Tanjore is 55 km east of Tiruchirappalli. It is the highly fertile delta of the Cavery River and the capital of the Cholas during their supremacy and is famous for its lush green paddy fields. One time historic domain of the great Chola Emperor Raja Chola,Tanjoreor Thanjavur bustles has high flow temples and monumental domes of architectural wonder.As the centre of cultural development, Tanjore attracted master craftsmen, and it still continues to produce attractive handcrafted ware. Its heritage as a centre of learning, culture and craft is reflected in the variety of handicraft works that goes on here.Tanjore is still famous for its bejeweled, gold leaf Tanjore paintings, fine silk carpets, bell metal work, musical instruments, pith work and bronze sculptures. Tanjore is primarily a place for the art admirers.
Sri Bragadeeswarar Temple
Built by the great Chola King, Rajaraja.I in the 10th century AD is an outstanding example of Chola architecture. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, but the sculptures on the gopuram are dedicated to Vishnu and inside there are Buddhist sculptures.The giant Nandi bull, within a single courtyard is the second largest in India. There are 80 tones block of granite capped in the monolithic tower, pulled to the top along an inclined plane that began in a village 6 Km away. The discreetly planned and executed architecture makes the temple a fine example of Dravidian craftsmanship.
The Palace near the temple is a vast building of masonry built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas of the west and is characterized by vast corridors, large halls, shady courtyards and observation and arsenal towers. The Durbar Hall of the palace still retains the glory of the bygone era. It houses an Art Gallery, the Saraswati Mahal Library, the Royal Museum and a music hall.
Art Gallery
The Art Gallery has a fabulous collection of bronze icons. The stone sculptures are unique in their priceless quality. The gallery has exhibits unique in historical association and antiquity. One can see and enjoy the finest pieces of stone sculptures and bronze icons of the gods of Hindu Mythology in different forms which helps the viewer get enlightened regarding the greatness of Chola art especiallywith special reference to their legendary background. All the sculptures and bronzes in the Art Gallery are feast to the eyes of art lovers.
Royal Museum & Serforji Memorial Hall
Located in the Palace complex, it displays rare antiques possessed by Maratha Royal family. There are artifacts, manuscripts, weapons, royal robes and other handicrafts made out of ivory, jade, lacquer, glass, porcelain, wood, cloth, leather is worth seeing. Utensils chandeliers, musical instruments, dress, furniture, paintings, stone and metal sculptures gives the actual image of the Marathas rulers of Tanjore.
Tholkappiyar Sadukkam
During the 8th World Tamil Conference, this Sadukkam(Square) was built. One can have a panoramic view of Tanjore Town from the Tower.
Sangeetha Mahal
This is also located within the palace and is called Sangeetha Mahal. It is an acoustically perfect
and is a striking example of the engineering skill of the ancient builders.
Mariamman Temple (Punnai Nallur)
This Temple is located 6 kms. away from Tanjore and is dedicated to Goddess Mariamman. It is one of the local temples in Tanjore which attracts Domestic Tourists.
Saraswathi Mahal Library:
The Tanjore Maharaja Serforji's Saraswathi Mahal Library is one among the few medieval libraries that exist in the world. It is an unparalleled repository of cultural antiques and an inexhaustible treasure house of knowledge built by successive dynasties of the Nayaks and the Marathas who ruled Tanjore. It contains a very rare and valuable collection of manuscripts, books, maps and paintings on all aspects of Art, Culture and Literature. The Encyclopedia Britannica in its survey of the Libraries of the world mentions it as “the most remarkable Library in India.” It was conceived and christened as the Royal Palace Library in the 16th century by the Nayak Kings and later developed by the Maratha Kings of Tanjore. Only after 1918 this Library was made a Public Library. Now both the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India maintain the Library.
Sharja Madi :
It is located in the Palace complex. It is opened for Tourists. One can have panoramic view of Tanjore city. The wooden Sculptures are inside the Sharja Madi.
Rajarajan Mani Mandapam :
During the 8th World Tamil Conference this Mandapam was built. It is having a small garden with Children's-play items.
Rajarajan Museum :
Raja Rajan Museum is functioning for the benefit of the Tourists. Located in the Main mandapam ground floor, it is under the control of the State Archaeological Department.
Nageswaran Temple :
It is a place where devotion, mythology and aesthetics form an ideal mix. Built around 1005 A.D, it is an outstanding symbol of Chola sculpture. It draws many foreigners keen to interpret the rock wall edicts and study the sculptures. It is a few kilometers ride from Tanjore.
Airavatheeswar Temple :
This is an exquisitely built temple located in Dharasuram, 34 kms from Tanjore. Dating back to the 12th century AD, the temple has now been recognised as a world heritage monument by UNESCO.
Orattanad :
A Maratha chattram, named after Muktambal, one of the queens of Sarfoji II, is located here. Shaped like a chariot, it displays a profusion of religious sculptures in stucco and wood.
Manora :
65 kms away, this is the tallest and the most historic monument built by the Tanjore Marathas. It is an eight-storeyed miniature fortress, hexagonal in shape and skirted by a moat, all well-preserved by the State archaeology Department. The structure was constructed by Sarfoji II in 1815 in honour of Britain's victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.
Pattukottai :
Pattukottai is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The town comes under the Tanjore district. Its business mainly depends on the surrounding villages. Most of the investments came to Pattukkottai from foreign countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Gulf regions. Now investments are coming from UK (London). Main towns around Pattukottai are Madukkur, Arvanthangi, Thuvarankuruchi, Adhiramapattinam, Muthupet, Orathanadu, and Pappanadu. Nadiyamman Kovil is a famous Temple in Pattukottai.
Schwartz Church:
Located within the Palace garden. Rajah Serfoji as a token of his affection built this church in 1779 A.D. for Rev.C.V Schwartz of the Danish Missionary. Formerly it was a worship place of the British Military.
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