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Thanjavur Car Hire

About Thanjavur

Thanjavur: The name Thanjavur is derived from "Tanjan", a legendary asura in Hindu mythology. Thanjavur is one of the ancient cities in India and has a long and varied history dating back to the Sangam period. The town was founded by Mutharayar king Swaran Maran and rose to prominence during the rule of the Later Cholas when it served as the capital of the Chola empire. After the fall of the Cholas, the city was ruled by various dynasties like Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks and British. It has been a part of independent India since 1947. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among the Great Living Chola temples, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the center of the city. Thanjavur is also the home of the Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region. It also known as the Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu.

Places to visit:

Sri Brihadeswara temple: Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple This is also called the Big temple and it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The great Chola king Raja Raja I (985-1012 A.D) built this temple. It is an outstanding example of the Chola architecture. Its unique architectural excellence has made the UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage Monument. The 64.8mts.Tall vimanam or the tower over the sanctum sanctorum is a testimony to the engineering skill of the Cholas. In keeping the immensity of the temple the gigantic mahalingam in the shrine measures 4 mtrs. in height. The monolithic Nandi,or the bull mount of Lord Shiva has been chiselled out of single rock. It is the second largest nandi in India. The beautiful Chola Fresco paintings on the inner walls of the temple are no way less than Ajanta paintings. One of the best temples in South India, the Brahadeeswarar Temple is the Chola dynasty's finest contribution to Dravidian temple architecture. What makes the construction so unique is the diversion from the usual temple building norms of having a tall gopuram and smaller vimanams (the tower over the sanctum). At the big temple the vimanam soars high while the gopuram remains stunted. The 64.8m tall, 14-tiered pyramid shaped vimanam rises from a square base and is topped by a huge monolithic cupolas carved out from an 81.3 tonne block of granite.It was installed with aid of a 6km long inclined plane. The tower is a testimony to the engineering skill of the Chola architects who planned its construction in a way that the shadow of the cupola never falls on the ground.

Palace: Just 1 km.away from Brahadeeswarar Temple, is the magnificent palace. This palace is surrounded with huge fort walls. it dates 14th century A.D and was partly built by the Nayaks and partly by Marathas. The Nayaks and the Marathas ruled Thanjavur from 1400 - 1676 A.D and from 1676 - 1855 respectively. Even now the royal family of the Marathas resides in this palace. It measures 110 acres in size. It is a grand pile of fascinating building with huge corridors, spacious halls decorated rooms, tall observation towers, beautiful stucco works, wonderful fresco painted walls and ceilings beautiful stucco works, wonderful fresco Painted walls and Ceilings underground tunnels, intricate carvings, royal family's sacred Chandra Mauleeshwarar temple are all worth seeing.

Art Gallery : The Art Gallery has a fabulous collection of bronze icons. The stone sculptures are unique in their priceless quality. The gallery has exhibits unique in historical association and antiquity unique. One can see and enjoy the finest pieces of stone sculptures and bronze icons of the gods of Hindu Mythology in different forms which helps the viewer get enlightened regarding the greatness of Chola art especially with special reference to their legendary background. All the sculptures and bronzes in the Art Gallery are feast to the eyes of art lovers.

Saraswathi Mahal Library: The Thanjavur Maharaja Serforji's Saraswathi Mahal Library is one among the few medieval libraries that exist in the world. It is an unparalleled repository of cultural antiques and an inexhaustible treasurehouse of knowledge built by successive dynasties of the Nayaks and the Marathas who ruled Thanjavur. It contains a very rare and valuable collection of manuscripts, books, maps and paintings on all aspects of Art, Culture and Literature . The Encyclopaedia Britannica in its survey of the Libraries of the world mentions. That it is as “the most remarkable Library in India.” It was Conceived and Christened as the Royal Palace Library in the 16th century by the Nayak Kings and later developed by the Maratha Kings of Thanjavur. Only after 1918 this Library was made a Public Library. Now both the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India maintain the Library.

Places nearby Thanjavur:

Punnai Nallur Marriamman Temple (6 kms): This temple dedicated to Goddess Marimman and was built by the Maratha ruler Tuljaji in 1677 A.D. It is 6 kms cast of Thanjavur.

Thirukandiyur (10 kms): Here there are temples of Brahmasirekandeswarar and of Harshavimochana Perumal. It is one of the Attaveeratangal.

Thiruvaiyaru (13 kms): Situated on the banks of the cauvery Thiruvaiyaru has an old Shiva temple dedicated to panchanatheswar. Though pilgrims flock to this temple throughout the year. Thiruvaiyaru is more renowned for its anociation with saint Thyagaraja, who along with Muthuswamy Diskshitar and Shyama Sastri, Comprises the trinity of Carnatic Music. Near Shiva Temple is the one - roomed have where Thyagaraja composed some of this greatest works. On the banks of the river is the samadhi of the saint and it is here that the greatest music festival in the country takes place annually. The Thyagaraja Aaradhana festival is held in Janvary when most of the leading exponents of carnatic music come to perform and are watched by thousands of ardent fams of classical music.

