Thanjavur (or 'Thanjai' or 'Tanjore') is 342 km from Chennai the capital of the state Tamil Nadu, India. Thanjai is considered to be the granary and 'rice bowl' of Tamil Nadu. It is the district headquarters by the same name.
Pronounce : Than-jaa-voor.
It is sometime referred as Tanjavur (wrong) or Thanjavoor.
Brihadeshwara temple in Thanjavur
Thanjavur thrived as the ancient capital of the Chola kingdom, later of Marathas and Nayaks. Thanjavur was at the height of its glory during the Chola period between the 10th and the 14th century and became a great centre of learning and culture.
The important landmark in Thanjavur is the great Brahadeeswara Temple also known as the Big Temple, it was built by Raja Raja Chola - I. It is one of the most magnificent piece of South Indian temple architecture. Established in 1011 AD in celebration of victory of Chola kingdom that extended till Ceylon and some parts of the Malaya archipelago. Now it is a world heritage site.
Even today Thanjavur is not only considered as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu but also as a cultural head quarters. Though the Thanjavur district is dominated by agriculture, the town is diverse in its own, Having a literacy percentage of more that 75% and a homogenous mix of population of all religions.
Nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli. There are direct flights from Chennai, Kuala Lumpur and SIngapore, amongst others. A taxi desk is in the lobby. A taxi from Tiruchirapalli to Thanjavur is Rs 1400 plus Rs 85 expressway toll (as of January 2016).
Thanjavur is also reachable by train from other Indian cities. 'Thanjavur Junction' is the station to alight. There are daily trains from/to Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Thrissur, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai, Erode, Salem , Tirupur , Tirunelveli, Rameswaram and weekly trains to Tiruchendur, Bhubaneshwar, Varanasi , Prayagraj , Jabalpur , Vijayawada , Vizianagaram and to all main cities. For train timings and on-line reservations (within India) visit the IRCTC's website.
There are several state and private buses that ply daily from Mannargudi, Pattukkottai, Kumbakonam, Pondicherry,Thiruvarur, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy. The journey from Bangalore and Chennai takes about 9 hours and there are over-night buses. Some buses (from Madurai or Trichy) arrive at Thanjavur a the new bus stand located at 3 km from the center. There you can take another bus for the center for Rs. 7, you can ask for the "old bus stand".
- taxiGUIDE.in (Thanjavur Car Rental), ☎ +91 888 023 4455 ([email protected]), . Inquiry: 7am to 11pm. Thanjavur Car Rental services on taxiGUIDE.in - a Chauffeur Driven Car Rental service in 75 Cities in India. Fares start from Rs.2300 for full day local & Rs.14.5/km for Outstation. edit
- Thanjai Call Taxi, Near to Konkaneshwar Temple,West Main St, Thanjavur (http://goo.gl/afhLg), ☎ +91 04362 224400 ,+91 997 619 0709 ([email protected]). Inquiry: 24 / 7. Thanjai Call Taxi Fares start from Rs.1800 for full day local & Rs.14/km for Outstation. (10.790976,79.129755) edit
- Auto Rickshaws - negotiate a rate with the driver beforehand. Any Place with in city doesn't cost more than 40 rupees and minimum is 20 rupees.
- Tourist Cabs - Are the best choice in case you want to tour the temples around Thanjavur. Drivers don't follow a fixed method for charging. But its wise to negotiate at least the rates that are applicable in Chennai
- Cycle rickshaws - Though not popular among the locals, foreign travellers usually hire cycle rickshaws to go around Thanjavur. One can inquire the hotel's service desk for help.
The stopping name is cholan silai where you can see the raja rajan statue
- Brihadishwara Temple (Rajarajeswaram or Big Temple), Hopital road, Thanjavur (Behind old bus stand). This is the most important place to see in Thanjavur. This is a must see. One can enjoy the architecture of the whole temple and also the cute little garden on the temple's backyard. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, hundreds of lingam are in the pillared cloister. Free entrance. edit
- Palace & Saraswathi Mahal Library - Possesses very old manuscripts mostly in Tamil and Sanskrit. The library is situated inside the Saraboji Palace which contains many rare paintings depicting various Indian cities during the reign of King Saraboji.
