Thanjavur has been the capital of mighty Cholas for centuries. Therefore it is only natural that the city has remained the focal point of cultural movement and activities in the peninsular India. The Cholas have been known as the patrons of magnificent art culture and that is why Tanjore has a lot of attractions to see and appreciate. We are listing the best among them: -
Sri Brihadeswara Temple
The Chola King, Rajaraja I, built the Brihadeswara Temple in Thanjavur.
The temple that was constructed in the 10th century AD is a magnificent
example of Chola Temple architecture that was further applied in other
cities in the peninsula too.
The Palace of Tanjore stands near the Brihadeswara temple. The Palace
is a huge building that has been built through many decades. Nayaks
initiated the foundation and primary work of construction around 1550
AD. The Marathas later completed the building during the reign of
The Art Gallery is situated in the Thanjavur Palace only. The place is
a must visit in Tanjore as it houses some of the most magnificent and
precious Granite and Bronze statues of the Chola period.
Saraswati Mahal Library
Saraswati Mahal Library is situated in the Tanjore Palace only.
Saraswati Library houses, among others, over 30,000 palm-leaves and
paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. These manuscripts
belong to a range of rulers in peninsular India ranging from Cholas and
Pallavas to British and Portuguese. This is a must visit place for
academicians and researchers.
Hall of Music
The Hall of Music is situated in the Tanjore Palace only. This hall is
known for its near perfect acoustics and performance stage. The place
has seen performances by some of the stalwarts of Carnatic Music in
Like various other tourist attractions in Thanjavur, The Royal Museum
too is located in the Thanjavur Palace complex only. The museum is one
of its kinds in peninsular India as it houses mixed collections of
manuscripts, weapons, utensils, musical instruments and clothing that
were used by the Royal Family of Thanjavur.
Schwartz Church is a living example of religious tolerance of Cholas.
Rajah Serfoji built the Church that stands in the Thanjavur Palace
garden in the year 1779 AD in token of his affection for the C. V.
Schwartz who belonged to the Danish Mission. The architecture is a
welcome break from the Chola temple architecture that dominates the city
Siva Ganga Tank
Siva Ganga Tank stands in a garden near the Thanjavur Palace. The tank
that is still in use was known for its sweet water that was the chief
source of drinking for the habitants of Tanjore Palace.
Sharja Madi is the Royal balcony in the Thanjavur Palace. Located in
the eastern part of the palace complex, Sharja Madi offers a panoramic
view of Thanjavur city to the visitors. The balcony has been decorated
with wooden carvings and sculptures that are unique in Peninsular India.
Rajarajan Mani Mandapam
Rajarajan Mani Mandapam is rather a modern construction in Tanjore. The
conference hall or Mandapam that has been designed on the Chola
architecture tradition was constructed to host the World Tamil
Conference. It encloses a beautiful park that is worth visiting.
Tholkappiyar Sadukkam was also constructed during the 8th World Tamil
Conference. This is actually a Square that encloses a tower. The tower
offers a panaromic view of the bustling Thanjavur Town.
Mariamman Temple (Punnai Nallur)
Mariamman Temple that is popularly called Punnai Nallur in Thanjavur is
located just 6 kilometers off to the downtown Tanjore. This magnificent
temple is dedicated to Goddess Mariamman. The place attracts hordes of
foreign as well as domestic tourists.