Thanjavur Tourism

Thanjavur Tourism

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Tamil Nadu Tourism Destinations
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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

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Thanjavur Traveller Reviews

Read 27 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.6/7, 1
out of 446 Thanjavur reviews 27
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Sridhar Bhaskar
  • Sridhar Bhaskar
  • Soulseeker
  • 26 photos
  • 20 Reviews

"Great Wonders of Cranites- Big Temple"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
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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Siva Ram
  • Siva Ram
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 1 photo
  • 3 Reviews

"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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Thulaseedharan achary Neelakandan achary
  • Thulaseedharan achary Neelakandan achary
  • Cityslicker
  • Lives in Punalur
  • 112 photos
  • 114 Reviews

"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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  • Parthiban
  • 3 Reviews

"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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Charles Santhanaraj
  • Charles Santhanaraj
  • Beachbum
  • 17 Reviews

"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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  • Iniyavan
  • Critic
  • 6 Reviews

"Paradise for Photographers"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Mar 21, 2014
Basically I'm a portrait photographer. I got some good pictures of Tanjore temple and the view makes me feel that I'm in the ancient period still I'm surprised how did they constructed this temple and the maintenance of the temple is very neat. We booked a room in Star Residency. Visited the temples and walked a lot in the sun. Came back to hotel just take a shower and went to bed to take rest. I really enjoyed visiting Tanjore.
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Muralitharan Venkataraman
  • Muralitharan Venkataraman
  • Soulseeker
  • Lives in Tiruchirapalli
  • 132 photos
  • 41 Reviews

"Big temple with amazing view"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Jan 21, 2014
First and finest attraction of Thanjavur is Brahadeeswara temple. It is a Shiva temple. Huge monolithic kings. Same way huge monolithic Mandi. It is a 1000 year old temple built by King Raja Raja. This is a beautiful architectural building style. This is a heritage place.
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  • Ravikanth
  • Heritage seeker
  • 2 photos
  • 4 Reviews

"Oblivious experience"

  • 5/7
  • Posted Sep 29, 2013
Im not a religious buff and not interested to be one too. But the land of Tamil Nadu changed me. Especially I was mesmerized with the artistic skills of the Great Cholas. After visiting the Periya temple(Big temple) i.e the Tanjore Brihadeeswaralayam. I experienced the meaning of 'Oblivious to the world'. The shiva lingam in the temple is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The mother deity Parvati Amman is just mind blowing. I felt the divine touch in every bit of the great temple. It is a must visit to every one in life. Just to experience the greatness of God and to see the mighty Chola Kingdom. Don't miss the Monday morning special Puja. Plan your visit on Monday if possible. Apart from it Tanjore consists of Chola museum, a must see place to revisit the history, Saraswatimahal - The biggest library and Chola park. So if you are ever visiting to Chennai, just take a day to visit Tanjore and I bet you it will up bring your religious urge. In addition if you want a souvenir you can always go for a Tanjore painting(usually includes gold work). Last but not least don't miss the Podi dosa and sweet pongal...a memorable savories to go bananas on.
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Raghunandan Gk
  • Raghunandan Gk
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 Reviews

"City Of Temple"

  • Posted Jun 20, 2013
Thanjavur is known for City of Temple to visit Navgraha temple either Thanjavur or Kumbhakonam will be the best place to stay...

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: No Comments...

Activities & things to do: For transportation book your car along with your booking with hotel..

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Navgraha Temples can be covered in 1 day starting in early morning around 5.30am & keep Thirunalar (Sani temple) at last... if you visit any additional temple in between it will take 2 days to cover... so plan according to it...
Clearly mention to Hotel staff regarding your plan & insist them if you require car arrangement, ask them to confirm every details of traveling part before booking...
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Sasi Kumar
  • Sasi Kumar
  • Heritage seeker
  • Lives in Pondicherry
  • 4 Reviews


  • Posted Apr 27, 2013
Destination i really good and a tourist spot.i like this place as this is full of temples and peoples are really friendly..population is very less and we can surely enjoy here

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Food is really very very good in the hotel.i tried all the veg.foods even though i am a non-veg lover.excellent foods

Activities & things to do: Sightseeing

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: From chennai,u have lot of trains that come to thanjavur.lot of volvo buses are available in place to travel and enjoy.better have the site maps with u
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Thirugnanam Dhanabalan Thirugnanam shanmuganathan Sudheer Thirugnanam, Dhanabalan, Thirugnanam shanmuganathan and 732 other people have been to Thanjavur.
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Thanjavur Sightseeing

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