Are you tired of the same old tourist destinations? Bored of the beaches and mountains? Well, have no fear because Thanjavur is here! This beautiful city in Tamil Nadu has so much to offer - from intricate temples to delicious cuisine.

But wait, there's more! Thanjavur is also known as the "Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu" because of its extensive rice cultivation. So, if you're a foodie like me, you're in for a treat.

Now, let me tell you about the pièce de résistance - the Brihadeeswarar Temple. This stunning temple is over 1000 years old and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's so impressive that it even has its own nickname - "the Big Temple."

But that's not all folks! Thanjavur also has a rich history and culture. It was once the capital of the Chola dynasty and their influence can still be seen in the city's architecture and art.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head over to Thanjavur for an unforgettable experience. Trust me, you won't regret it!

P.S. Don't forget to try some of their famous "Thanjavur Dancing Dolls" - they're sure to make you smile!

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History and Culture of Thanjavur

Thanjavur, also known as Tanjore, is a city located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It has a rich history and culture that dates back to the Chola dynasty, which ruled the region from the 9th to 13th centuries. The city is famous for its Brihadeeswarar Temple, an architectural masterpiece built by the Chola king, Raja Raja I.

Legend has it that Thanjavur was once a part of the mythical kingdom of Lemuria. The city's name is derived from "Tanjan", a legendary demon who was killed by Lord Vishnu. The city's culture is deeply rooted in Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam, two ancient art forms that originated in Tamil Nadu.

Thanjavur was also home to many renowned poets and writers, including Raja Serfoji II, who ruled over the region during the 18th century. His court was known for its patronage of art and literature, and he himself was a prolific writer who composed several works in both Tamil and Sanskrit.

The city is also famous for its puppetry tradition, which dates back to over 2,000 years. The puppets are made of leather or cloth and are controlled by strings attached to their limbs. They are used to tell stories from Hindu mythology and are an integral part of Thanjavur's cultural heritage.

In recent times, Thanjavur has become a hub for education, with several prestigious institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) being located in the vicinity. It is also a popular tourist destination due to its rich history and cultural significance.

How to Reach and getting around Thanjavur

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Thanjavur is Tiruchirapalli International Airport, which is about 55 km away. It has good connectivity with major Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Thanjavur.

  2. By Train: Thanjavur has its own railway station that connects it with major cities like Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, and Trichy. The town also has an express train that runs from Chennai to Thanjavur daily. You can also opt for a luxury train ride on the Palace on Wheels that stops at Thanjavur.

  3. By Road: Thanjavur is well-connected by road with other major cities in Tamil Nadu and neighboring states like Kerala and Karnataka. National Highway 67 passes through the town, making it easy to access by road. You can either drive yourself or hire a taxi or a bus to reach Thanjavur.

  4. By Bus: Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) operates regular buses from major cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, and Trichy to Thanjavur. Private buses are also available from nearby towns and cities.

  5. By Car: If you prefer driving yourself, you can rent a car from Chennai or any nearby city and drive down to Thanjavur. The roads are well-maintained and offer scenic views of the countryside.

  6. By Bike: If you're an adventure enthusiast and love biking, you can rent a bike from Trichy or any nearby city and ride down to Thanjavur. It's a great way to explore the countryside and enjoy the scenic beauty of the region. However, make sure you have all the necessary safety gear before embarking on this journey.

No matter how you choose to travel, reaching Thanjavur is easy and hassle-free thanks to its excellent connectivity with other parts of Tamil Nadu and neighboring states.

Weather of Thanjavur

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Thanjavur, located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India, experiences a tropical climate. The city is known for its scorching summers, with temperatures soaring up to 42°C. The monsoon season here starts from October and lasts till December, bringing moderate to heavy rainfall. The winter season extends from December to February, with temperatures ranging between 20°C and 28°C.

If you want to explore Thanjavur comfortably, then the best time to visit is from October to March. During these months, the weather is pleasant and perfect for sightseeing. You can also witness the famous Brihadeeswara Temple festival that takes place in October or November.

The summer months from April to June should be avoided as the heat can be unbearable and uncomfortable for traveling around the city. However, if you plan a visit during this time, make sure you carry light cotton clothes and stay hydrated.

Overall, Thanjavur can be enjoyed throughout the year except for summers. So plan your trip accordingly and enjoy exploring this historic city with its rich cultural heritage, temples and delicious cuisine.

Places to Visit in Thanjavur

  • Brihadeeswara Temple - This ancient temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest temples in India. Built by the Chola dynasty, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva and features intricate carvings and a towering gopuram.