- Siva Ganga Garden - A cute little park sandwiched between the Brihadeshwara Temple and the Schwartz Church. There are children playing area at the heart of the park and it is very pleasant to watch the innocent laughs and smile. The park has a cute little train and also a theppakulam ( a temple in the middle of pond). Boating is also available in the pond.
- Art Gallery, East main road (Inside the palace). 09:00-13:00 and 15:00-18:00 (closed on holidays). Art exposition of bronzes and statues of the Chola period. The ticket gives also access to a construction of the palace with a nice view on the town. Entrance: Rs. 30 for foreigners, Rs. 7 for Indians.. edit
- Saraswathi Mahal Library - An oldest libraries in Asia. Find interesting manuscripts of 17th century.
- Schwartz Church - This church was constructed by Rev. Schwartz more than 200 ago. Though there is nothing much great about the artistic work, the church is still operational under the CSI Trichy-Tanjore Diocease. It is good to attend the morning service which is conducted in English, every Sunday at 7:00am.
- Ragavendra Temple
In and around Thanjavur there are other ancient temples like Vellai Pillaiyar Temple, Thiruvanajozhi, Lord Murugan Temple, Swami Malai, Chandra Bagawan Temple, Thingalur Moon temple,
Sukkiran Temple, Kanchanur, Kethu Temple,Keelaperumpallam, Sani Bhagawan Temple, Thirunallar, Mercury Temple, Thiruvenkadu, Raaghu Temple, Thirunageshwaram, Guru Baghawan Temple at Alangudi,
- Punnainallur Mariamman Temple. 40 min. Powerful shrine of Mariamman located in a distance around 20 km from Thanjavur. edit
- Punnainallur Mariamman Temple. edit
Here is the link to temple route map for the travellers visiting Navagraha temples in Tamilnadu.
Brahadeeswara Temple. The Brahadeeswara temple is one of the most important landmarks of the city and was built by Raja Raja Chola- I and is known as the most intricate example of the South Indian temple architecture. It is a world heritage site and is said to have been constructed as a celebration of the victory of the Chola Kingdom. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the architecture of the temple is truly one of a kind as hundreds of lingams are carved onto the stone structure. The temple is surrounded by gardens and the entrance to the temple complex is free of cost.
Airavateshwara Temple. Located in Darasuram (about 36 km away and a suburb of Kumbakonam), the Airavateswara temple is one of the many Shiva temples in Thanjavur as the legend goes, the white elephant of Lord Shiva who is known as Airavata, worshipped Lord Shiva here to get rid of a curse given to him by Sage Durvasa. It is also said that the lord of death, Yama, worshipped Shiva here as well. Along with the other temples in Thanjavur, this temple is considered one of the greatest living Chola temples.
Thanjavur Royal Palace. Situated within the Vijaynagara fort complex and was known to be residence of the Nayak Kings. Within the palace premises, there are a lot of places worth visiting like the Nayak Hall, Saraswati Mahal library and the durbar hall. The Nayak Hall is where the artefacts from the Chola kingdom. The durbar hall is said to have been built by the Marathas and has the throne canopy decorated with mirror work. This place is a must visit when visiting Thanjavur!
Gangaikonda Temple. The architectural magnificence of Thanjavur does not end here, the Gangaikonda temple is another example of the beautiful temple carvings. The site has been declared as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. The temple is about a thousand years old and is known as an integral part of Tamil History. About 70 km from Thanjavur.
Thanjavur is famous for its 'Thanjavur dancing doll' (Thanjavur thalai attu bommai), Tanjore Paintings (Lord Krishna paintings are the best) and Tanjore art plates (Lord Balaji are the best).
There is an outlet inside the palace where old and new art works are sold. You can pay with your credit card too.
There is a Phoompuhar art Gallery, which exhibits and sell wide range of artistic bronze idols, Thanjavur paintings and artistic plates.Its been a hot spot for the foreign travellers.
