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 Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

Introudction: Thanjavur district stands unique from time immemorial for its agricultural activities and is rightly acclaimed as the Granary of the South India lying in the deltaic region of the famous river Cauvery and criss-crossed by lengthy network of irrigation canals, this coastal district abounds in green paddy fields, tall coconut groves, vast gardens of mango and plantain trees and other verdant vegetation. History: Thanjavur attained prominence under the Chola rulers who were paramount in South India during 9th to 12th centuries.The period of Chola Kings was not only considered as epoch-making but also an era of the cultural renaissance. Thanjavur under the Chola rulers was the cradle of Tamil Culture. Literature and civilisation and the rare Tamil manuscripts in the Thanjavur library corroborate this fact. Another notable feature is that in spite of several alien invasions, onslaughts and internal conflicts, the ancient culture and civilisation have not suffered much devastation. Once again Vijayalaya (850-870) the founder of the new Chola dynasty, drove away the Muttaraiyar Chieftains from Thanjavur and assisted the Pallava King to stem the tide of the Pandiyan overlordship. His son Aditya I (870-907) soon over-threw the Pallava King Aparajita and expelled him from his territory. After conquering the Kongu country and Pandyas, he further extended his kingdom. He was an ardent saivite like his father and built temples along the banks of cauvery from Sahyadri to the sea. Parantaka I (907-955) was more powerful and under his rule Cholas acquired a dominion which foreshadowed the great empires of Rajaraja and Kullottunga. With the rise of Rajaraja I (985-1014), the days dawned to bring about new and brilliant chapter in the history of Cholas. Both in war and peace Rajaraja and his son Rajendra proved themselves as the most outstanding personalities of their time. Rajaraja conquered Kerala (Chera country) the whole of the Pandya country and Malainadu (Coorg ) and extended his dominion. He also invaded ceylon and destroyed Anuradhapura, its capital. He was also a great statesman and administrator and endeavoured his best to establish his empire on a firm footing. He built the most magnificent temple of Rajarajeswara at Thanjavur, the fine specimen of Tamil architecture. Rajaraja was succeeded by his son Rajendra I (1014-1044). He had the advantage of possessing an empire which had already been organised on sound lines. He set about at once to improve its organisation and increase its glory. He undertook expedition to north in search of the Ganges and assumed the title of Gangai Konda Cholan?. His most glorious expedition was to Kadaram which shows the great naval strength of the Cholas. Rajendra I was succeeded by four rulers Rajadhiraja, Rajendra II, Virarajendra and Adirajendra?s reign was brief and it became weak in his time and later the kingdom passed on to the Eastern Chalukyan. Rajendra Kulottunga (1070-1120) was a remarkable personality. He was more a statesman than a warrior. From 1120 to 1163, three Chola kings, viz, Vikrama Chola (1120-1135) Kulottunga II (1136-1150) and Rajaraja II (1151-1163) succeeded Kulottunga I and under all these rulers no wars or invasions distracted the country. During the reigns of Rajaraja III (1216-1246) and Rajendra III (1247-1279), the Pandyas in the south and Hoysalas in the north monopolised all the power. By the beginning of the 13th century, the Chola dynasty became extinct and it gave way to Pandyan supremacy.

Description: Thanjavur District is the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. The Big Temple and the other famous temples in the district are known all over the world. Thanjavur was the cultural capital of the country in 1790. Thanjavur gained prominence during the period of Chola Kings, who made it as their capital. Thereafter, it was ruled by Nayaks and Maratta Kings, who nurtured art and culture. The cultural, the architectural and the scholarly pursuits of these rulers are reflected in the great monuments like Grand Anaicut, Big Temple and Serfoji Mahal Library etc. in the district.

Thanjavur Quick facts

  • Thanjavur Geography and Climate

    Thanjavur District lies as the East Coast of Tamil Nadu. It is situated between 9 50° and 11 25° of the northern latitude and 78 45° and 70 25° of the Eastern longitude. It extents to an area of 3396.57 sq.kms. The District is bounded on the north by the Coloroon which separate it from Perambalur and Tiruchirappalli district, and on the East it is bounded by the Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts, and on the South by the Palk Strait and Pudukottai district and on the West by Pudukkottai and Thiruchirappalli districts.

  • Best time to visit Thanjavur

    Thanjavur is the city of temples so throughout the year the place can visit.

