Tanjavur is a city in the Tanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. It is also called Tanjavur, its anglicised name. It is located only 10 m from river Kaveri. It is a land of art, music and handicrafts. The city is also famous for its wonderful paintings.The name of the city is associated with a mythological story. According to the story when the wrath of a demon named Tanjan was reaching its peak, he was killed by Sri Anandavalli Amman and Sri Neelamegapperumal. His last wish was to name the city after him. It was granted. Thanjavur was the capital of the Chola Empire between the 10th and the 14th centuries. They left behind a rich heritage in the form of beautiful temples. There are around 74 temples in the city.
Showcasing the brilliant craftsmanship of the bygone era, Brihadeeshwara Temple is a must-see destination of Tanjavur. Considering its sheer architectural richness, UNESCO conferred the title of the 'World Heritage Site' on it. It was built by the Raja Chola in the 10th century. The temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. The main shrine houses the Shiv Lingam which was carved from a single rock. The Gopuram of the temple is 200 ft in height and the top cupola weighs 81 tons. The temple was constructed in such a manner that it never casts a shadow in the afternoon. The walls of the temple are festooned with 108 dance poses of Nataraja(the Cosmic dancer).
Art and Culture
Tanjavur is known as the main political, literary and religious centre of South India. It is a land which gave birth to great classical musicians and Bharatnatyam dancers. Tanjavur paintings are famous the world over for their style and beauty. Tanjavur dolls are very pretty.
Summers are quite hot in Tanjavur. So its best to visit the place between October to March.
Popular shopping items in Tanjavur are Tanjavur plates, which are inlaid with silver and brass, musical instrumants such as Veena, Tambura and Mridangam, paper mache dolla, silk carpets, garlands and metal objects.
The Tanjavur cuisine is simply delicious. The vegetarian dishes are Thavala Adai( a kind of vada), boiled rice, rasam, dosa, idli, uttapam and coconut chutney. The popular non vegetarian dishes include sea food – crabs and lobsters, and fish prepared in coconut milk.
Accommodation is not at all a problem in Tanjavur. Some of the hotels in the city are Hotel Ganesh, Hotel Ajanta, Hotel Ashok Bhawan,Hotel Laxmi, Hotel Vijay Lodge, Hotel Saradha Lodge and Hotel Ashby.
How To Reach Tanjavur
Air: The nearest airport is at Trichy, which is 65 km from Tanjavur.
Rail: The city is well connected with other main cities(Trichy, Chennai, Madurai and Nagore) of Tamil Nadu by a network of railways.
Road: Easily accessible from all the major cities in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.