Enrich your experience of the great Chola Empire on this breath-taking tour.
What to Expect
Thanjavur rose to glory during the later Chola period between the 9th and 14th centuries A.D. It also flourished later during the rule of the Nayaks and Mahrattas. The headquarters of this district has the same name as the district. It has been the treasure house of art for centuries. It is called the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is well-known throughout the world for being the home of the Brahadeeswara temple, the magnificent palace, Rajah Serfoji's Saraswathi Mahal Library, an Art Gallery, and also for its exquisite handicrafts, Thanjavur paintings and the classical South Indian musical instruments.
Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple:
This is also called the Big temple and it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The great Chola King Raja Raja I (985-1012 A.D) built this temple. It is an outstanding example of Chola architecture. Its unique architectural excellence led to UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage Monument. The 64.8 meters tall vimanam or the tower over the sanctum sanctorum is a testimony to the engineering skill of the Cholas. In keeping the immensity of the temple, the gigantic mahalingam in the shrine measures 4 meters in height. The monolithic Nandi,or the bull mount of Lord Shiva, has been chiselled out of a single rock. It is the second largest nandi in India. The beautiful Chola Fresco paintings on the inner walls of the temple are no way less than Ajanta paintings.
One of the best temples in South India, the Brahadeeswarar Temple is the Chola dynasty's finest contribution to Dravidian temple architecture. What makes the construction so unique is the diversion from the usual temple building norms of having a tall gopuram and smaller vimanams (the tower over the sanctum). At the big temple the vimanam soars high while the gopuram remains stunted.
The 64.8m tall, 14-tiered pyramid shaped vimanam rises from a square base and is topped by a huge monolithic cupolas carved out from an 81.3 tonne block of granite. It was installed with the aid of a 6 km long inclined plane. The tower is a testimony to the engineering skill of the Chola architects who planned its construction in a way that the shadow of the cupola never falls on the ground.
Just 1 km away from Brahadeeswarar Temple is the magnificent palace. This palace is surrounded by huge fort walls and dates back to 14th century A.D and was partly built by the Nayaks and partly by Marathas. The Nayaks and the Marathas ruled Thanjavur from 1400 - 1676 A.D and from 1676 - 1855 respectively. Even now the royal family of the Marathas resides in this palace. It measures 110 acres in size. It is a grand location of fascinating building with huge corridors, spacious halls, decorated rooms, tall observation towers, beautiful stucco works, wonderful fresco painted walls and beautiful ceilings, underground tunnels, intricate carvings, and the royal family's sacred Chandra Mauleeshwarar temple.
Saraswathi Mahal Library:
The Thanjavur Maharaja Serforji's Saraswathi Mahal Library is one among the few medieval libraries that exist in the world. It is an unparalleled repository of cultural antiques and an inexhaustible treasurehouse of knowledge built by successive dynasties of the Nayaks and the Marathas who ruled Thanjavur. It contains a very rare and valuable collection of manuscripts, books, maps and paintings on all aspects of Art, Culture, and Literature. The Encyclopaedia Britannica in its survey of the Libraries of the world mentions that it is as “the most remarkable Library in India.” It was conceived and christened as the Royal Palace Library in the 16th century by the Nayak Kings and later developed by the Maratha Kings of Thanjavur. The libaray was only made a public library after 1918. Now both the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India maintain the Library.
• Pick-up around at 09:00 AM from the City (Trichy)
•Drive to Tanjore Visit Prahadeeshwar Temple, Tanjore Palace, Museum,Saraswathi Mahal Library & Prahadeeshwar Temple
•Tour ends between 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM with a drop off at hotel your hotel in Trichy or the Airport / Railway Station (Trichy).
- English speaking local city expert
- Air- Conditioned vehicle with private driver
- Private Tour
- Pick-up and drop off at your hotel or the airport
What's Not Included
- Entrance fee
- Food & drinks