- Bombay Sweets, Near Railway Station. All the sweets and chats available here are so much delicious. Try Dry Gulab Jamun and Bhadam Gheer. Approx 100 for 2. edit
- Nandhis Homely Restaurant, (Thilagar Thidal Opp, Near MVK Hospital, South Rampart), ☎ +91-9362415900. Located near Big Temple, and Sivagangai Garden. Real homely taste, no mixing in food like Chinese salt, food soda. they use only original pure home mixing, the all food is served on a banana leaf. Rs. 50 for the Meals. edit
- Sree Aariya Bhavan, (Old bus stand), ☎ +91-9042026277. Very good traditionnal, Authentic vegetarian restaurant. Morning delicious dosas & idly are served, for lunch, the thali is served on a banana leaf. Rs. 45 for the thali. edit
- Raja's curry, Court road, ☎ +91-4362270007. Very good veg, non-veg and halal restaurant. Indian and Chinese food Rs. 40 for the thali. edit
- Hotel Sangamam
- Sathars, Gandhiji road. They are good at Mughal dishes. Very rich gravies.'Best North Indian food in town' . Try this out if you are not too worried about your waist line! Rs. 50-100 for a curry. edit
- Thevars- The best biriyani in town
- Dheen garden - The only place where you can get grilled chicken. The food is decent. Tandoori chicken is delicious and the portion they serve is very good. Check out their murthapa.
- Rice Bowl (pla) - They serve awesome Chinese food and their starters also pretty good.
- Popular - This is the cheapest among the lot and the Chinese dishes are nice.
- Mullai (Hotel Oriental Towers), Srinivasam Pillai Road. 12:00-15:00 and 19:00-23:00. Multicuisine, one of the few places place here where you get continental food but the food is overpriced. edit
- Marutham (Hotel Oriental Towers), Srinivasam Pillai Road. 07:00-23:00. Vegeterian South Indian cuisine. edit
- Banam pub, Srinivasam Pillai Road (Oriental Towers). 11 am - 10 pm. edit
- Hotel Karthik has double rooms at 370rs and single at 200rs. Air conditioned rooms cost 600rs. This is somewhat old hotel and cleanliness is about 3 on the scale of 5, but it is just a 5 minute walk away from Bridhadeeswara Temple and 10 minute walk from the palace. Has a restaurant in the ground floor where food is good south Indian vegetarian cuisine.
- Royal Lodge, 1280 Mandaba Lane. Enter the small laneway from Hotel Ramnath. Basic Single Rs 210, shared bathroom. edit
- Hotel Sangam - Near Ramanadhan Hospital
- Hotel Ramnath, South Rampart (Old bus stand), ☎ +91-4362272567 (fax: +91-4362271139). checkin: 24 hours. Between the Big temple and the palace, it allows to walk to all major attractions of the town. Clean and modern it offer a good price quality ratio. A/C and non-A/C rooms are available with TV and hot water. from Rs. 500 to 900 (and Rs. 100 tax). edit
- Oriental Towers, Srinivasam Pillai Road (South of Thanjavur Junction), ☎ +91-4362-230724 ([email protected], fax: +91-4362-230770), . From US $ 50 to 100. edit
- Tanjore Hi Hotel, No.464, East Main Street (Oppsite of Palace), ☎ +91-9364455440 ([email protected]), . Tanjore Hi is an « Heritage Boutique Hotel » designed to welcome people that aspire to find a place where culture and elegance are everywhere. In this 1920 “Hotel Particular” that hosts 15 contemporary sleekly designed rooms, allow yourself a treat by eating at the rooftop restaurant. Its central location in Tanjavur (next to the palace and the temple) makes it the perfect place to stay and visit the famous whereabouts of the region such as Trichy, Kumbakoonam and Chettinad. A truly HIP Hotel. Traiff - INR 7,950/- to 9,750/-. edit
- Parisutham a perfectly adequate hotel with a nice pool area and good food.
- Temple Tower near Membalam
- Ideal River View Resort A little out of town but well kept and quiet.
- Hotel Gnanam, Anna Salai (Market road), ☎ +91-4362-278501 ([email protected], fax: +91-4362-235536), . checkout: 24 hours. Located in the center of the town. Only A/C rooms. Rs. 1200 to 3500. edit