Thanjavur is the hub of South Indian architecture,art and religion. The Great Living Chola Temples houses in Thanjavur, which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, the city has travellers and pilgrims in large numbers. It is surrounded by emerald green paddy fields and rivers, Thanjavur is entitled as the 'Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu'.
Thanjavur city is the cultural hub of Tamil, it is also cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. You can see incredible architecture in form of the magnificent Brihadisvara temple, famous Tanjore paintings. The famous Brihadisvara Temple is a famous landmark and attracts lots of tourists and thus, it is the most visited destination in the city.
Thanjavur city is filled with opportunities for the shopaholics, you can find world class handloom silk and cotton sarees here. You can also purchase jewellery, paintings and brass and bronze idols, Some other attraction are as follows:
Brihadisvara Temple is also known as the Big Temple, it is 216 ft high. At the entrence there is a huge statue of the Nandi, who welcomes pilgrims. The architecture of the temple is the most intricate example of the South Indian temple architecture. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and marks the victory of the Chola Kingdom. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, this sanctum sanctorum lures numerous pilgrims and it is the most visited place in South India.
Gangaikonda Cholapuram was the capital of the Cholas for a very long span of time. It has preserved the glorious Indian history, if you are a history buff then you have lot to explore. The temple is counted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for having number of exclusive temple carvings. At the entrance you can see an image of goddess Saraswati. This holy place is known because of a stone named “Chandrakanta” which makes the temple cool automatically in summers and warm in winters.
Airavatesvara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is also counted as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The thing that makes the visitors amuse is that,If you walk the steps of the temple that are surrounded by a fence, you will notice that it produces musical tones upon tapping. A legend which is associated with this place is the famous elephant, Airavat which belonged to Lord Indra. The elephant got rid of the curse given to him by Saint Durvasa.
Thanjavur is also known as the Nayak Palace or Maratha Palace, it was once the royal residence of the Nayak kings. This palace has Big halls, observation towers, arsenal, Large corridors and a shady courtyard. This royal palace preserves ancient items like paintings, statues and manuscripts. The major attraction is the idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
The Serfoji Sarasvati Mahal Library preserves many ancient artefacts and manuscripts. It also houses exclusive paintings and give a clear shows a picture of the working of medieval world. The library also has a collection of 44,000 palmleafs and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. It is a place where one can easily find some of the rare manuscripts majority of which are written in Sanskrit. The library has a collection of colourful paintings.
The Manora fort was built by Rajah Serfoji in 1814, the fort is a 8 storied building, which is designed in hexagonal shape, The Manora fort marks the victory of the Britain over Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.
Sangeetha Mahal was once used for cultural activities. The Mahal has a superb auditorium which offers excellent audibility. The sound quality shows the amazing engineering skills of the historic times. Nowadays, it has been converted into an exhibition hall for showcasing varieties of handicrafts.
The construction of the Vijayanagar Fort was started by the Nayak King, Vijay Raghav in 1550 and it was completed by the Maratha rulers. It comprises of Art Gallery, Thanjavur Palace and Siva Ganga Garden etc. This fort gives you ample of opportunities to history buffs and photography enthusiasts.
Aalngudi Temple is dedicated to Lord Guru and it is believed that Lord Shiva consumed poison here. Devotees offer special offerings to the Lord and seek blessings from him. Thursday is believed an auspicious day here.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church is the oldest church of Thanjavur, it is also named as ViagulaMadha Church. This is famous tourist spot in the city. On every third week of September an annual car festival is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm. This festival is celebrated by everyone and is a true example of perfect harmony.