Thanjavur Tourism

Thanjavur Tourism

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Thanjavur Info

  • State: Tamil Nadu
  • Famous for/as: Heritage

Located in the southern most tip of the country, Thanjavur is situated in the Cauvery delta of the state of Tamil Nadu. Due to its substantial paddy production, the place is popularly referred to as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is known for the agricultural activities and because of its agricultural produce, it is known as the granary of south India. The district is bounded by the green paddy fields, coconut trees and vegetation all around.

History of Thanjavur

It is believed that the name Thanjavur derives its origin from the word ‘tanjan’, which is the name of an asura in the Hindu mythological stories. There are again those who believe that the name is derived from ‘than-sei-oor’, as it means a place surrounded by rivers and paddy fields. Thanjavur is located quite close to the well-known town of Tirucirapalli. 

The place is one of the oldest cities in India and existed since the times of the Chola Kings. It was being ruled by Nayaks and Maratta kings who integrated the art and culture into the monuments like Grand Anaicut, The Big Temple, The Serfoji Mahal Library etc. The place has a mythological background attached to it making it a divine place. It is popularly known as Mother Cauvery which is clearly evident from 'Kaviri-Thala-Puranam'. 

The river flowing in the district is named as Ponni, because it is believed that it yields ‘pon’ meaning gold in the form of paddy. It is also said that every bit of earth in the place is a piece of gold. This is the reason why it is often said, especially among the natives, that every iota of the earth of Thanjavur is equal to an iota of gold.  In Tamil literature the tillers have rightly called as - the sons of the Cauvery as they alone are worthy of this title for the rich production of grains in this fertile soil. In Hindu mythology, the sons of Mother Cauvery are called 'Kauvirippudhalvars’ as they produce grains in this fertile soil.

People & Culture of Thajavur

Thanjavur is regarded as the major learning centre for culture and education. It is a home to art and architecture and has given birth to one of the most popular classical form of dance called Bharat Natyam. The carnatic form of music also has its origination from Thanjavur along with Tanjore paintings.

The place is rich with culture and music and still holds the essence of olden times. The people here speak one of the ancient languages of the country, Tamil. The place is famous among the pilgrims. 

Things to do in Thanjavur

The prime tourist attraction of Thanjavur is the Brihadeewara Temple or the Big temple which was built in the early 11th century by Rajaraja Chola I. The other popular religious spots offered by Thanjavur are Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Schwartz Church, Thirumananjeri Temple, Thiruvanajozhi Temple, Vellai Puliar Temple and Airavateswara Temple among others. Pilgrims can opt for Thanjavur holiday packages to plan their holiday to this pilgrimage destination better.

Thanjavur hosts a Music Festival in the month of January in honour of the south Indian saint Thyagaraja. Every Twelve years the Mahamaham Fair is held at Kumbakonam. The next Mahamaham Fair will be held in 2016.

Shopping in Thanjavur

Thanjavur is known for its handicrafts by highly competent craftsmen. Thanjavur is also famous for silk weaving; tourists can buy the typical large border silk sarees here. Another thing that tourists can pick up from Thanjavur are Tanjore paintings, which are in demand all the over the world.

Travelling to Thanjavur

Thanjavur is well connected by air, rail and road. Trichy international airport serves as the closest airport from Thanjavur which is at a distance of 58 km. There are regular flights connecting Trichy to Chennai (345 km), Bangalore (390 km) and other major cities. Tourists can hire cabs from the airport to reach Thanjavur which costs around Rs 1000.

Trichy railhead is the closest railhead, which is at a distance of 58 km from Thanjavur. There are regular train services from Tiruchy to Madurai and Chennai.

Thanjavur is well connected to all major cities of the state by Tamil Nadu road transport corporation buses. There are regular bus services to Thanjavur from Tiruchy and Madurai. Private buses ply from Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Chennai and Bangalore to reach Thanjavur.

The best time to visit the place is during the winter season which is pleasant with comfortable weather. Summers are hot and humid and not the best time to visit.

Accommodation options in Thanjavur

Pilgrimage is an important part of Thanjavur tourism. Therefore, during peak season, tourists are advised to book hotels in advance. Hotel options in Thanjavur range from budget hotels to resorts, guesthouses and lodges. 

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Travellers from Chennai, Bangalore

Best time to visit Thanjavur in the next six months

  • October
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  • January
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  • March

Thanjavur Traveller Reviews

Read 32 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 600 Thanjavur reviews 32
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  • Scout
  • Udhayakumar
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1421 readers

"Temple town"

  • 4/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Must visit as it is a temple town. People there are good at treating the visitors. Food part also is good for those who like south Indian dishes but travelling is difficult and this was the negative part especially when it comes to city buses. The bus stops are to be maintained.
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Pradeep Santharam

  • Scout
  • Pradeep Santharam
  • Lives in Thanjavur
  • 1 Review
  •  696 readers

"Thanjavur - Green and clean heritage"

  • 7/7
  • Posted May 23, 2015
THANJAVUR - One of the oldest city in Tamil nadu surrounded by full of Greenery environment. The main occupation of people here are Farmers and Weavers. Thanjavur has a world Heritage temple called BRIHADEESWARAR TEMPLE "BIG TEMPLE". It is located at the heart of the city. The temple is built with many exciting architectural designs and many unbelievable facts, you have to see it to get to feel. There are many other historical sites including Saraswathi Mahal museum, Aranmanai (Palace), where you can see various equipments and accessories used by kings and people at older time.
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Dr. lakshmi  G.

