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Just 55 Kms from Trichy lies the bustling city of Thanjavur. Well known for its traditional handicrafts, it has around 74 temples, finest among which is the Sri Brihadeswara Temple. Modern Thanjavur is a fertile plain which is referred to as the "rice bowl " of Tamil Nadu. Located on the eastern coast of central Tamil Nadu it has the distinction of having been the capital of the Cholas - one of the great dynasties of the South.
The Cholas were great temple builders and the Thanjavur bears witness to this, being dotted with no fewer than 74 temples - the most famous of which is the Brahadeeswarar temple a World Heritage monument.
What To See
Sri Brihadeswara Temple (World Heritage Site)
The inner shrine of the Sri Brihadeswara Temple, a fine example of the Chola architecture, is gaurded by the massive statue of Nandi, the Bull. The walls of the sanctum sanctorum are decorated with paintings of Nayak and Chola periods.
Entry is free.
No fee for still photography/ videography with handheld cameras.
Open from: 6:30 am to 8:30 pm on all days
Airavatesvara temple (World Heritage Site)
Loacted in Dasuram is 290 kms from Chennai and 13 kms from Tanjavur is called as the gem of Chola architecture. A number of sculptures from this temple are now preserved in the Tanjavur Art Gallery.
Entry is free
No fee for handheld cameras
Open from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm on all days
The Thanjavur Palace was built in part by Nayaks and partly by the Marathas and is a huge structure of exquisite architecture.
Saraswathi Mahal Library
The Saraswathi Mahal Library has some of the rarest manuscripts. Maximum number of its manuscripts are in the Sanskrit language.
10 kms away from Thanjavur. The temple of Brahmasirekandeswaran and harshavimochana Perumal are situated here. The sculptures here are exquisite.
13 kms from Thanjavur. This is a famous temple dedicated to Lord shiva known as Panchanatheeswarar. It is also the place where Sain Thyagaraja lived and attained samadhi. Every year in January a music festival is held here in his honour attracting performers from all over south India.
32 kms from Thanjavur. This temple is one of the 6 abodes of Lord Subramanya.
36 kms from Thanjavur. Here there are 4 large temples - The Sarangapani, The Kumbeswarar, The Nageshwara and the Ramaswamy temples located here are noted for their sculptures and carvings. The Mahamaham festival celebrated here once is 12 years.
Goddess Saraswati temple
It is 76 kms from Thanjavur and is the only temple dedicated to the Goddess of Learning Saraswati located in Koothanur.
Tharangambadi - Tranquebar
105 kms away is a coastal town. It was very early Danish settlements which made it an important port and the headquarters of the British Collector.
104 kms from Thanjavur is said to be the place where Lord Shiva appeared in his bridal attire along with Parvathy in front of the sage Agasthya.
Kodikarai Point Calimere
It is 112 kms away and is the northern point of Park's Bay. A dip in the sea here is considered holy on new moon days. This place is noted for the migratory water fowl.
It is 55 kns away from Thanjavur. The Tygarajaswamy temple here has important inscriptions. It is the birth place of Saint Tyagaraja.
101 kms from Thanjavur. It comes under Pondicherry . It has the famous Saturn temple town.
Thiruvaiyaru( 13 kms)
Thiruvaiyaru is where the famous saint Thyagaraja lived and attained samadhi. The famous temple at Thiruvaiyaru is dedicated to Shiva, and is known as Panchanatheswara. An eight day music festival is held here, every January, in honour of the saint.
Thirukandiyur (10 kms)
The temples at Thirukandiyur, are dedicated to Brahmasirekandeswarar and Harshavimochana Perumal, and are noted for their fine sculptural work.
Tiruvarur (55 km)
has the Thyagarajaswami Temple famous for the largest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. Tiruvarur is also the birth place of saint Thyagaraja.
Swamimalai (32 kms)
Located 32 kms away, Swamimalai has one of the six abodes (Arupadaiveedu) dedicated to Lord Subramanya.
Kumbakonam (36 kms)
Famous for the Mahamaham festival held every 12 years, Kumbakonam, 36 kms from Tanjore, also boasts of five temples. The important ones among them are Sarangapani, Kumbeswarar, Nageswara and Ramaswamy temples. These temples are noted for their semi erotic sculpture.
Darasuram (34 kms)
Darasuram, 34 kms away, has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which was built by Rajendra Chola. It also boasts a silk weaving centre.
Tirubuvanam (45 kms)
Tirubuvanam has a 13th century Chola temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Nagore ( 88 km)
is a famous Muslim pilgrimage site, which is frequented by people of all faiths.
Velangani ( 90 kms)
noted for the church dedicated to 'Our Lady of Health', attracts devotees of all faiths.
Point Calimere (112 kms)
is famous for its migratory water birds, especially flamingoes. The best time to visit is the period from November to January.
Vedaranyam (104 km)
is renowned for the festivals held on full moon day, in July-August and January-February.
Manora (65 kms)
has a 8 storey victory tower which was built by Raja Serfoji in 1814 AD.
Tirunallar (101 kms)
is famous for its temple dedicated to Lord Saneeswara.
A large part of the state being on the coastal edge of the country, the weather is tropical and sultry for most part of the year. The summer months of April, May, June are hottest where temperature ranges to 40 degrees.
December and January are the peak months for Chennai. The temp ranges from 20-22 degrees. To avoid peak rush October is better. The weather in these months is pleasant and easy to bear the humidity.