Tanjore or Thanjavur is a beautiful town located in the prosperous state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. This is a prominent place in South India where people can bask in the bliss of architectural beauty and cultural heritage. In this Thanjavur travel guide, we will assist you in knowing all the details about Tanjore.
Every year thousands of tourists flock this town to get a glimpse of the splendor of South Indian architecture. Our Thanjavur tourist guide will guide you to go through this mystical city and help you in exploring the city to its fullest.
Once the capital of the powerful Chola dynasty, Tanjore was at its zenith during the reign of Chola dynasty kings between the 10th and 14th centuries. The famous Chola kings Raja Cholan I was the most celebrated ruler of Thanjavur who spread its fame and glory far and wide. After the Chola rule ended, the Pandyas, Naik and the Marathas have ruled over Tanjore but none of them could eclipse the glory bestowed upon the city by the Chola rulers. You can find great monuments like the Serfoji Mahal library (Saraswati Mahal library), Brihadeshwara Temple and many other classical Chola style temples.
Such is the architectural importance of these living temples of the Chola dynasty, that even UNESCO has taken its notice and has declared Tanjore as a World Heritage site. According to local legends, Thanjavur was named after the mythical demon Tanjan.
Tanjore is most famous for its exquisite temple architecture, with the temple of lord Brihadeshwara being its crowning glory. This temple is also known as the big temple and was built by the greatest Chola emperor Raja Cholan I. The tower that covers the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is 216 feet tall and it is one of the tallest towers in the world of this kind. The Kumbh located on the top of the tower weighs 80 tons and architects all over the world still put their fingers in their mouths on seeing this architectural feat.
Brihadeshwara Temple is located along with other architectural wonders in the Gangaikonda Cholapuram region of Tanjore. The full might of South Indian architecture will blow your mind away as you observe the exquisite detail of sculptures. Although these are ruins, you can easily imagine the glory of Tanjore during its zenith on seeing these ruins.
Another place worth visiting in Thanjavur is the Vijayanagar Fort which was built by Maratha rulers during the 16th century. Sangeetha Mahal, a library and an exquisite collection of paintings are what differentiates the Vijayanagar fort from the rest of the forts in the region. Quaint Shiv Ganga gardens are located inside the fort which will give you some respite from the hustle and bustle of Thanjavur.
Other tourist places to visit in Tanjore worth seeing are Thanjai Mamani Koil, Alangudi Guru Temple, Chandra Bagwan Temple, and the Vijayanagar fort.
The beauty of Tanjore is best experienced during winters and the city is well connected with important destinations like Trichy Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Rameshwaram, Chennai, Bangalore, Varanasi, Mysore, Tirupati, and Kanyakumari via bus train as well as aerial route.