Thanjavur is a city that is located in Tamil Nadu.It was formely known as Tanjore. This city has impotance in South Indian religion , art and architecture. Thanjavur is an important pilgrim centre and a major tourist destination of Tamil Nadu. South Zone Culture center in Thanjavur is one of the regional cultural centres established by the Government of India to preserve and promote cultural heritage of India.
The biggest attraction of Thanjavur - The Brahadeshwara Temple, also known as the Big Temple located in the heart of the city. Built during the reign of the Great Chola emperor, Raja Raja Chola, this temple is an architectural marvel.
Protected by deep trenches on either sides and the Grand Anaicut River running through another, this temple is one of the favorite among the pilgrims. The shrine itself is 216 ft structure. The sanctum is dotted with paintings from the Chola and Nayak periods. The statue of Nandi, the Bull welcomes at the entrance.
Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Thanjavur
Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a place worth exploring. The magnificence of the Brihadeshwara temple along with few others will enchant you and thrill you with its history and engineering.
The town was built by the Chola King Rajendra in order to commemorate his victory over the Pala Dynasty. He along with his son King Rajendra I envisaged of building a city with great architectural marvels, lavish fields and great pride. It was the center of Chola Empire's reign over much of south-east Asia. Today the great historical city is nothing but a small village with the Lord Siva temple as the symbol of the grandeur of its once glorious path. Compared many a times to Thanjavur, another great Chola city, Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a great place to explore and unfold its heritage, grandeur and elaborate marvels and tales, safely tucked in history.
Thanjai Mamani Koil, Thanjavur
Thanjai Mamani Koil near Thanjavur is a set of three Vishnu temples, together called a Divyadesam. It is among 108 such more temple premises in India. The temple has a local origin myth that has its roots in one of the many canonical myths about Lord Vishnu. He is worshipped over here mainly in his Narasimha avatar, which he mainly took to defeat the evil king Hiranyakashipu to save his devotee Prahalaad. Their idols are present here as well.
It a shrine loved and frequented by the devotees of Vishnu. The temple offers the unique opportunity to witness three abodes of the Lord at the same place, along with deities of his consort and other associated gods. People visit the place for all sorts of reasons. In one of the shrines, Goddess Lakshmi sits on the right side of a furious Vishnu, which signifies that goodness cannot survive where there is uncontrolled anger. Being one of the 108 Divyadesams, the temple has a different appeal altogether.
Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur
The Britannica Encyclopedia enlists the Serfoji Saraswati Mahal Library as 'the most remarkable library of India'. In an era when physical libraries are becoming obsolete, and people are moving to the digital books more and more, this establishment has held its own among the few. Established by the Nayak rulers of Thanjavur, it was later nurtured by the Maratha king Serfoji II, who was also one of the most prominent rulers of the land.Not just books, the library has a large collection of art, paintings, maps, and manuscripts as well.
The library section is restricted to scholars only, but the digitized catalogs have been made available online for anyone academically or professionally interested in looking up. With prior permission, they can access the vast collection of knowledge the library possesses. For the public, the library museum is quite a treat. Though not as big as the actual library, it has enough to mesmerize the visitors with its historic charm.
As you step in the well-maintained and organized museum, you will be transported back to the era of Nayaks and Marathas. Stories of gods and goddesses, birds and animals, saints and sages, wars and weapons - everything is depicted in the collections of the museum. There is an audio-visual show as well, which narrates the history of Thanjavur and all its rulers in chronological order, giving a clear idea to the visitors about the background and context of the library and its origin.