  • Thanjavur Palace - Also known as the Maratha Palace, this 16th-century palace was the residence of the Thanjavur Nayaks and later the Maratha rulers. It houses a museum with exhibits on local history and art.

  • Schwartz Church - This historic church was built by German missionary Christian Friedrich Schwartz in the 18th century. It has an impressive collection of memorial tablets and brass plates honoring notable figures, including Schwartz himself.

  • Saraswathi Mahal Library - Established in the 16th century by the Nayak kings, this library is one of the oldest in Asia. It contains over 30,000 manuscripts and rare books on subjects ranging from medicine to astronomy.

  • Gangaikonda Cholapuram - This small village was once a major city during the reign of Rajendra Chola I. The centerpiece is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, which features beautiful carvings and sculptures.

  • Kumbakonam - Known as the "temple town" of Tamil Nadu, Kumbakonam is home to dozens of ancient temples dedicated to various Hindu deities. Highlights include the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple and the Sarangapani Temple.

  • Sivaganga Park - This sprawling park features lush gardens, fountains, and a large pond filled with colorful fish. It's a popular spot for picnics and evening strolls.

  • Punnainallur Mariamman Temple - This colorful temple is dedicated to Mariamman, a goddess worshipped for her ability to heal diseases and protect against evil spirits.

  • Thanjavur Art Gallery - Housed in the palace complex, this gallery showcases traditional artwork from Thanjavur and other parts of Tamil Nadu. Highlights include intricate bronze sculptures, ornate jewelry, and colorful paintings.

  • Thiruvaiyaru - Located just outside Thanjavur, this town is famous for its association with Saint Tyagaraja, one of South India's most revered composers of classical music. Visitors can tour his birthplace or attend concerts during his annual music festival in January.

Religious Shrines
  • Thanjavur
  • Punnainallur Mariamman Temple
  • Swamimalai
  • Heritage Places
  • Thanjavur
  • Saraswathi Mahal Library
  • Karai Badlands Formation Fossil Park
  • Food Options and Local Cuisine of Thanjavur

    Thanjavur is known for its rich culture and history, and its culinary traditions are no exception. The local cuisine of Thanjavur is a combination of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, with a blend of spices that give it a unique taste. Some popular dishes include Thanjavur Chicken Briyani, a spicy rice dish made with chicken, saffron, and various spices; Kulambu, a tangy tamarind-based vegetable stew; Kara Kuzhambu, a spicy gravy made with vegetables or meat; and Thalicha Mor Kuzhambu, a buttermilk-based curry served with rice. For dessert, locals love to indulge in Ellu Urundai, sweet sesame balls made with jaggery, or Sakkarai Pongal, a sweet rice pudding flavored with cardamom and garnished with cashews and raisins.

    About dining options:

    If you're in Thanjavur and looking for some delicious food options, here are three restaurants/cafes you must try:

    1. Balaji Bhavan: Located in the heart of the city, Balaji Bhavan is known for its authentic South Indian cuisine. Their must-try dishes include Masala Dosa, Idli Sambar, and Filter Coffee.

    2. Gnanamani Restaurant: This restaurant specializes in Chettinad cuisine, which is known for its spicy flavors. Their signature dishes include Chicken Chettinad, Mutton Rogan Josh, and Fish Fry.

    3. Sathars: If you're in the mood for some North Indian food, Sathars is the perfect place to go. Their menu features classic North Indian dishes like Butter Chicken, Paneer Tikka Masala, and Tandoori Roti.

    All three restaurants offer great food at reasonable prices and are sure to leave you satisfied. So head on over to one of these places on your next visit to Thanjavur!

    Best areas for accommodation in Thanjavur

    Thanjavur, also known as the "Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu", is a popular tourist destination in South India. The city is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site, Brihadeeswarar Temple, and various other temples, museums, and art galleries. When it comes to accommodation options in Thanjavur, there are plenty of choices available for all types of travelers.

    The East Main Street area is one of the best areas for accommodation in Thanjavur. It is located in the heart of the city and has easy access to all major attractions, restaurants, and shopping areas. Another good option is the Anna Salai area which is slightly away from the hustle-bustle of the city center but still close to all amenities.

    Here are three properties for accommodation in Thanjavur:

    1. Ideal River View Resort - A luxury resort located on the banks of River Cauvery. The resort offers spacious rooms with modern amenities like Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and flat-screen TVs. It also has a swimming pool, spa, restaurant, and bar.

