A kingdom so fertile that it was called the ‘granary of the South’, Thanjavur was once the ancient capital of the mighty Chola dynasty who ruled vast parts of South India between the 9th – 13th centuries CE. It is the biggest town of the Cauvery Delta. For centuries, the city has been a glorious centre of culture, literature, architecture, and art and craft. After the Cholas, Thanjavur was ruled by different dynasties, and finally, the British Empire.
A town of temples and palaces, Thanjavur’s glorious heritage is synonymous with the three exquisite Chola era temple complexes dedicated to Siva – Brihadeeswara, Darasuram, and Gangaikondacholapuram – all three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Chola kings, who were great patrons of the arts, built most of the 93 temples here. 13 km away from the town, is Thiruvaiyaru. It is the setting for the marvellous Tyagaraja Aradhana, a Carnatic music festival held every January to honour and celebrate the life and compositions of the renowned saint composer Tyagaraja.
Thanjavur is especially renowned for its unique Thanjavur style of painting, manufacture of musical instruments, and artisan workshops that create bronze sculptures using the lost wax art. The Thanjavur Royal Palace Museum displays one of the finest collections of exquisitely sculpted ancient bronzes in India.
Holxo Tours in Thanjavur