  • Thanjavur Orientation

    The Bhonsle dynasty claims descent from the Sisodia clan of Rajputs, the same descent as the ancient rulers of Chittor and later of Udaipur. Shahaji Raje Bhonsle, common ancestor to the Rajas of Satara, Kolhapur and Tanjore, entered the service of the Muslim Kings of Bijapur. He rose to high rank in their service, eventually serving as Regent of the kingdom, receiving substantial grants of land and the title of Raja. Venkoji Raje Bhonsle, son of Shahaji, Regent of Bijapur, expelled the Nayak Rajas, who had ruled Tanjore for 125 years, and seized the state in 1676. His successors were defeated by the Mughals and forced to acknowledge the suzerainty of the Emperor in 1691. The state came under British protection during the early part of the seventeenth century. The Raja resigned the administration into their hands in 1799 in exchange for a substantial percentage of the net revenue and retaining direct control over his landed properties.The family is now extinct.

  • Thanjavur Near Getaways

    Velankanni (90 kms away) is known for the church dedicated to 'Our Lady of Health' and attracts devotees of all faiths. The Vailankanni Shrine was elevated to a Basilica on November 3, 1962 by Pope John XXIII. No one knows where the statue was made but it is draped in a sari to make it appear uniquely Indian. The original chapel no longer exists but the original altar and the mosaic pieces on porcelain tiles from China have been retained. In its place, a modern and spacious church was consecrated in 1933 and renovated in 1975. 55 kms off, Tiruvarur attracts people to the Thyagarajaswami Temple, noted for the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. The birth place of the saint Thyagaraja, the Temple in his honor has the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu.

  • Thanjavur Distance(s)

    Tiruchirappalli - 55 km West, Orathanadu - 22 km South East, Thiruvaiyaru - 13 km North West, Perambalur - 50 km North West, Kumbakonam - 40 km North East, Tiruvarur - 58 km East, Nagappattinam - 84 km East, Mannargudi- 37 km East, Thiruthuraipoondi - 66 km South East, Vailankanni - 96 km East, Vedaranyam - 100 km South East, Pattukkottai - 40 km South East Pudukkottai - 55 km South

    Distance from Thanjavur to
    Click on link For a list of distances from Thanjavur to various cities .

  • How to reach Thanjavur by Road

    There are several state and private buses that ply daily from Bangalore, Chennai, Madurai and Tiruchy. The journey from Bangalore and Chennai takes about 7 hours and there are over-night buses.

  • How to reach Thanjavur by Rail

    Thanjavur is also reachable by train from other Indian cities. 'Thanjavur Junction' is the station to alight. There are daily trains from/to [[Chennai], Bangalore and to all main cities].

  • How to reach Thanjavur by Air

    Nearest airport is Tiruchirapally. There are direct flights from Chennai, Bangalore and Colambo.

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    Thanjavur Festivals and culture

  • Thanjavur Festivals

    Saint Thyagaraja Aradhana Musical Festival - January. Pongal (Tourist) Festival - 14th to 16th January. Maham Festival in Kumbakonam - February and March once in 12 year. Last held in 1992. Arulmigu Thyagarajaswamy Car Festival - March. Muthupallakku Thiruvizha - May. Annai Velannkanni Festival - August and September. Raja Raja Chola's Birthday Sathaya Thiruvizha - October every year. Nagoor Kandoori Festival - December.

  • Thanjavur Culture

    Thanjavur is known for its Carnatic music. It has produced many classical musicians and Bharatnatyam dancers. It has become the second important site for the annual Natyanjali dance festival. Tiruvaiyaru, close to Thanjavur is the place where the great musician saint Tyagaraja lived. Every year in the Tamil month of Thai, the musicians from all over the country will hold Tyagaraja Aradhana. Tamil, Marathi and English are the main spoken languages of Thanjavur. Thanjavur is also known for its unique painting style called Tanjore painting. The artist use a combination of canvas background with glass, metals to depict and decorate various scenes from Hindu mythology.

