Thanjavur, the erstwhile capital of Chola Empire, is an important place in Southern India, which is chockablock with visitants all around the year. Apart from being a popular religious destination, Thanjavur also holds distinction as one of the noted archeological sites in the world. The shrines in the city are a warehouse of Indian architectural knowledge, artistic skill and profound wealth that sheds light on the aesthetic sophistication of the Chola rulers. A good example of this is the Brihadeeswarar Temple, which has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage. A visit to Thanjavur is not complete if without experiencing a live artistic performance. The city, which is also the South Zone Culture Centre for the rest of the southern states, is an important cultural landmark in India. Thanjavur hosts a series of traditional cultural programs in the field of music, dance, drama, theater and other art forms. The organizers not only actively promote them, but also take great initiatives to revive many dying art forms in the region. Read the article to know more about the tourist attractions in Thanjavur.
Tourist Attractions In Thanjavur
The Brihadeeswarar Temple is one of the worlds' oldest shrines. Also famous as 'Peruvudaiyar Kovil', 'Rajarajeswaram Temple' and the 'Big Temple', this esteemed architectural site holds name as one of the biggest attractions in Thanjavur. The temple tower, which soars 216 ft above the ground, is one of the tallest in the world. Brihadeeswarar Temple was built by Raja Raja Chola in 1010 AD. The 1000 years old shrine is completely carved out of granite. Whether you wish to experience a spiritual vibe or view the grandeur of the structural design of the temple, a visit this heritage hot-spot is highly recommended.
The Manjora Fort, which is located 65 km away from the heart of the city, was built by the Maratha King Serfoji II to commemorate the British conquest over Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Waterloo. Erected in the year 1814-15, the monument is an eight-storied hexagonal building. Towering over 230 meters high, the fort is seated close to the Bay of Bengal and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding areas. Manora Fort is a popular spot among the locals looking for a weekend getaway. The state tourism board has also started boating facilities in the region to attract more tourists.
The Thanjavur palace is another important site to visit in the city. The palace is located close to the Brihadeeswarar Temple and was built by several rulers of Thanjavur. According to historians, the fortress' foundation was laid by the Nayaks, who were responsible for initiating the constructions of the palace in 1550 AD. While you are touring the palace, also take a sneak-peek at the museum and art gallery and check out the armaments, musical instruments, royal robes, utensils, and granite and bronze statues.
Saraswathi Mahal Library
Located inside the beautiful Saraboji Palace, the Saraswathi Mahal library comprises of several documents in Tamil and Sanskrit. Most of these manuscripts are said to be ancient old pieces of work and are invaluable to many historians as they provide vital information on the life and works of its past emperors. While you are wandering around the palace library, do take a sneak-peek of the several paintings, which are an illustration of the various other old cities that existed during the reign of King Saraboji. A tour to the palace library is must for every tourist making a trip to Thanjavur.
Siva Ganga Garden
The Siva Ganga Garden is a small little green patch, sandwiched between the architectural landmark structures of Brihadeeswarar Temple and the Schwartz Church. The park comprises of a play area for children that is popular among the kids. Apart from this, the park also has a small toy train and a pond. The park authorities have opened up boating activities inside the park that is yet another attraction of this place. If you are traveling along with your children, then make sure to visit the park, as it would certainly be a refreshing break from the historical architectural landmarks in the city.
Schwartz Church is an ancient old cathedral, which was built more than 200 year back. Constructed by Reverend Schwartz, this place is yet another classic example of British influence in India. Although the church does not have any spectacular artistic piece of work, the minster is definitely a nice quite spot despite the bustling activity in the area. Schwartz church is under CSI Trichy-Tanjore Diocese that still conducts early morning services in English.