to January.

Vedaranyam (104 km) is renowned for the festivals held on full moon day, in July-August and January-February.

Manora, 65 kms away, has a 8 storey victory tower which was built by Raja Serfoji in 1814 AD.

Tirunallar (101 km), is famous for its temple dedicated to Lord Saneeswara.

Festivals

The great Mahamaham festival is held at Kumbakonam, every 12 years, last held in 1992. To commemorate the saint Thyagaraja, the Thyagaraja Aradhana Music festival is held every year, in the month of January.

Access

Road links to all major cities. Connected by rail with Trichy, Madurai, Nagore, and Madras directly. The nearest airport, Tiruchirapalli, is 58 kms.

Accomodation

Hotel Tamil Nadu, TTDC Unit I, Gandhiji Road. Hotel Tamil Nadu, TTDC Unit II, Trichy Road. Hotel Valli, M. K. M. Road, Near Railway Junction.

Contact

Government of Tamil Nadu, Tourist Office, Jawan Bhavan, Head Post Office, Tanjavur

Tourist Information Centre, Hotel Tamil Nadu Complex, Gandhiji Road, Tanjavur

Tamil Nadu