Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu – Famous for the Brahadeeswara Temple, recognized by UNESCO as the world heritage site


Thanjavur also known as Tanjore is the temple city of Tamil Nadu. 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. It has been the treasure house of art for centuries and known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is well-known throughout the world for the celebrated Brahadeeswara temple. This temple is recognized by UNESCO as the world heritage site. The green paddy fields and the Kaveri River make the site a picturesque location.

Places to See in Tanjore: Being a temple city, its sight seeing spots mostly includes temples. However there are some historical sites too.

Brihadisvara Temple

It is one of the most popular tourist sites in Thanjavur. It was constructed by the great Chola king, Rajaraja I. Built in the 10th century AD, the temple of the finest example of Chola architecture. The architecture of the Brihadisvara Temple of Thanjavur is reminiscent of the Egyptian pyramids. The temple is about 63 meters high. The dome of the temple is said to be built with the help of a gigantic piece of granite. The granite which is used to built the dome of the temple is estimated to weigh about 81 tonnes. The dome of the temple is a grandeur in architecture.

Brihadisvara Temple is one of the important shrines in the city. Every year thousands of tourists come to Thanjavur to reverence to the titular deity. Moreover, it is noteworthy that Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur has certain restrictions about entering the shrine. According to the rules and regulation of the temple, only Hindus are permitted to go inside the temple and worship there. Others are exempted from entering the temple.

Shrine of Subrahmanya

One of the famous tourist attraction in the city, this 7th century shrine, is also known for its decorative architecture. The Shrine of Sri Subrahmanya is an example of carved stone-work. The delicate pattern and the motifs of the shrine add delight to sightseeing.

The Shrine of Subrahmanya, Thanjavur is specimen of Dravidian architecture. It is known for its delicate artistry and elaborative patterns. The temple possesses a tower, which is 55 feet in height. The tower of the shrine stands on an area of 45 square feet. The Shrine of Sri Subrahmanya in Thanjavur is adorned with beautiful paintings. The portraits of Mahratta kings beautify the walls of the Mandapam.

Annai Vailankanni Shrine

The tour to Annai Vailankanni shrine is particularly not missed by the tourists who have an inclination for religious structures. The Annai Vailankanni shrine is located on the Elliot’s beach at the place called Besant Nagar in Chennai. The picturesque location of the Annai Vailankanni shrine on the Bay of Bengal shores makes this shrine all the more popular. The shrine is located at adistance of about 10 kms from Nagapattinam. A mythical story is associated with the shrine of Annai Vailankanni. According to popular belief, Reverend P T Arulappa saw mother Mary and little Jesus in a dream. Thereafter, he established this wonderful shrine to pay homage to the Virgin mother of God. This close association of the shrine with the international religion of Christianity makes it one of the important religious structures to all the Christians around the world. Mother Mary is often related to the concept of global unity and hence stands for peace and harmony among people belonging to different socio-cultural and religious backgrounds. Innumerable people belonging to Christianity and other religions come on a trip to the Annai Vailankanni shrine.

The closest railway station of the Annai Vailankanni shrine is located at Nagapattinam at a distance of about 10 kms from Vailankanni. The closest airport is situated at Tiruchy at a distance of around 154 kms from Vailankanni. Buses can also be availed from Chennai, Nagapattinam, Pondicherry and Madurai.

Royal Palace and Museum

Also known as the Thanjavur Palace is a huge building dating back to 1550. Situated near the Brihadiswara temple, the palace was partly built by the Nayakas and partly by the Marathas. It has arsenal towers, broad corridors and gigantic halls. The palace is known to possess an art gallery, a museum and a library. The art gallery of the palace houses a rich collection of bronze statues belonging to the Chola Dynasty.

Gangaikondam Cholapuram

A Cholan architectural masterpiece, this temple has been visited by numerous travellers across centuries. The structure has been designed in a manner that at any given point of time, the sun-light shall fall directly on the idol of main deity.

