December 12, 2018
Among the many temple cities of Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur (formerly known as Tanjore) is one of the most visited and admired places in the state. Home to one of the biggest and most impressive Great Living Chola Temples, Thanjavur is one city that no traveller should miss, especially if you are someone who is drawn to history, architecture and culture. Just a few hours away from Chennai if you take a train, Thanjavur can be explored in a day. That is all the more reason you shouldn’t miss the city the next time you are in Tamil Nadu. And if you are still in two minds, here are the reasons why you shouldn’t miss the city.
One of the UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, this temple is one of the largest and most marvellous examples of Dravidian architecture. Right from the first gateway to the tiniest sculptures on the facade to the fading murals on the wall, everything about this temple will keep you intrigued and stunned. While the main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Brihadisvara complex also houses three smaller temples dedicated to Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya; and there is a massive Nandi statue standing guard. Take your time with the temple, you won’t regret it. Also, do not miss the fact that at no time of the day does the temple’s shadow fall on the floor.
Thanjavur Maratha Palace
What might have once been a fortress in all its splendour and a fitting residence of the Bhonsle rulers, this palace is now beautiful only in parts. But the parts which remain noteworthy are such that you will not be able to take your eyes off of them. Of these, do not miss the Darbar Hall (with its paintings and sculptures on the wall), the complex with the Nandi statue, and the big Hanuman mural on the wall. There are also museums which house some great relics of the Chola dynasty that you should explore.
When it comes to food, there are some restaurants in Thanjavur that you just can’t miss – Diana for local Chettinad food, Sahana for lunch thalis and Tanjore Hi for a boutique restaurant experience. But if you want to chill with a book, some great food and a beer, head to Ideal River View Resort for a brunch and you will not return unhappy.