The chief attraction of Thanjavur is the extraordinary Brihadishwara Temple. Built in 1010 by the Chola dynasty whose empire covered much of Southern India for more than 400 years, the temple is now a World Heritage monument.

The immense main temple is more than 60 meters high and hewn from a single piece of granite estimated to weigh 80 tonnes. This temple is an astonishing sight and a visit is one of the highlights of a trip to South India.

What to see

Brihadeeswara temple: Also known as the Big Temple was built by the great Chola King Raja Raja (985-1012 AD), is an example of the magnificient achievements of the Cholas in the field of temple architechture.

The Palace: The Palace near the temple is a vast building of masonary , built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas. The buildings of interest in

Getting There

Air: The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli 58 Km, connected with major cities.

Rail: Thanjavur is directly connected by rail with Chennai, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Madurai, Nagore, Rameswaram, Tirupati etc.

Road: Thanjavur is is connected by road with Chennai 334 Km, Chidambaram 114, Kanyakumari 392 Km, Kumbakonam 36 Km, Madurai 158 Km, Pudukottai 60 Km, Rameswaram 255 Km, Trichy 58 Km.

General information

Area: 29.24 Sq.Km Temperature: Summer - Max: 36.6 Deg.C Min: 32.5 Deg.C Winter - Max: 23.5 Deg.C Min: 22.8 Deg. C Rainfall: 11.13 cm Season: Throughout the year. STD Code: 04362

Excursions

1.Tiruvarur (55 KM): Tiruvarur is one of the ancient capitals of the Choles. There is an Important Shiva temple dedicated to lord Thyagaraja here. Tiruvarur is also the birth Place of Saint Thyagaraja, the composer-saint of Carnatic music. 2. Gangaikondacholapuram (71 Km) Rajendra Chola (1012 - 1044 AD), the son of the great Chola King Raja Raja, had Gangaikondacholapuram as his capital. The Shive temple here is similar in many aspects to the temple in Tanjore, It has some Striking sculptures of Mahisasuramardina, Nataraja, Arthanariswara Chandikeshwara. etc. 3. Point Calimere (Kodikkeral) (80 Km.): This sanctuary is reckoned for its incredible congregation of migratory waterfowls, flamingoes in particular. Five to ten thousand flamingoes can be seen here at one time during the season. There are also a large number of Black Bucks, Spotted Deer and Wild Bear to be seen in this sanctuary. Forest jeeps are available from the Poonarai, Rest House for a fee to view widlife. Season: November to February for flamingoes and other migratory birds and throughout the year for Black Buck and Spotted Deer. 4. Nagore(85 Km): This is a famous pilgrimage centre for Muslims. There is a Dargah here of Hazarat Meeras Sultan Syed Shahabdul Hameed, a great muslim saint. Apart from the Dargah, Nagore has two ancient Hindu temples, dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. 5. Tranquebar (Tarangambadi) (93 Km): A coastal town. with Danish influence, Tranqueber is situated 30 kms from Mayuram (the nearest railhead and 152 km from Trichy (nearest Airport). The river fortification of this town was founded by the Danish East India Company and in 1825, it was ceded to the English East India Company. 6. Poompuhar (100 Km): Once a major port of the Cholas called Kaveripoompattinam. The original city was submerged by the sea and now only a small village remains. Places of interest here include an art gallery with sculpture forms on 49 panels and a fine beach landscape with white sands. Poompuhar is 40 kms from Chidambaram, 27 Km from Mayuram. 115 Km from Pondicherry, 160 km from Trichy and 85 Km from Velankanni.