Grant Anicut (48 kms): Known as a marvel in engineering, this ancient Dam is made of a solid mass of rough stone and clay, and it stretches across the River Cauvery in a serpentine fashion. It is a fine picnic spot for tourists and others.

Poondi Matha Basilica (35 kms): The Poondi village is about 35 kms. from Thanjavur and the nearest Railway Station is Budalur. It is a Roman Catholic Pilgrim Centre like Velankanni.

Thirukarugavoor (20 kms): The Arulmighu Mullaivananathar and the Karpagarahshambigai temples are situated in the riverbed of River Vettaru a branch of the Cauvery, at a distance of 20 kms northeast of Thanjavur at distance of 20 kms southwest from Kumbakonam. This sthalam Thirukarugavoor is ancient and has been extensively quoted by the Great Shaivite saints Thirugnana Sambandar and Thirunavukkarasar on the dieties Eswara Mullaivananathar and the Goddesses Gharbharakshambigai.

Manora (65 kms): Rajah Serfoji built this 8-storey victory town in 1814 to commemorate the victory of the British over Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo. It is situated on the shore of Bay of Bengal in Sarabendrajanpathinam village about 20 km. South of Pattukottai Town, in Tanjore Dist. Manora is the grand and gregarious old town with lowerly architecture and surroundings. This ancient fort Monument is styled 'Manora' a derivation from "Minors" of North Indian architecture. This historical Monument majestically shooting up in thin air, 140 feet height. Manora is a pleasing blend of Roman pillar architecture a combination very serious and striking to artistic eyes. This hexogen shapped 10 storyed fort represents the 19th Century architectural taste of Maratha king serfoji of Thanjavur. The panosanic views foamler sea, the floating boats, breezy coconut trees, scattered fisherman houses taking different beautiful shaper at every storey.

Gangaikondacholapuram (71 kms): The temple built by Rajendra Chola at Gangaikondacholapuram is almost similar to the Big Temple at Thanjavur. It has an imposing Vimanam dominating the landscape for miles around.

Thiruvarur(55kms) world Heritage Monument: The Thyagarajaswami temple here has the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. This is the birthplace of Saint Thyagaraja, the poet-saint and composer. The Arulmigu Thyagarajaswamy Car Festival is celebrated in March –April, every year. Boating at the Kamalalayam Temple tank is being organised by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. from April 1997.

Papanasam (30 kms): There are two temples; The Pallaivanatha Swamy temple constructed by the Chola King and the other is the 108 Sivalayam temples. There are also a Granary (storehouse of paddy) which measure 86 feet in width and has a height of 36 feet with a capacity of 3,000 kalam which is a measure. The Nayaks between 1600-1634 constructed it. The State Archaeological Department declared it as a monument. One can see the 108 Sivalingams only in the temple in Papanasam.

Swamimalai (32 kms): It is one of the six abodes or Arupadaiveedu dedicated to Lord Subramanya.

Darasuram (34 kms): Raja Raja Chola II built the Airateswara or Darasuram temple. It is an excellent example of 12th century Chola architecture and is well preserved to this day. The frontal columns of the temple have unique miniature sculptures. During the 14th century the large stone statues surrounding the temple were replaced with brick and mortar statues similar to those found at the Big Temple in Thanjavur. The Archaeological Survey of India has restored the temple. This has been declared as a world Heritage Monument.

Kumbakonam (40 kms): The Sarangapani, Kumbeswarar, Nageswarar and the Ramaswamy temples are located here. The Mahamagam congregation takes place once in 12 years and it was last held in 2004.

Travel tips
Thanjavur has both hot and pleasant climate.
 •Summers (March to May) are hot with the temperature meander in the band of 25 °C to 40 °C, Tourists prefer to avoid hot days in April and May.
 •Monsoons (June to September) are accompanied with low monsoon rains. The place is beautiful in rains and offers some relief from the hot climate.
 •Winters (December to February) are pleasant with moderate temperatures in a range of 20°C to 30°C.

Best Season to visit Thanjavur is October to March.
 •June to September is humid but pleasant with moderate temperature and suitable for short trips and sight seeing.
 •October to March is perfectly ideal for tourist visits and visits to the temples.

The estimated distance from Bangalore to Thanjavur is 390 kms. The approximate travel time between Bangalore and Vellore by road is 7.0 hours. To get more information regarding NTS services from Bangalore to Vellore you can reach us at (+91) 9341 01 9341

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