Formerly Tanjore, the historic city of Thanjavur is located in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu and is famed for its ancient temples, historic palaces and diverse cultural attractions. Once the majestic capital of the Chola Kingdom, between the 10th and 14th centuries, a tour of Thanjavur will take you up close to the relics of this ancient centre of learning.
The biggest attraction is the impressive Brihadeeswara Temple, over 1000 years old, it is the crowning glory of the city and an amazing example of South Indian architecture. Dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva, the temple has a simply magical exterior appearance, although the interior is equally as brilliant, owing to the intricate and colourful frescoes that cover the walls. As well as it’s cultural attractions, the area is known for its rice cultivation and traditional Tanjore painting, a technique unique to the ancient capital.
Pilgrims descend on the city to worship at the historic temples where you can watch devotees placing offerings to the eternal gods. Other sights to see in Thanjavur include the charming Thanjavur Maratha Palace, a glorious royal complex home to the Saraswathi Mahal Library, which houses, among its many treasures, precious manuscripts, some of which are so ancient they’re written on palm leaves. A trip to Thanjavur offers visitors the opportunity to experience the culture, arts and religion of South India.
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