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There are attractive and historical places locating in Thanjavur. Here we mentioned few places to visit.

Prahadheeswarar Temple ( Big Temple of Thanjavur):

Brihadeshwar temple or the Big temple is the prime attraction of Thanjavur. Brihadeshwar temple was built in the early 11th century by Rajaraja Chola I. The temple is built in Dravidian style of architecture in granite.

Brihadeshwar temple, known also as Rajarajesvaram, is one of the well preserved Heritage Sites in Tamil Nadu. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has a 2.7 m high Shivalinga, which is about 7 m in diameter. The construction which encloses sanctum sanctorum is known by the name 'Periya Kovil' or the ‘Big temple’. The 70 m high ‘Vimana’ of the temple is built in such an architectural precision, that its shadow never falls outside itself. The Shikharam, which weighs about81.25 tons, is carved out of a single stone.

Brihadeshwar temple also features a massive idol of Nandi (bull), the mount of Lord Shiva. This idol, which weighs about 25 tons, has a height of about 3.6 m, length of 5.94 m and a width of 5.56 m. This idol is seated in ‘Nayak Mandapam’, which is decorated with intricate carvings. The ceiling of this mandapam is noted for its 1000 year old frescoes. Portraits of Sevappanayakan and his son Achyutappa Nayak (the early Nayak rulers) can also be seen on the front pillars of Nandi Mandapam.

  Grand Anicut (KALLANAI)

This is a old dam which has now become a major tourist spot was built during the reign of King Karikalan, a Chola ruler, around the 1st century. The dam is constructed on the Kaveri river and is a spot from where visitors can have a beautiful view of the faoming water of the Kaveri river.

The dam is 329 m long and is around 20 m wide and is a huge structure proclaiming the rich and prosperous rule of the Chola kings. This dam is considered to be one of the world's oldest dams and thus, is a historic site in itself. You will be amaze to learn that this dam is still in use in the town.

  Thanjavur Royal Palace

Thanjavur Royal Palace is one of the most popular attractions of Thanjavur. Thanjavur Royal Palace, situated within the Vijaynagara Fort complex, was the residence of the Nayak Kings of Thanjavur. The royal palace, built in 16th century, later became the seat of the Maratha rulers of Thanjavur in the 17th century.

Thanjavur Royal Palace offers Nayak Hall, Durbar Hall, Serfoji’s Saraswati Mahal Library and the arsenal tower for the tourists.

Nayak Hall, built by the Nayaks, house Thanjavur Art Gallery, where various Thanjavur artefacts belonging to the period of Cholas are displayed. Durbar Hall, built by the Marathas, displays a throne canopy decorated in Thanjavur styled mirror-glass works. Serfoji's Saraswati Mahal Library, situated adjacent to the Nayak Hall, houses a rare collection of Sanskrit books and palm-leaf manuscripts.

The palace also offers clear view of the Vijaynagara Fort complex and the Gopuram and the Vimana of the Brihadeshwar temple from the top of the arsenal tower, the erstwhile Palace watch tower and the arsenal of the Thanjavur Kings till 1855.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple

What can one say about a magnificent temple set in a serene ambience? Rare yet splendid – the temple at Gangaikonda is a must visit. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this unique architectural creation from the Chola period displays a octagonal shaped Vimana. The temple stands pompously in the city built by Rajendra Chola to celebrate his successful march to the Ganges. It is a spectacular example of the Dravidian style architecture and makes for some striking pictures too. There are also numerous tiny temples studded in the area. Don’t miss the shrine dedicated to the Goddess, the one with a colossal lion guarding the entrance. Although less remains of the erstwhile capital city of the Cholas, this temple is well maintained and stands in all its glory.

Read up a bit on the Rajendra Chola and the history of the city to make your visit even more exciting. Unlike most popular spots, this place is devoid of large crowds and so you can spend some relaxed time here.


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