  • Thanjavur Religious Places

    Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple: Built by the great Chola King, Raja Raja I in the 10th Century AD is an outstanding example of Chola architecture. Schwartz Church: (In the Palace garden) Built in 1779 AD by Rajah Serfoji in token of his affection for the Rev.C.V.Schwartz of the Danish mission. Thirukandiyur (10 kms.): Temples of Brahmasirekandeswarar and Harshavimochana Perumal. Kumbakonam (36 kms.): Famous for Sarangapani, Kumbeswarar, Nageswara and the Remaswamy temple. Mahamagam congregation takes place once in 12 years, last held in 1992. Tharangambadi (Tranquebar) (105 kms.): This coastal town was a Danish settlement from 1624 to 1825. There are two churches and a fort. This is one of the special tourist areas. Swamimalai (32 kms.): One of the six Abodes (Arupadaiveedu) dedicated to Lord Subramanya. Darasuram (34 kms): This temple is dedicated to Lord Siva, was built by Rajendra Chola. Darasuram is also a silk weaving centre. Thirubuvanam (45 kms): 13th Century Chola temple dedicated to Lord Siva. Thiruvaiyaru (13 kms.): Where the famous Thyagaraja lived and attained etesnity. A music festival is held here every January in honour of the saint. Nagore (88 kms.): A renowned Muslim Pligrim centre. Vailankanni (90 kms.): Roman Catholic Pilgrim centre. Tiruvarur (55 kms.): The Thyagarajaswami Temple here has the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. This is the birth place of Saint Thyagaraja - One of the musical trinity. Thirunallar (101 kms.) (Pondichery UT): The famous saturn temple town.

  • Thanjavur Monuments

    Shivaganga Fort: The Quadrangular Shivaganga Fort is situated towards the south west of the old city. Built by the Nayaka ruler, Sevappa Nayaka, in the mid-16th century, the battlemented stone structure covers an area of 35 acres surrounded by a part rock-cut moat. The Square Shivaganga Tank in the fort was excavated by Rajaraja I and later renovated to provide drinking water for the City. The fort contains the great Brihadishvara Temple, Schwartz Church, and public amusement park.

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    Thanjavur Entertainment and Night Life

  • Thanjavur Shopping

    Thanjavur is famous for its 'Thanjavur dancing doll' (Thanjavur Thalai attu bommai) and Tanjore Paintings(Lord Krishna Paintings are the best) and Tanjore Art Plates(Lord Balaji are the best). There is an outlet inside the palace where old and new art works are sold. You can pay with your credit card too. one and only ladies engineering college in Tamilnadu (Periyar Maniammai Engineering college)

  • Famous To Eat at Thanjavur

    Normal-range Non-Veg - Sathars-they are good at mughal dishes but basically all the curries taste the same.

  • Thanjavur Museum and Hill Stations

    The Palace: The Palace near the temple is a vast building of masonry built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas. Art Gallery: In the Palace there are a number of granite and bronze statues of the Chola period. Saraswathi Mahal Library: In another section of the Palace is the library where over 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts in India and European languages are preserved.Visiting Times: 9.00 - 13.00 hrs and 14.00 - 17.00 hrs.Wednesday Holiday. Manora (65 kms.): The 8-Storey victory tower was built by Rajah Serfoji in 1814.

  • Gardens and Parks at Thanjavur

    Some popular parks and gardens of Thanjavur like Sivagangai Garden and Rajarajan Manimandapam are ideal spots where one can walk to after finishing the temple sightseeing.

  • Lake at Thanjavur

    River Kaveri flows the state Tamilnadu through Thanjavur

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    Thanjavur Tips

  • Thanjavur Travel Tips

    Cottons or synthetic blends are most practical for Indian summers. Don't get synthetics that don't 'breathe - they'll make you what else butbreathless. The sun will usually be glaring at you most of the day. So a wide brimmed hat and sun glasses are a must. Photography could be an issue at some places. For places of military importance like railway stations, bridges, airports, defense installations and sensitive border regions, you would require to seek permission from the authorities concerned. The Archaeological Survey of India issues special permits for shooting at monuments with tripods and artificial lights. Yet, Indians love posing for a picture. But, in some traditional societies, take care before focusing your lens on women. Step no. 1 is to remove your shoes, sandals, sneakers, slippers etc. This is done to keep God's place clean. If you hate walking barefoot and are lucky enough, there might be a cloth overshoe provided to you. Also, wash your hands and feet, if you please - it isn't compulsory but just another sign of reverence to the deity.

  • Thanjavur Tourist Offices

    The tourist offices provide maps and tourist information and maps of the area. The Government of Tamil Nadu's Tourist Office is at Jawan's Bhavan, Opp. Head Post Office, Thanjavur - 1. Ph: 30984. T here is also a Tourist Information Centre in the Hotel Tamil Nadu Complex on Gandhiji Road, Thanjavur - 1. Ph: 31421.

  • Thanjavur ATM's


  • Must do at Thanjavur

    All the temples are with the great histories. So when you went to Thanjavur it is must to visit the temples with out any feeling of religion. Because we can get so much information about sculpture and many other related things regarding to the previous days kings and about there ruling by visiting the palaces and forts.

  • Not to do at Thanjavur

    So the most important thing is to should not take photography or video inside the temples where it is prohibited. Should not cross the temple rules and regulations it may come under illegal activity.

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