Thanjavur Tourism

Thanjavur Tourism

Rank 19
Ranked 19 of 79
Tamil Nadu Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.7 / 7
2689 Ratings & 1805 Reviews

Thanjavur Info

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

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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Thanjavur Traveller Reviews

Read 47 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7,
out of 1805 Thanjavur reviews
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Isha Jajoo

  • Tourist
  • Isha Jajoo
  • Lives in Pune
  • 9 photos
  • 7 Reviews
  •  8 helpful votes
  •  3213 readers

"Thanjavur- a place from history book"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Oct 11, 2016
Well, Thanjavur is not in everyone' s list but it had alwayz been in my checklist. There are two main reasons - one because of its architecture and another for its especial Thanjavur paintings which I did not know until I read history book and about Chola dynasty and came down to South.
As far as architecture is considered, Brihadeshwara temple is infamous UNESCO site and paintings here are made of gold .. Their price itself starts from Rs. 1200 ...
So how did I go there ...
I went there from Chennai though in local coach as this was also one of random plans. It took around 6 hours to reach Thanjavur. And I went during April, so it was quiet HOT there. So do carry a high SPF sunscreen.
After reaching there, I checked in to a lodge as it was just a one-day trip and then hired an auto to go to the temple. Only the 1000 years old temple is a great place to visit .. But the temple itself is soo huge and wide spreadout ... It takes 2 -3 hrs if you are a person who appreciates architecture. Also you will get really nice handicrafts and Golu to buy there.
Must say the architecture is really amazing there. Inside there are many small temples of Lord Shiva and Ganesha. If you go through google and pics I am sharing here, then even you would add it to your list.
Overall, the food is OK here and itz a small city, lot of tourists come to visit the UNESCO world heritage site and praise the gold paintings.
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  • Tourist
  • 8
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews
  •  345 readers

"Heritage and monumental city"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jul 6, 2016
Around the globe Tanjore is known to be temple city and archaeological place, those who are passing this city will have possible positive vibration. Experience the vibe. East or west Tanjore is best for many religious issues and neighbor city of Kumbakonam is having countless temple.
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Aishwarya Kokate

  • Tourist
  • Aishwarya Kokate
  • Lives in Sangli
  • 5 photos
  • 5 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  2420 readers

"Most beautiful carving on stone- its amazing"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted May 30, 2016
The Thanjavur is an District place city, it is very beautiful city, there are many places to visit. I visited only Two place 1st one is Brihadeeswarar Temple (Big temple). This temple is of lord "Shiva( Mahadev)". The Shiva Lingam of the lord Shiva is the 2nd largest lingam in India hence it is called as Big temple. The temple is really mind blowing, no words to say. It's a great and most biggest Temple in India. The stone carving is amazing. The entrance of the temple is stunning. It is also recommend as UNESCO site and you must watch it. The 2nd place is Royal Palace and Art gallery. Thanjavur Royal Palace Museum is one of the ancient museum in town. Which holds ancient items, images, paintings, sculptures. The art gallery is filled with sculptures, antique pieces, and the regional handicrafts like dancing doll, coconut sculptures, etc. And we can get some articles which are eco friendly and mostly related to southern India. We can also buy those articles in the palace itself as well as in the surrounding of the palace. Thanjavur was the ancient capital of the Maratha empire when the Shivaji Maharaja's father Shahaji Raje used to rule the empire. So we can see much Maharashtrian ( Marathi ) carving on the walls of the big Temple.
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Joghee raman

  • Tourist
  • Joghee raman
  • 2 Reviews
  •  580 readers

"Nice place to visit"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Mar 11, 2016
Our trip to Thanjavur was a memorable one. The Brahadeeswar Temple complex with many temples was so beautiful with wonderful architecture, sprawling and well maintained lawns and passages. The crowd was manageable. One could spend a whole after gazing at the size and beauty of the main temple which is one of the largest in India. The art complex was very nice with very ancient idols of deities was fantastic. The video presentation in the theatre explaining the history of the temples and the Chola empire was fascinating. No traveller to South India should miss a trip to this magnificent temple of Lord Shiva.
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Anky Jain

  • Tourist
  • Anky Jain
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 5 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  906 readers

"Cool place to go"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jan 27, 2016
This destination is just speechless. What a great beauty of India history places. This was just awesome to see. Very peaceful place. I have enjoyed it very much and prefer you all to visit there at once in your entire life. I love you India very much want to visit it again.
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Mohan das

