|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.