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
Thanjavur 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 district 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.
Area : 29.24 sq. kms.
Population : 2,00,216 ( 1991 census )
Season : Throughout the year
Languages spoken : Tamil, English and Marathi
By Air: The nearest airport is at Tiruchi.
Thanjavur is 65kms east of Tiruchi. Next closest airport is
at Madurai. It's about 200 Km 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 road.
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.
Pilgrimage Attraction of Thanjavur
The Big Temple. Rajaraja Cholan, the Great Chola king built
Bragateeswara 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
Puliyur Vyagrapureeswara Temple
Around 80 Km 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 Km 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 famous here.
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 Km 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. Arunagirinadar praises this temple. Every Thursday,
Lord Swaminathan is decorated with Diamond Vel.
45 Km away, Thirubuvanam has a 13th century Chola temple dedicated
to Lord Shiva. Also well known for its silk weaving industry.
13 Km 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 Km 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 birthplace of saint Thyagaraja.
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 Angarakasthalam.