  • Connoisseur
  • Dr. lakshmi G.
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 13 Reviews
  •  26 helpful votes
  •  4116 readers

"Wonderful heritage destination"

  • 7/7
  • Posted Apr 15, 2015
The Great Contribution of His Highness King Raja Raja Chola to spread Saivism and Vishnavism is highly applaud-able and remarkable. Those days 9th Century Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithaha and Truth nothing but Truth Centuries. Hence even after 1000 years the Temple is still Living God Temple. Southern Kasi it is like Varanasi to North. Monuments, Palace, Exhibition, Paintings, Pooja, Garden, Art and Architecture are marvellous. But still Archaeological Department should contribute more and concentrate more towards encouraging Tourists. Guides have to be trained well and language should not be the barrier. Guides cannot depend upon only Tamil, they should know multi languages to entertain good tourism. World famous temples should have excellent, enthusiastic and encouraging Guides and not like the present guides who does not shower any interest in explaining, entertaining and only taking salary and spending time like white elephants.
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  • 5 votes

Karthick Murugamurthy

  • Scout
  • Karthick Murugamurthy
  • 1 Review
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  910 readers

"Awesome temple land"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted Apr 1, 2015
I went to Thanjavur last month with my family. That was my first visit to the temple land. We went to the "Periya kovil" which was the tallest building in Asia when it built, wonder the size of "mundi" there. The temple is very beautiful and scripts in the wall of the temple is written in Tamil language.
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  • 7 votes

Rahul R

  • Explorer
  • Rahul R
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 6 Reviews
  •  54 helpful votes
  •  6389 readers

"A city with good temples"

  • 5/7
  • Posted Mar 23, 2015
Our trip was for a day only. Reached tanjore in early morning and left that night. We covered BIG TEMPLE, Gangaikonda cholapuram, Kumbakonam temple and Tanjore palace. It is advisable not to go on peak summer, because you may DIE of sunburn. Nov-Feb will be ideal. Not many hotels there are good. We stayed in Hotel Gnanam which was decent.
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  • 7 votes

Sridhar Bhaskar

  • Connoisseur
  • Sridhar Bhaskar
  • Soulseeker
  • 26 photos
  • 20 Reviews
  •  184 helpful votes
  •  43305 readers

"Great Wonders of Cranites- Big Temple"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted Dec 24, 2014
The Big temple built by King Raja Raja Chola in 9th century. The Hindu god Shiva is Dedicated god in this 'Brihadeeshwara Temple" 80 Meter Height Temple "Vimana-" Tower is one of the great wonder in India approved By UNs UNESCO. This ancient Chola temple have wonderful skill of chola architecture and scriptures.

The Big Siva Linga Nandhi is great attraction of this temple. Free of entry temple allowed all visitors from all over the world with out any religion bare except entry inside to main sanctum. It is really wonderfull. Phone and cameras allowed except main sanctum of temple.

Best time to visit is before noon.
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  • 7 votes

Siva Ram

  • Scout
  • Siva Ram
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 1 photo
  • 3 Reviews
  •  18 helpful votes
  •  2813 readers

"The trip will amaze you"

  • 5/7
  • Posted Oct 4, 2014
Travel by taxi or by car. Must visit Sivaganga garden, Saraswathi Mahal and Rajaraja Cholas palace. DONT EAT JUNK FOOD ON ROAD. Try sweets from BOMBAY sweet stall. On the way you must visit Aiyravatheeswar temple in darasuram and durga temple in Patteeswaram. Buy famous tanjore arts and best cashew nuts.
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  • 7 votes

Thulaseedharan achary Neelakandan achary

  • Guru
  • Thulaseedharan achary Neelakandan achary
  • Cityslicker
  • Lives in Punalur
  • 149 photos
  • 124 Reviews
  •  1194 helpful votes
  •  137619 readers

"Unique carvings and sculptures"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Aug 4, 2014
During my visit at Thanjavur in March 2014 this wonder attracted me a lot. It is an ancient Siva temple built by Emperor Raja Raja Chola I in the year 1010 AD which is an example of Tamil architecture. At present this big temple is under the control of Archaeological department of India and there is no pooja or entrance. It is on the bank of a river and the infrastructure was completed 1000 years on 2010. The carvings and sculptures are unique, beautiful and depicting architectural skills. The long 1000 years have not hindered it's beauty. A visitor in the temple complex has to see a lot of marvelous attractions and this temple is now part of UNESCO Heritage Site.
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  • 8 votes


  • Scout
  • Parthiban
  • 3 Reviews
  •  10 helpful votes
  •  3582 readers

"A city of temples"

  • 7/7
  • Posted Jul 17, 2014
Thanjavur is a very down to earth city. The people here are very simple and helpful. This city was once a capital of great king Rajaraja Chozhan, one of the wisest king India had. City's main tourist attraction is the big temple. I can sit with my camera and click pictures from sunrise to sunset. It was a great place.
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  • 8 votes

Charles Santhanaraj

  • Connoisseur
  • Charles Santhanaraj
  • Beachbum
  • 2 photos
  • 21 Reviews
  •  70 helpful votes
  •  15998 readers

"Lots of things to see!"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Apr 28, 2014
Tanjavur is known as the rice bowl of south India boasts of its magnificent temples and tasty authentic food. The breathtakingly big temples draws you and anybody goes round the temple, of course with the hot sun above, and burning floor beneath only to be awestruck by its beauty. Have food from a renowned place; this is actually important, if you are looking to get a taste of the authentic flavours. There are a lot of things to see and experience in the place. Have a good time.
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  • 8 votes

Vigneshkarthikeyan s Vinoth Yateendra Rakesh Vigneshkarthikeyan s, Vinoth, Yateendra and 1083 other people have been to Thanjavur.
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Thanjavur Sightseeing

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Best time to visit Thanjavur with family

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