Vijayanagar Fort

Situated about 2 km away from the Brahadeeswara Temple this fort is one of the popular historic monuments of Thanjavur. Siva Ganga Garden, Sangeetha Mahal, and Saraswathi Mahal Library are located in this fort.

Nearby attractions at Tanjore: There are quite a good number of excursion options available from Tanjore:

Airavatheeswar Temple

Airavateeswar Temple is an exquisitely built temple that is located 30 kilometers from the city of Thanjavur. The temple that was constructed around 12th century A.D is counted among the bests of Chola Temples in India. Going by its unique architecture, the place has been recognized by the UNESCO as a WorldHeritageMonument.


A visit to the temple town of Kumbakonam is a must for every tourist.  Just 35 kilometers off to the city of Tanjore, Kumbakonam is famous for its temples sculptures having erotic overtones. Some of the must visit temples are Sarangapani, Kumbeswarar, Nageswara and Ramaswamy temples. Kumbakonam is also the venue of the Mahamaham festival that is celebrated every 12 years.


Manora is situated 65 kilometers from the city of Thanjavur. The building is considered as the largest and tallest of the monuments built by the Tanjore Marathas. Manora is an eight-storied miniature fortress that is hexagonal in shape and is skirted by a moat. Sarfoji II constructed the structure in the year 1815 in honor of Britain’s victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.


Located just 35 kilometers from Tanjore, Darasuram is a magnificent temple that is dedicated to Lord Siva. The temple is among the hundreds built by Rajendra Chola. Darasuram is also famous as a silk weaving center.

Poondi Matha Basilica 

The Poondi village is about 35 kms. from Thanjavur and the nearest Railway Station is Budalur. It is a Roman Catholic Pilgrim Centre like Velankanni. Accommodation is provided to the pilgrims by the Church Authorities.


The Arulmighu Mullaivananathar and the Karpagarahshambigai temples are situated in the riverbed of River Vettaru a branch of the Cauvery, at a distance of 20 kms northeast of Thanjavur at distance of 20 kms southwest from Kumbakonam. This place Thirukarugavoor is ancient and has been extensively quoted by the Great Shaivite saints Thirugnana Sambandar and Thirunavukkarasar on the dieties Eswara Mullaivananathar and the Goddesses Gharbharakshambigai.

Thiruvarur world Heritage Monument

Located at a distance of 55 km, the Thyagarajaswami temple of Thiruvarur has the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. This is the birthplace of Saint Thyagaraja, the poet-saint and composer. The Arulmigu Thyagarajaswamy Car Festival is celebrated in March –April, every year. Boating at the Kamalalayam Temple tank is being organised by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. from April 1997.

Things to do in Tanjore: Apart from exploring the other sight seeing locations which are mostly the architectural master piece, try to make a visit to the famous BrihadisvaraTemple in the evening when the rocks capture a hot palette of reds, oranges, yellows and pinks on the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. The sight is just breath taking. Thanjavur is a good place to shop for handicrafts and arts. Don’t forget to carry atleast one piece with you that will adorn your showcase by its magnificence.

Best time to visit Tanjore: The best time to visit Thanjavur is from October to March, when you can visit the temples and can opt for outdoor activities.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest Airport Thiruchirapalli is 55 kms. Indian Airlines and Air Lanka operate flights to Sri Lanka. Indian Airlines also connects Trichy with Madurai and Chennai directly.

By Rail

Thanjavur is connected by rail with Trichy, Madurai, Nagore and Chennai directly.

By Road

Thanjavur is connected with all major cities. Regular Bus Service connects all places of interest in and around Thanjavur.


Where to stay ?

Tanjore has plenty of accommodation options.

Hotel Tamil nadu (TTDC):  +91 04362 231 325  Website:
Star Residency:  +91-0452-4343999  Website:
Hotel Valli: +9104362 – 231584 , 231580 , 231064 , 231043  Website:
Hotel Raks Thanjavur: +91 -4362 -227 806

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.