Thanjore or Thanjavur in Tamilnadu in south India is famous for its rich cultural heritage which includes temples, Thanjore paintings, Carnatic music and musical instrument – Veena. The capital city of great Chola empire with lots of specimen of Dravidian architecture enjoy past in its present. The Bridheshwar temple in the heart of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanjavur is also known as ” Rice Bowl of south India ” and has lot of paddy fields around.
Photo : Brihdeshwar Temple
The Brihdeshwar Temple, also known as the Raja Rajeswara and Rajarajeswaram temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva is an excellent example of Dravidian architecture of Chola empire. The temple was built in 1010 AD and is UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple tower is of 66 meters and is the tallest temple in the world. The top most part , a bulbous round structure is carved out of a single rock and weighs 80 tons. It was carried up to the top by elephants pulling it inch by inch on a slope of 6 kms long.
Thanjore Palace built by Nayaka kings and later re-developed by Maratha Kings besides having beautiful murals and portraits of various rulers is famous for Saraswati Mahal Library and an Art Gallery. Saraswatu Mahal Library has a collection of rare paintings and manuscript written on palm leaves while Art Gallery contains a collection of stone carvings and superb, mainly Chola, bronzes, including some fabulous Natarajas.
Visit to a Tamil village walking through the coconut plantation and spice gardens is the best way to experience the rural life in South India. You will be welcomed to the house of your host in village where you can enjoy a nice and relaxing filter south India coffee.
Music is the Universal Language
Tanjore is the epicenter of south Indian and carnatic music in Tamilnadu. Veena , a traditional Indian classical music instrument has been developed and fabricated here. Visit to to school of south Indian dance and music will let you experience the Universal language i.e. music.