Tanjore rose to glory during the later Chola period between the 10th and 14th centuries AD and became the centre of learning and culture. Overrun by green fertile plains,Tanjore the headquarters of the district of the same name is known as the “Rice bowl” of Tamil Nadu.The destination has a large share of the ancient temple wonders of South India. Tanjore in the state of Tamil Nadu is also noted for its exquisite handicrafts, bronze statue castings, pith temple models and South Indian musical instruments like the veena and mridangam.This also referred as the “Art capital of South India” and most of time called by the name Tanjavur.The temple, fort and the palaces of Tanjore have been a silent witness to the great cultural and artist awakening that it once experienced
Tanjore is named after a demon by the name of Tanjan-an asura.There are legends which says that the last wish of the demon was that the place should be named after him, which was granted by Sri Anandavalli Amman and Sri Neelamegapperumal.Chola, Chera and Pandya kings were to be the most noted Kings ruling the south, of which the former was a greater supportes of art and literature. Thiruvarur,Uraiyur, Pazhaiyarai, Thanjavur and Gangaikonda Cholapuram were used to be the capitals of the Chola dynasty and they kept shifting from one place to another.Thanjavur was the capital Chola kings before the reign of Karikala Cholan and till the 13th Century AD. It was only during the rule of Rajendra Cholan the capital was shifted from Tanjore to Gangaikonda Cholapuram.Soon there was a decline in the Chola dynasty and the Pandya Kings captured Thanjavur. The Pandayas were overthrown by the Nayaks and they ruled with Tanjore as the capital for the next one hundred and twenty five years. Till 1749 the Mahrattas ruled with Tanjore as their capital for nearly one hundred and seventy-nine years. In 1773 Tanjore was captured by the British and in 1799 it became a principality of the British with Sarafoji II taking of the fort of Tanjore.Sarafoji II was followed by Sivaji who was only overthrown by the British again. ORIENTATION Tanjore in the centre of the Cauvery delta is about 320 kilometers from the stat e capital Chennai and is oriented more towards 10°8N and 79.15°E. FAIRS AND FESTIVALS Natyanjali Dance Festival Natyanjali Dance Festival dedicated to Lord Nataraj is held during Mahashivratri in Chidambaram of Tanjore district. The Natyanjali Dance Festival which is held for a period of five days represents the tradition and a rich cultural heritage of the place.Partcipants from various parts of the country take part in this festival. The dance festival is a mixed effort put by The Natyanjali Dance Festival, Chidambaram, The Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, and The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The Carnatic Classical Musical Festival The Carnatic Classical Musical Festival is held in the month of January every year in memory of Carnatic musical maestro, Thyagaraja in a place called Thiruvaiyaru located at a distance of about 14 km away from Tanjore. During this festival renowned classical musicians and singers come from different parts of the country and display their talents.
It is a library which has over 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages.
Brihadeeswara or the Big Temple of God, built by the great Chola King Raja Raja( 985 -1012 ) is an example of the magnificent achievements of the Cholas in the field of temple architecture. The tower over the inner sanctum sanctorum rises perpendicularly to a height of 15mts from a square of 28.8 mts and then tapers to make a total height of 64.8mts.An 81.3 tone monolithic stone slab adorned with winged niches on four sides caps the tower. This enormous piece of stone was moved into position along an inclined plane 6km long. A spherical dome tops this block of stone.
The palace near the temple is a vast building of masonary built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas. Two of the Palace towers, the armoury and observation towers, are visible from all parts of the city.
Sangeetha Mahal or the Hall of Music This was built by Raja Serfoji; it is an acoustically perfect music hall and is a striking example of the engineering skill of the ancient builders.
This church is situated near the Palace and was built by Raja Serfoji in 1779 AD as a token of affection for the Spanish Missionary Rev CV Schwart, who was the Raja’s tutor.
Raja Raja Museum
This museum is located inside the palace which is said to have the best collection of bronzes in the South and serves as a reminder of the past religious and artistic glories of the Tamils. Among the notable sculptures are those of Bhairava, Umasahita Siva, Kali, Somaskanda and Ram Lakshamana group.
Anyone visiting Tanjore will never miss out the exquisite handicrafts, bronze statue castings, pith temple models and South Indian musical instruments like the veena and mridangam.Weaving, painting, jewelry, woodworks are some of its renowned handicrafts which make for wonderful shopping.
Tanjore is also famous for silk sarees with motif and zari work.Tanjore paintings and the Thalaiyatti Bommai are famous worldwide and should be a must in the shopping list. There are lot of government run emporia and private shops.
1.Hotel Karthick South Rampart, Old Busstand, Tanjore, India 278662, 278663, 278664
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4.Hotel Tamil Nadu Tanjore, India 2331325, 2331421, 231325
5.Hotel Sangam Tanjore, India 225151
6.Hotel Orient Towers Tanjore, India
7.Tamil Nadu Lodge Tanjore, India 231088
8.Raja Raja House Tanjore, India 230515
9.Hotel Yagappa Tanjore, India 230421
10.Hotel Valli Tanjore, India 231584
By Air The city does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is in Trichy only 54kms away from Tanjore. Many private and public airlines operate domestic flights to and from Trichy. Some other international airlines too operate regular flights to this airport.
By Rail The railway junction in Tanjore is well-linked with Trichy, Chennai, Madurai and Nagore.
By Road Tanjore is well-connected by a vast network of roads to all the prime towns and cities in Tamil Nadu and also to Kochi, Ernakulam, and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Bangalore in Karnataka. Customary bus services and tourist taxis are available for you to visit the tourist destinations in and around Tanjore.
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