|Thanjavur was the royal city of the
Cholas, Nayaks and the Mahrattas. Thanjavur derives its name from Tanjan-an
asura (giant), who according to local legend devastated the neighbourhood
and was killed by Sri Anandavalli Amman and Vishnu, Sri Neelamegapperumal.
Tanjan's last request that the city might be named after him was granted.
rose to glory during the later Chola reign between the 10th and the 14th
Centuries and became a centre of learning and culture. It is the
headquarters of the disrict of the same name. Thanjavur district, the ' Rice
Bowl ' of Tamil Nadu, is also known for its exquisite handicrafts, bronzes
and South Indian Musical Instruments.
A brief introduction to the Later Cholas or the Thanjavur Cholas. Rajaraja
Cholan the Great, occupies the foremost place in the history of the later
Cholas. Vijayalaya Chola was the founder of the later Chola dynasty. He
conquered the country from a vassal chief of the pallavas, and established
Thanjavur as the capital of the dynasty. His son and successor Aditya I
conquered the pallavas and the Kongu country; and his son Parantakan I (AD
907-953), under his leadership, the cholas acquired a dominion which
foreshadowed the greater empire Rajarajan and Kulotungan.
Attraction of Thanjavur
- Bragatheeswarar Temple
Big Temple. Rajaraja Cholan, the Great Chola king built
Bragatheeswarar Temple. Big Temple is an example for the Indian
sculptural architecture greatness. Temple is surrounded by moat on
two sides and Grand Anaicut river on the other side. This temple is
unique to have the tallest tower over the sanctum sanctorum unlike
the other temples. It is 216 feet tall. The stupa at the top is made
of bronze.The walls of the sanctum are covered, with the wall
paintings of Chola and Nayak periods, comparable to the famous
Ajanta cave frescoes.
Guarding the inner shrine of the temple, is the gigantic statue of
Nandi, the Bull. The Nandi is 12 feet tall, 191/2 feet long and 81/4
feet wide. And it weighs around 25 tons. Nayaka kings constructed a
Mandapam for the Nandi to protect it from sun and rain.
- Puliyur Vyagrapureeswarar Temple
Around 80 Kms from Thanjavur, situated 3/4 Km North of Ramarmadam
Busstop in Nagapattinam - Tiruvarur Main Road. The ancient history
says Kamadhenu, the devalogha cow prayed to Lord shiva in this
shrine to get rid of its sabam. One more speciality about this
temple, on evenings, Nataraja is worshipped first prior to all other
gods. This is also referred as Dhakshina Chidambaram. chidambaram is
where famous temple of lord Nataraja located. This village is also
called as Vyagrapuri named after the lord.
- Sikkal Singaravelavar Temple
Around 80 Kms from Thanjavur situated in Nagapattinam Tiruvarur
Main Road. The ancient history says here only Lord Murugan got the
'Sakthi Vel' from Parvathi (refered as Velnedunkanni amman in this
temple ) and killed Suran. This temple is one of the few temples in
Tamilnadu which has both Siva and Vishnu in the same campus. The
'Vel vankuthal' festival in the Tamil month of Iyappasi is very
Goddess Parvathi gave Gnana milk to Thirugnana Sambandar here,
when he was a child. After this, he sang the famous Devaram.
Lord Shiva as Thoniappar resides in a thoni (boat). The boat
symbolizes that Thoniappar helps people cross their sea of
birth. Every year during Thiruvadirai Nakshatra of Chiithirai
month, the famous Thirumulaippal Utsav is held.
Located 32 Kms away, Swamimalai is one of the six abodes
(Arupadaiveedu) dedicated to Lord Murugan. Lord Murugan preached
Pranava mantra "OM" to Lord Shiva and that why he is
called Swaminathan. The 60 steps to the temple indicate the 60 years
of the Tamil calendar. This temple is praised by Arunagirinadar.
Every Thursday, Lord Swaminathan is decorated with Diamond Vel.
45 Kms away, Thirubuvanam has a 13th century Chola temple dedicated
to Lord Shiva. Also well known for its silk weaving industry.
13 Kms from Thanjavur, where the famous saint Thyagaraja lived and
attained samadhi. The famous temple at Thiruvaiyaru is dedicated to
Shiva, and is known as Panchanatheswara. An eight day music festival
is held here, every January, in honour of the saint.
55 Kms away from Thanjavur. The Thyagarajaswami Temple is famous
for the largest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. This vast temple
houses Thyagaraja, Kamalamba and Vanmikanathar and has been sung by
the Saiva Saints. The pillars and the halls here are of great
beauty. Rajaraja Cholan was an ardent devotee of Thyagarajaswami.
This temple is also referred to as a Prithvi (Earth) Sthalam.
Thiruvarur is also the birth place of saint Thyagaraja.
- Vaitheeswaran Kovil
Vaitheeswaran, Thaiyal Nayaki, Muthukumaraswamy (Shiva, Parvathi,
Subramanya Swamy) An ancient temple dedicated to Shiva - as
Vaitheeswaran literally meaning the divine provider of cures.
Adorned with imposing towers, Mandapams and pillars, this well
visited shrine has been sung by the Saivite Saint Poets. It is of
said that Angarakan - Mars, Kartikeya, Jatayu and the Rig Veda
worshipped Shiva here. This shrine is also referred to as an
- By Air
The nearest airport is at Tiruchi. Thanjavur is 65kms east of
Tiruchi. Next closest airport is at Madurai. It's about 200 Kms by
road. If you come from other parts of the country you can land in
Chennai airport. Thanjavur is around 350 Kms south of Chennai by
- By Train
There is a railway junction in Thanjavur. It's well connected with
Tiruchi, Chennai and Nagore.
- By Road
Thanjavur is well connected with all the major towns in TamilNadu.
And also it is connected with Kochi, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram
in Kerala and Bangalore in Karnataka.