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About Thanjavur

Thanjavur

 

 

 

City
A montage image showing temple complex with temple tower in the centre, Maratha palace, paddy field, Rajarajachola Mandapam and Tamil University
View of the Brihadeeswarar Temple, Maratha palace, paddy field, Rajarajachola Mandapam and Tamil University
Thanjavur is located in Tamil Nadu


 

 

 

 

Tourism and culture


A historic palace with pillared structure
Thanjavur Royal Palace courtyard

Thanjavur is an important pilgrim centre and a major tourist destination of Tamil Nadu. South Zone Culture Centre in Thanjavur is one of the regional cultural centres established by the Government of India to preserve and promote cultural heritage of India. There were 2,002,225 Indian and 81,435 foreign tourist arrivals in 2009 to Thanjavur. The most visited monument in Thanjavur is theBrihadeeswarar Temple, whose construction, the historian Percy Brown described as "a landmark in the evolution of building art in South India". Built in the 11th century by the Chola king Raja Raja Chola I (985–1014), the temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The walls of the sanctum are covered with wall paintings from the Chola and Nayak periods. The temple was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is replicated in the Gangaikonda Cholesvarar Templeconstructed by Raja Raja's son Rajendra Chola I (1012–44).

The Thanjavur Maratha palace was the official residence of the Bhonsle family who ruled over the Thanjavur region from 1674 to 1855. It was originally constructed by the rulers of Thanjavur Nayak kingdom and after their fall, it served as the official residence of the Thanjavur Marathas. When most of the Thanjavur Maratha kingdom was annexed by the British Empire in 1799, the Thanjavur Marathas continued to hold sway over the palace and the surrounding fort. The southern side of the third quadrangle of the palace has 190 ft (58 m) tower like building, called the Goodagopuram.

 

 

A set of ladies dancing in Brihadeeswarar Temple
 
Bharathanatyam, the South Indian dance form in display in Brihadeeswarar Temple

The Saraswathi Mahal Library, established around 1700 and located in the premises of the palace, contains over 30,000 Indian and European manuscripts written on palm leaf and paper. Over eighty per cent of its manuscripts are in Sanskrit and many of them are on palm leaves. The Tamil works include treatise on medicine, and commentaries on Sangam literature. The Rajaraja Chola art gallery is located inside the palace – it has a large collection of stone and bronze images from the ninth to 12th centuries. Most of the idols present in the gallery were collected from various temples in the Thanjavur district. The Sivaganga Park is situated to the east of the Brihadeeswarar Temple and encompasses the Sivaganga Tank believed to have been built by the king Raja Raja Chola. It was created as a people's park by the Tanjore municipality in 1871–72. It has a collection of plants, animals and birds and serves as a zoo for children within the city.

 

 

A painting depicting a parade
 
Figure depicting a Tanjore painting

Schwartz Church, a historic monument located in the palace garden, was built in 1779 by Serfoji II as a token of affection for Rev. C.V. Schwartz of the Danish Mission.There are five museums in the city namely Archeological Museum, Tamil University Museum located with the Tamil University premises, the Saraswathi Mahal Library Museum located inside the Saraswathi Mahal, Nayak Durbar Hall Art Museum and Rajaraja Chola Museum. Raja Rajan Manimandapam is one of the tourist attractions in Thanjavur, built during the Thanjavur Tamil Conference in 1991."Sangeetha Mahal" has a permanent handicrafts exhibition centre. Thanjavur is the cradle for many of the arts and crafts in South India.[ Carnatic music was codified in Thanjavur and the art flourished during the Nayak rule in the 16th century. Bharathanatyam, a classical dance form of South India, had its major styles developed in Thanjavur.

Sathaya Thiruvizha is the annual birthday festival of Raja Raja Chola held during October every year. Thanjavur is the base for the Tyagaraja Aradhana, a Carnatic music festival held annually during January – February at Thiruvaiyaru, located 13 km (8.1 mi) away from the city. Thanjavur painting is a major form of classical South Indian painting from Thanjavur. It dates back to about 1600s, the period of Nayakas of Thanjavur, who encouraged art, classical dance, music literature, both in Telugu and Tamil. The art is usually a combination of raised and painted surfaces, with the Hindu godKrishna being the most popular image depicted. In modern times, these paintings have become souvenirs of festive occasions in South India, wall decors, and collectors' items for art lovers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanjavur

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