This is the most eminent monuments in Tanjore and is a fine example of Dravidian architecture. The temple was built in the year 1100 AD by the popular king, Raja Chola of the Chola Dynasty. The temple is devoted to the Lord Shiva and the walls of the altar are covered with ancient frescos from the Chola and the Nayak periods. The temple has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site since 1987.
This palace was built by the ThanjavurNayak Kingdom and served as the official abode for the Bhosle clan who ruled the province from 1674 to 1855. The palace is extremely famous for the murals done on its walls. The palace is located inside a fortified area of Vijayanagara Fort.
Within the Royal Palace there is another notable attraction called SangeethaMahal, which was built in the 1600 AD. The SangeethaMahal was known as a major theatre in its days and was called a theatre of gems.
This is one of the major monuments in Tanjore, built in 1550 AD. The fort is home to famous tourist spots like The Tanjore Royal Palace, SaraswathiMahal Library, Art Gallery and Siva Ganga Garden.
This library was established in the 1700s, and contains more than 30,000 European and Indian hand written manuscripts written on paper and palm leaf. The library is also located in the Vijayanagara Fort complex.
If you are travelling with your young ones, then taking them to Siva Ganga Garden, located very close to the Brihadeeswarar Temple, is essential. The Tanjore municipality converted this area built by the great Chola King into a public park. It has a small zoo for children and houses a unique collection of birds and animals. There are boating facilities and a Toy train for the children to enjoy.A new addition to the garden is a Water Park, which has slides, swimming pools and other fun activities.
Tanjore has five museums of repute in the city, and they do an excellent job of preserving the cultural and historical heritage of the city. These museums are Archaeological Museum, Tamil University Museum, The SaraswathiMahal Library Museum, Raja Chola Museum and Nayak Durbar Hall Art Museum. All these museums are home to some of the finest relics, artefacts and manuscripts. A visit to the Art Gallery in the Royal Palace; which houses sculptures in bronze from the Chola period is also interesting. Anybody interested in the history of Tanjore, should not miss on these.
Besides the Siva Ganga Garden, nature lovers can also visit Manora Fort, situated 65 kilometres from Tanjore. The fort has a tall tower which gives you some of the most picturesque and panoramic views of the Bay of Bengal. You may also visit the SarkaraiPadithuraiGhat and the Kallanai Tourist Spot near Grand Anicut Dam (43.3 kilometres) for a picnic.
Tanjore is one of the most famous cultural hubs in the southern India. Tanjore Paintings, a famous art form form the area, are world famous and so are dancing dolls and engraved brass plates. Tanjore is also a major centre of Carnatic Music and Bharatnatyam Dance. Tanjore is an art collectors dream and shopper’s paradise. The rich cultural and artistic heritage of the city will leave you awestruck.
The most famous landmark in the city is the Big Temple. Besides that, The Vijayanagara Fort, and the South Zone Culture Centre, which was established by the Government of India to safeguard and propagate the traditional culture in the region, are popular sights.
You can try snorkelling and scuba diving in Ramehwaram, which is 237 kilometres from Tanjore.
The best way to relax in Tanjore would be to have a picnic at the Siva Ganga Garden. Hotel Riverside Resort and Spa in Kumbakonam is the nearest spa, which offers great packages to pamper and rejuvenate your body and mind.
A stroll to the Siva Ganga Gardens or visit to the banks of the Grand Anicut Canal will help you enjoy the city’s natural beauty.
Tanjore has an excellent collection of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian eateries. Some well-known establishments are Mullai, Marutham, Sathars, Thillana Restaurant, Thevars Briyaani, Rice Bowl, Arya Bhavan, Nandhis Homely Restaurant, and Sevvel Amita Restaurant. There are also many unlisted eateries serving inexpensive and tasty south Indian fare.
One of the famous local delicacies of Tanjore is Thavala Adai with Rasam. Payasam, Surul Poli and Kozhakottai are some desserts exclusive to the place. Don’t miss on Vasantha Neer which is a drink made with water and Coconut, with a dash of mint. It would help you beat the heat and whet your appetite. Non-vegetarians can indulge in sea food like crabs, fish and lobsters.
Carnatic music is very popular in Tanjore and you can enjoy it in a concert, which are organised frequently within the city. You can take help from your guide or locals and also enquire about dance performances in the city.
For clubbing and discos, you will have to visit larger towns like Bengaluru or Chennai, which are 397 or 311 km away from Tanjore.
There are numerous shops near the Tanjore Royal Palace, from where you can pick up reasonably priced paintings, brass statues and plates, Tanjore dancing dolls and other souvenirs and trinkets. You may also visit Barma Bazaar. Try buying paintings from the local artists.
There are a lot of places like Mega Mart Mall, Spencer Plaza, Karthik Pathira Maligai and VPP shopping centre where you may find shops and departmental stores catering to all your daily needs.
To do serious shopping and buy Silk sarees, you should head towards the major market areas like Gandhiji Road, Poompuhar and East Main Road.