    2. Svatma Hotel - A budget-friendly hotel located in the heart of the city. The hotel offers well-appointed rooms with basic amenities like air conditioning and Wi-Fi. It also has a restaurant serving local and international cuisine.

    3. Mannars Residency Hostel - A hostel located near Brihadeeswarar Temple that offers affordable dormitory-style accommodation for backpackers and solo travelers. The hostel has a communal kitchen, lounge area, and free Wi-Fi.

    Overall, Thanjavur offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. Whether you're looking for luxury resorts or budget-friendly hostels, you'll find something that suits your needs in this charming city.

    Shopping in Thanjavur

    Thanjavur, also known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu, is a city that is rich in culture and heritage. It is also a great place for shopping. From traditional silk sarees to intricately designed jewelry, there is something for everyone in the markets of Thanjavur.

    Things to buy

    1. Silk Sarees: Thanjavur is famous for its silk sarees with intricate designs and vibrant colors.
    2. Bronze Artifacts: Thanjavur is home to skilled artisans who create beautiful bronze sculptures and idols.
    3. Paintings: The city is known for its unique style of painting called Tanjore Paintings, which are characterized by their use of gold foil and vibrant colors.
    4. Jewelry: From traditional temple jewelry to contemporary designs, Thanjavur has a wide range of options to choose from.

    Markets to visit

    1. Rajah Serfoji Market: This market is known for its fresh produce, spices, and handmade crafts.
    2. East Main Street Market: This market offers a variety of products ranging from clothing to handicrafts at reasonable prices.
    3. Thanjavur Big Bazaar Street: This street has shops selling everything from clothing to electronics.

    What to avoid

    1. Fake Products: Be cautious when buying branded products as there are many fake items being sold in the markets.
    2. Overpriced Items: Bargaining is common in the markets of Thanjavur. Avoid paying too much for products by negotiating with the shopkeepers.
    3. Crowded Streets: Some markets can get very crowded during peak hours. Avoid visiting these places during rush hour.
    4. Unlicensed Guides/Agents: Do not trust unlicensed guides or agents who may try to scam you into buying unnecessary things or paying more than required.

    Nightlife in Thanjavur

    Nightlife in Thanjavur is not as vibrant as compared to other cities. However, there are some good options for people who want to enjoy their evenings after a long day of sightseeing. The city is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional cuisine. So, if you are looking for a relaxed and peaceful evening, Thanjavur is the place to be.

    Sangeetha Mahal: Sangeetha Mahal is one of the best places in Thanjavur to enjoy live music performances. The venue hosts various musical shows throughout the week. You can enjoy traditional Tamil music and dance performances here.

    Vijayalakshmi Cinema Hall: Vijayalakshmi Cinema Hall is a popular cinema hall in Thanjavur. The theatre screens the latest Tamil movies. The cinema hall has comfortable seating and good sound quality.

    Royal Palace: Royal Palace is a luxury hotel in Thanjavur that offers various recreational activities for its guests. You can spend your evening playing indoor games like carrom, chess, or billiards here.

    Overall, nightlife in Thanjavur may not be as happening as other cities, but it has its own charm. You can explore the local markets and try out some delicious street food. If you want to spend your evening doing something different than usual, then head over to Sangeetha Mahal or Vijayalakshmi Cinema Hall or Royal Palace for an enjoyable time.

    Outdoor Activities in Thanjavur

    If you are looking for some outdoor fun in Thanjavur, there are plenty of activities to choose from that will keep you entertained and active. From exploring ancient temples to cruising on a river, there is something for everyone.

    One of the most popular outdoor activities in Thanjavur is visiting the Brihadeeswarar Temple. This temple, also known as the Big Temple, is one of the largest and oldest temples in India and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can admire the stunning architecture and intricate carvings while learning about the history and culture of the region.

    Another great way to get outdoors in Thanjavur is by taking a cruise on the Cauvery River. The river flows through the heart of Thanjavur and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride or even try their hand at fishing.

    For those who love nature, a visit to Saraswathi Mahal Library Gardens is a must-see attraction. The gardens offer a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and are home to many rare and exotic plants.

    Overall, if you want an adventure that's both educational and entertaining, Thanjavur has it all. Whether you're interested in history, nature or just want to soak up some sun, there's something for everyone here.

