Tanjore, India

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tanjore, India

Region: Tamil Nadu

Geographic Coordinates: 10.787000, 79.137800
Temperature Range: 25.0°C to 35.0°C (77°F to 95°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 222943
Language: Tamil

Tanjore, Also known as Thanjavur, Is a city located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is situated on the banks of the Cauvery River and is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance. Tanjore was once the capital of the Chola dynasty and has been ruled by various other dynasties such as Pandyas, Nayaks, Marathas, And British. One of the most iconic structures in Tanjore is the Brihadeeswarar Temple which was built during the reign of Rajaraja Chola I in 1010 AD.

The temple stands tall with its towering vimana (tower) that measures more than 200 feet high. The temple’s architecture showcases a perfect blend of Dravidian and Chola styles with intricate carvings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. Apart from religious sites, Tanjore also has several museums that showcase its rich history and culture. The most popular among them is The Thanjavur Palace which was built by Nayak kings during their reign over Tanjore. It now houses a museum that displays various artifacts including weapons, Musical instruments, Sculptures, Paintings, Coins and more.

Another famous attraction in Tanjore is Saraswathi Mahal Library which dates back to 1700 AD. This library holds an impressive collection of ancient manuscripts written on palm leaves along with rare books on diverse subjects such as medicine, Astrology etc. Tanjore’s art forms are world-famous for their intricate designs and vibrant colours. One such art form is Tanjore painting which originated here during Maratha rule in Tamil Nadu around 1600 AD. These paintings are characterised by their use of gold leaf work combined with bright colours depicting deities or mythological scenes.

Food lovers can relish traditional South Indian cuisine at local eateries serving delicacies like dosa (rice pancake), Idli (steamed rice cake), Sambar (lentil soup) and more. The city also has several street food vendors selling local snacks like bajji, Bonda, Vada and more. Tanjore is a city steeped in history and culture with numerous attractions to explore. Its temples, Museums, Libraries and art forms are a testament to its rich heritage. Visitors can also indulge in traditional South Indian cuisine while exploring the city’s streets.

Tanjore is truly a gem of Tamil Nadu that should not be missed by any traveler visiting India.

Important Landmarks

  1. Brihadeeswarar Temple
  2. Thanjavur Palace and Art Gallery
  3. Airavatesvara Temple
  4. Gangaikonda Cholapuram
  5. Schwartz Church
  6. The Serfoji Sarasvati Mahal Library
  7. Sangeetha Mahal
  8. Punnainallur Mariamman Temple
  9. Thiruvaiyaru – Birthplace of Saint Thyagaraja
  10. Thanjavur Royal Palace Museum

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture
  2. Tourism
  3. Handloom weaving
  4. Handicrafts

Tanjore is known for:

  • Rice cultivation
  • Producing paddy fields
  • Famous temples that attract a large number of tourists every year
  • Handloom weaving of silk sarees

Other industries in the region include:

  • Brassware production
  • Bronze statue production
  • Wooden carving production
  • Painting production
  • Small scale food processing units
  • Cottage industries

  • Noteable History

    1. Chola dynasty: Tanjore was the capital of the mighty Chola dynasty from the 9th to 13th century.
    2. Brihadeeswarar Temple: The Brihadeeswarar Temple, also known as the Big Temple, was built by King Raja Raja Chola I in 1010 AD and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    3. Nayak dynasty: After the decline of the Cholas, Tanjore came under the rule of Nayakas who built many temples and palaces in their own unique style.
    4. Maratha rule: In 1676, Tanjore came under Maratha rule when Shivaji’s half-brother Ekoji captured it from Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
    5. Sarabhoji dynasty: From 1798 to 1855, Tanjore was ruled by Serfoji II who was a patron of arts and literature.
    6. Raja Serfoji II Memorial Hall: This museum houses a collection of rare manuscripts, palm-leaf manuscripts, paintings and artifacts collected by Serfoji II during his reign.
    7. Sangeetha Mahal Palace: This palace served as a venue for music concerts during the reigns of various kings including Serfoji II.
    8. Thiruvaiyaru Music Festival: This annual festival is held in January to celebrate Saint Thyagaraja who lived in Thiruvaiyaru near Tanjore and composed many famous Carnatic music compositions.

    Notable people associated with Tanjore:

    1. Rajaraja Chola I – King who built Brihadeeswarar Temple
    2. Sarabhoji II – Patron of arts and literature
    3. Saint Thyagaraja – Famous Carnatic music composer
    4. M.S. Subbulakshmi – Renowned Carnatic music vocalist
    5. Rukmini Devi Arundale – Founder of Kalakshetra, a famous dance school in Chennai

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Brihadeeswarar Temple
    2. Thanjavur Royal Palace and Art Gallery
    3. Saraswathi Mahal Library
    4. Schwartz Church
    5. Sangeetha Mahal
    6. Thiruvaiyaru
    7. Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple
    8. Rajarajan Manimandapam
    9. Punnainallur Mariamman Temple
    10. Kumbakonam Temples

    Cultural Events

    1. Brihadeeswara Temple Car Festival is an annual event held in March or April where the deity’s idol is taken on a chariot procession.
    2. Natyanjali Dance Festival, held in February at Brihadeeswara Temple, features classical dance performances by renowned artists from all over India.
    3. Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in January with the cooking of rice mixed with milk, jaggery and other ingredients to make a sweet dish called pongal.
    4. Navaratri is a nine-day festival that celebrates good triumphing over evil through rituals, fasting and prayer.
    5. Mahamaham Festival occurs once every 12 years and attracts thousands of pilgrims to take a dip in the holy tank at Kumbakonam to wash away their sins.
    6. Saraswathi Pooja takes place during Navaratri and honors Goddess Saraswathi who represents knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning.
    7. Tamil New Year (Puthandu) falls on April 14th each year and marks the start of Tamil calendar year with prayers for prosperity for people across Tanjore district as well as other parts of Tamil Nadu state.
    8. Karthigai Deepam is an event celebrated mainly by Hindus during November-December months where oil lamps are lit on top of houses symbolizing dispelling darkness with light across Tanjore city among others places throughout India.


    • Tanjore style Sambar
    • Kumbakonam Degree Coffee
    • Thalassery biryani
    • Idli and Dosa

    There are also several popular restaurants in Tanjore that offer a variety of delicious dishes.

    • Hotel Parisutham is known for its traditional South Indian cuisine
    • Sathars is famous for its non-vegetarian dishes
    • Sri Venkateshwaraa Restaurant offers a mix of North and South Indian cuisine
    • Amma’s Kitchen is a vegetarian restaurant that serves authentic Tamil Nadu dishes
    • Mannpaanai Restaurant serves traditional Chettinad cuisine with a modern twist

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Brihadeeswarar Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction, perfect for a leisurely stroll.
      2. Sivaganga Park, located near the Brihadeeswarar Temple, offers beautiful views of the temple’s architecture.
      3. Rajarajan Manimandapam features a large pond, walking paths, and stunning gardens.
      4. Thanjavur Royal Palace and Museum welcomes visitors to enjoy picnics or outdoor games on its spacious grounds that are open to the public.
      5. Sangeetha Mahal Park is situated in the heart of Tanjore city and boasts beautiful flower gardens, fountains, and walking paths.
      6. Punnainallur Mariamman Temple Tank Park is an idyllic spot with an old temple tank surrounded by trees that provide shade for visitors who come here for relaxation or photography purposes.
      7. Manora Fort Beach provides serene beachfront views of Bay of Bengal where visitors can relax on sandy beaches or enjoy water sports activities like surfing or swimming.


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