  • Tourist
  • Mohan das
  • Lives in Coimbatore
  • 2 Reviews
  •  706 readers

"It is a great loss if one doesn't visit this Temple City"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Dec 31, 2015
It is a great loss if one doesn't visit this Temple City especially the 1000 year old majestic Big Temple. However, without a guide you may not know the history of the temple. The way it was built, the architectural beauty the stone laying technology, the way of construction with the help of Elephants the speed in which the temple was completed, everything is astonishing. All account and the technology behind construction of this Big Temple is carved on the stones so as to remain as an archive for years to come.
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Prasanna Pursh

  • Scout
  • Prasanna Pursh
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 1 Review
  •  796 readers

"Headquarters of Chola- Thanjavur"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Dec 23, 2015
I head so many think about Chola architecture & I got a chance to see them last month. For my friend marriage we started from Chennai on 06-11-2015 from Mannai express train from Egmore to Thanjavur it take around 8 hours journey. We reached around 6 am from railway station. We travelled to Thanjavur in a old bus stand by bus it takes 10 mins. There we book rooms in Hotel Ganam after getting shower we complete breakfast in Balaji Bhavan because my friend refer and suggest to avoid eat in Ganam so we select Balaji Bhavan. Then visited big temple and garden near the temple it took around 3pm so no lunch for dinner we visit Burma colony, we ate Kavucha it one type of Burma dish what we call it Alhoo in Chennai. Next day went to marriage in Kasi Mahal after completing marriage visit palace after lunch went to Vethalam movie in GV Studio at lost eat Thevars Biryani. We started our journey towards Chennai.
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Suganya R

  • Scout
  • Suganya R
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 1 Review
  •  811 readers

"It was an amazing Tanjore Trip"

  • 4.5/7
  • Posted Dec 21, 2015
It was my wonderful experience to visit there, In Thanjavur I visit so many places like big temple, Aranmanai, Library, Garden, Historical Places. In Tanjore I spent my vocational holidays. For any living being that lives in this delightful world, Likewise a person who belongs to a particular locality will always speak and think high about his locality.

I spent my holidays (5 days), I stayed in Gananam hotel that was a wonderful place. In my 1st day I visited the big temple, that was a one the best place in Thanjavur. Speciality, the temple stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The Vimanam is 216 ft high and is the tallest in the world. The Kumbam of the temple is carved out of a single rock and weighs around 80 tons. There is a big statue of Nandi, carved out of a single rock measuring about 16 feet long and 13 feet high at the entrance. Remaining 4 days I went to others some locality in Thanjavur likes other temples, Garden, Art gallery etc.
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Sunil Kunnoth

  • Expert
  • Sunil Kunnoth
  • Lives in Kozhikode
  • 39 photos
  • 67 Reviews
  •  28 helpful votes
  •  24208 readers

"Brihadeeshwara Temple, Tanjavur, a must see heritage site"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Dec 10, 2015
A poetry on rock', the art lover in you will say nothing less than that when you reach the spot. No doubt, the temple is a marvel in stone. This grandest temple is one of the most popular monuments of the world. It is also one of the finest contributions by the Chola dynasty. The Brihadeeswarar (or Brihadeeswara) temple is also known as 'Peruvudaiyar Kovil'. 'Kovil' is the Tamil term for the temple. This temple is a classic example for the enchanting South Indian temples.

A journey to this land is worth and you will never forget it. It is a journey to a rich heritage and history. Reaching here is easy as Tanjavur has excellent road connectivity with major towns in Tamil Nadu as well other South Indian states. There is a railway junction too. From Trichy, it is just 50km and can be reached in one hour time.
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  • 1 vote

Swetha Anand

  • Explorer
  • Swetha Anand
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 9 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  3005 readers

"Amazing place!"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Dec 10, 2015
Ask what you don't get in Thanjavur? You can possibly find & get almost everything in this place. Best brand in clothes to jewellery to farm fresh veggies, fruits, dry fruits. The big temple which brings calmness, big garden for morning n evening long walks. Best transport facility to connect with all major towns close by.
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B.vinoth Mr.krishna prabhu Mr.ramesh Na B.vinoth, Mr.krishna prabhu, Mr.ramesh and 2639 other people have been to Thanjavur.
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