    Festivals and Events in Thanjavur

    Thanjavur is not only famous for its architectural wonders and outdoor activities but also for its vibrant festivals and events. The city is a hub for cultural and religious celebrations that attract people from all over the world. These events are an integral part of the local culture, where people come together to celebrate and share their joy with each other. Some of the prominent festivals and events celebrated in Thanjavur are:

    1. Pongal (January): Pongal is one of the most important festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu, which marks the beginning of harvest season. It is a four-day festival that starts on January 14th or 15th every year.

    2. Brahmotsavam Festival (February-March): This festival is celebrated at the Brihadeeswarar temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The festival lasts for ten days, during which different rituals, cultural programs, and feasts take place.

    3. Chitrai Festival (April-May): This festival celebrates the wedding anniversary of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar. It attracts thousands of devotees from all over India who come to witness the grandeur of the event.

    4. Navaratri Festival (September-October): Navaratri is a nine-day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga, who represents feminine power. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Thanjavur, where people organize various cultural programs, dance performances, and music concerts.

    5. Karthigai Deepam (November-December): Karthigai Deepam is a festival of lights celebrated in Tamil Nadu. It falls on the full moon day in November or December every year. People light lamps and decorate their homes with beautiful lights.

    Apart from these major events, there are many other festivals that are celebrated with equal fervor in Thanjavur such as Diwali, Christmas, New Year's Eve, etc. These events offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and immerse themselves in its vibrant traditions.

    Tips for Travelers while travelling to Thanjavur

    1. Plan your trip around festivals. Thanjavur is a city that celebrates various festivals throughout the year, including the popular Natyanjali Dance Festival and the Brihadeeswara Temple Car Festival. Make sure to plan your trip accordingly to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of the city.
    2. Visit the Brihadeeswara Temple. This ancient temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural marvel with stunning sculptures and intricate carvings. It is one of the most significant landmarks in Thanjavur and attracts thousands of tourists every year.
    3. Explore the local cuisine. Thanjavur is famous for its delicious South Indian cuisine, which includes idlis, dosas, sambar, rasam, and more. Don't miss out on trying some of the local delicacies such as Thanjavur-style biryani, thalicha idi (seasoned rice), and vazhapoo vadai (banana flower fritters).
    4. Shop for souvenirs. Thanjavur is known for its traditional handicrafts such as Tanjore paintings, bronze statues, silk sarees, and more. Take some time to explore the local markets such as Gandhiji Road and Big Bazaar Street to pick up some unique souvenirs to take back home.
    5. Respect local customs. While traveling in Thanjavur or any other part of India, it's important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting temples or other religious places, remove shoes before entering holy places, and avoid public displays of affection.

    Overall, Thanjavur is a fascinating destination that offers a glimpse into South India's rich cultural heritage. By following these tips while traveling in Thanjavur, you can make your trip memorable and enjoyable while respecting local customs and traditions.


    What is Thanjavur famous for?

    Thanjavur, also known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu, is famous for its art, culture, and architecture. The city is renowned for its magnificent Brihadeeswarar Temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanjavur is also famous for its classical music and dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music. The city has a rich history in bronze casting and painting too.

    How to reach Thanjavur?

    Thanjavur can be reached by air, rail or road. The nearest airport is the Trichy International Airport, which is approximately 55 km away. Thanjavur has a railway station that connects major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. The city is well-connected by road with regular bus services to nearby cities.

    What are the best places to visit in Thanjavur?

    The best places to visit in Thanjavur include the Brihadeeswarar Temple, Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur Palace and Art Gallery, Schwartz Church and Palace, Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple Complex and Sivaganga Park.

    What are some local delicacies to try in Thanjavur?

    Some of the must-try local delicacies in Thanjavur include Thavala Adai (a dosa made with lentils), Kuzhi Paniyaram (rice dumplings), Kumbakonam Degree Coffee (strong filter coffee), Chettinad Chicken Curry (spicy chicken curry) and Kuthiraivali Upma (a dish made with millet).

    What are some shopping options in Thanjavur?

    Shopping options in Thanjavur include buying traditional Tanjore paintings which are made using gold foils on glass or wood panels. Handicrafts made of bronze are also popular here. You can also buy silk sarees from local shops.

    Is it safe to travel alone in Thanjavur?

    Thanjavur is generally safe for solo travellers but it's important to take precautions like avoiding deserted areas at night time.

    What are some festivals celebrated in Thanjavur?

    Some of the major festivals celebrated in Thanjavur include Pongal (harvest festival), Navaratri (nine-day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga), Deepavali (festival of lights) and Karthigai Deepam (celebrated at the Brihadeeswarar Temple).

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