"Tanjore - Home of the Brihadeeswara Temple" Thanjavur by Willettsworld

Thanjavur Travel Guide: 72 reviews and 307 photos

Thanjavur, also known by its anglicised name Tanjore, is 56km from Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) in central Tamil Nadu. The city was once the stronghold of the historic Cholas and at one time was also the capital of the Cholas, Mutharayars and Marathas when they were at the peak of their power. There are principally two major sights to visit here: The first is the great Brihadeeswara Temple, built by Rajaraja Chola I around 1010 AD. The temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The 'Vimana' - or the temple tower - is 216 ft (66 m) high and is among the tallest of its kind in the world.

The second sight is the Thanjavur Royal Palace which was partly built by the Nayaks around 1550 and partly by the Marathas as their royal residence. The complex includes the splendidly decorated Durbar Hall which was built in 1684, a seven-storeyed observation/bell tower, the Sadar Mahal which is still the residence of the current royal family, a museum, an art gallery and a library with palm leaf and paper manuscripts, rare books, miniature paintings and illustrated manuscripts. I managed to visit both the temple and palace in one afternoon before I moved on to Kumbakonam.

  • Last visit to Thanjavur: Feb 2007
  • Intro Written Oct 9, 2009
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Willettsworld

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