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Thanjavur, A Classic Display of Arts and Ancient Dravidian Architectural Excellence of Tamil Nadu, South India

A travel enthusiast, Sunil Kunnoth finds pleasure in making trips to historic places and share his experience with the readers.

A picture is worth thousand words. It is true about a video too. It gives you almost a real life situation or feel. When the point of discussion is some great travel destination and its unique views, the words are quite inadequate. It has to be virtually experienced. .

This time, our journey is to a historical monument in Tamil Nadu. For your information, Tamil Nadu is a state on the southern part of India. If you wish to know more about Tamil Nadu, you can read my article "Tamil Nadu - The Land of Temples". A couple of places and monuments in the state are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. It is a true recognition for these classic sites. The UNESCO's branding has improved the tourism potentiality of these places. Our destination this time is Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur.

Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, South India.

Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, South India.

How to Reach Thanjavur (also known as Tanjore)

By Road: Buses are available from all towns/cities of Tamil Nadu. The road is in excellent condition. Trichy to Thanjavur is 55 km and takes roughly one hour. The distance from Coimbatore is 291 km.

By Rail: Nearest Railway station is Thanjavur Junction. Another major station is Trichy.

By Air: Nearest Airport is Trichy.

Places of Interest: Thanjavur Maratha Palace, Thanjavur Royal Palace, Saraswathi Mahal Library dating back to the 1600s and Sivaranga Park.

Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur

'A poetry on rock', the art lover in you will say nothing less than that when you reach the spot. No doubt, the temple is a marvel in stone. This grandest temple is one of the most popular monuments of the world. It is also one of the finest contributions by the Chola dynasty. The Brihadeeswarar (or Brihadeeswara) temple is also known as 'Peruvudaiyar Kovil'. 'Kovil' is the Tamil term for the temple. This temple is a classic example for the enchanting South Indian temples.

The following are the grand features of the temple.

  • The finest specimen of the South Indian temple architecture.
  • Resting on a wide base, the tower rises to a height of 72 meters and contains 14 stories.
  • The glided 'Kalasha' rests on a single block of granite weighing about 80 tonnes.
  • A 16 ft. magnificent stone statue of Nandi is there on the front side of the temple.
  • The Nandi, hewn out of solid block of stone, is said to be the second largest Nandi in the country (India).
  • The walls of the temple are full of beautiful sculptures.
  • The whole structures show the Dravidian temple architecture.
  • Though constructed many centuries ago (during 1003-1010), even today it stands as a testament to the supremacy of Dravidian architectural brilliance and the great achievement of the Chola dynasty.
  • The tower wall of the temple depicts various deities like Ganesha, Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhudevi, Ardhanarishwara, Nataraja, etc.
  • The temple work includes 81 dance poses depicting Shiva in different dance postures.
  • The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The Ancient Marvel, Another Portion of the Temple

The Ancient Marvel, Another Portion of the Temple

 Thanjavur Railway Station

Thanjavur Railway Station

The Thanjavur Features

Thanjavur was once the capital of the Chola, Nayak and Maratha rulers and situated on the delta river Cauvery. It is just one hour drive from Trichy and is nearly 55 km from there. Thanjavur is called "The Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu". Like Kerala, it has total greenery and fields everywhere. Kumbakonam, Nagappattanam (Nagore) and Velankanny, some of the famous religious hubs of Hindus, Muslims and Christians are its nearby places and reachable within a time gap of one to three hours.

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Thanjavur gains importance due to its culture and contribution to music and dance. Here you can watch some rare specimens of old art and architecture, inscriptions and paintings, all created centuries ago. 'Bharatanatyam', the classical dance form of Tamil Nadu and Karnatic Music are often mentioned with Thanjavur as these had such a glory time in the past here. Thanjavur is also known for its exquisite handicrafts, bronze castings and articles and South Indian musical instruments.

A journey to this land is worth and you will never forget it. It is a journey to a rich heritage and history.

Google Map of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

  • Tamil Nadu- The Land of Temples
    Tamil Nadu has the correct ingredients for a good travel destination. What makes it a different travel spot is the presence of a large number of temples in the state. Read this article for more.

© 2013 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth


Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on March 08, 2014:

Your visit and comments appreciated. Glad to know that my hub gave you some wonderful memory of a journey you made to this beautiful location once. Thanks for the comments.

lex123 on March 08, 2014:

Beautiful and well described hub. I had visited this temple many years ago, and hoping to visit it once again. Your hub brought back those memories of my visit.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on August 06, 2013:

Mr Veg, thank you for your visit and comments.

mr-veg from Colorado United States on August 05, 2013:

Nice one Sunil... Specially the pics are great... !!

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on August 04, 2013:



Glad to note your comments. Thanks for your visit and nice words. Thanks also for sharing and voting.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 03, 2013:

Beautiful presentation!

South India has a glorious rich culture and you have shown it beautifully.

Very well done!

Thanks for sharing! Voted up!

Radhika Sreekanth from Mumbai,India on August 03, 2013:

Culturally famous Thanjavur looks marvelous in your glorious hub. Temples are all beautiful. Up, beautiful and awesome! Sharing too.

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