Tanjavur

The rice bowl of Tamil Nadu, Tanjavur, is a bustling country town, 55 km east of Trichy. Tanjavur rose to glory, during the later Chola reign, between the 10th and 14th centuries, and became a centre of learning and culture. It is also the headquarters of the district of the same name. 

Tanjavur is well known for its traditional handicrafts - art plates, bell metal castings, silk carpets, pith work, bronze icons, and classical Indian musical instruments. Out of the 74 temples, the finest is the Sri Brihadeswara temple. 

Places To See  

Sri Brihadisvara Temple

Built by the great Chola king, Raja Raja I in the 10th century AD, this temple is an outstanding example of the Chola architecture. Guarding the inner shrine of the temple, is the gigantic statue of Nandi, the Bull, while the walls of the sanctum are covered, with the wall paintings of Chola and Nayak periods, comparable to the famous Ajanta cave frescoes.

The Palace

The Palace, adjacent to the temple is a vast structure of fine masonry, built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD, and partly by the Marathas.

Saraswathi Mahal Library

This library has one of the most important oriental manuscripts collections, in India. Established around 1700 AD, the library contains a collection of over 44,000 palm leaf, and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. Over eighty per cent of its manuscripts are in Sanskrit, many on palm leaves, some very rare or even unique. The Tamil works includes treatises on medicine, and commentaries on works from the Sangam period.  

Tamil University

Established in 1981, the university is engaged in research and advanced study in Tamil. 

Art Gallery

A superb collection of bronze statues from the 9th to 12th centuries. 

Around Tanjavur 

Thiruvaiyaru

13 kms from Tanjavur is Thiruvaiyaru, where the famous saint Thyagaraja lived and attained samadhi. The famous temple at Thiruvaiyaru is dedicated to Shiva, and is known as Panchanatheswara. An eight day music festival is held here, every January, in honour of the saint.

Thirukandiyur

The temples at Thirukandiyur (10 kms away), are dedicated to Brahmasirekandeswarar and Harshavimochana Perumal, and are noted for their fine sculptural work.

Tiruvarur

Tiruvarur(55 km) has the Thyagarajaswami Temple famous for the largest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. Tiruvarur is also the birth place of saint Thyagaraja.

Swamimalai

Located 32 kms away, Swamimalai has one of the six abodes (Arupadaiveedu) dedicated to Lord Subramanya. 

Kumbakonam

Famous for the Mahamaham festival held every 12 years, Kumbakonam, 36 kms from Tanjore, also boasts of five temples. The important ones among them are Sarangapani, Kumbeswarar, Nageswara and Ramaswamy temples. These temples are noted for their semi erotic sculpture. 

Darasuram

Courtallam Falls (137 km)

Tirubuvanam

45 kms away, Tirubuvanam has a 13th century Chola temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Nagore

Nagore, 88 km, is a famous Muslim pilgrimage site, which is frequented by people of all faiths.

Velangani

90 kms away, noted for the church dedicated to 'Our Lady of Health', attracts devotees of all faiths.

Point Calimere

Point Calimere (112 kms) is famous for its migratory water birds, especially flamingoes. The best time to visit is the period from November to January.

Vedaranyam

Vedaranyam (104 km) is renowned for the festivals held on full moon day, in July-August and January-February. 

Manora

Manora, 65 kms away, has a 8 storey victory tower which was built by Raja Serfoji in 1814 AD.

Tirunallar

Tirunallar (101 km), is famous for its temple dedicated to Lord Saneeswara. 

Festival 

The great Mahamaham festival is held at Kumbakonam, every 12 years, last held in 1992. To commemorate the saint Thyagaraja, the Thyagaraja Aradhana Music festival is held every year, in the month of January. 

Some of the most exhilarating Pilgrimage in India include 
Ajmer Sharief (Rajasthan)
Badrinath (Uttar Pradesh)
Rishikesh (Uttar Pradesh)
Haridwar (Uttar Pradesh)
Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu)
Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu)
Trichy (Tamil Nadu)
Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu)
Velangani (Tamil Nadu)
Konark (Orissa)
Amarnath (Jammu & Kashmir)
Tabo (Himachal Pradesh)
Kangra Valley (Himachal Pradesh)
Pawapuri (Bihar)
Sikh shrines (Amritsar)
The Modhera Sun Temple (Gujarat)
Pushkar (Rajasthan)
Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh)
Kedarnath (Uttar Pradesh) 
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) 
Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu) 
Tanjavur (Tamil Nadu)
Basilica of Bom Jesus (Goa)
Bhubaneshwar (Orissa)
Puri (Orissa)
Vaishno Devi (Jammu & Kashmir)
Buddhist sites (Himachal Pradesh)
Bodhgaya (Bihar)
Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
Shirdi (Maharashtra)
Madurai(Tamil Nadu)