The capital of the imperial Chola dynasty a thousand years ago.The magnificent Brahadeeswarar temple dedicated to Lord Siva, bears witness to the glory of Chola architecture, sculpture and painting. A museum in the temple courtyard has interesting Chola artifacts.The Thanjavur Art Gallery has priceless collection of bronze icons and granite sculptures dating from the 9th century AD. The Saraswathi Mahal Palace was started by the Nayaks of Madurai around 1550 AD and completed by the Maratha rulers of Thanjavur. The Palace Library Instituted by Maharaja Serfoji has a collection of 30,000 palm leaf manuscripts andmany rare European books. Thanjavur is a good place to shop for Thanjavur Art Plates, handicrafts, handwoven silk, bronze icons, intricately inlaidbrass work and bejewelled paintings.
Pudukkottai (58 km)
Pudukkottai town is the headquarters of the District of the same name.Once a Princely State, the area , which comprises the district, is of absorbing interest to historians, anthropologists, archaeologists and lovers of art. The numerous dolmens, stone circles and other forms of megalithic burials in the district indicate the antiquity of this region dating back to pre-historical times. This tract is mentioned in the Sangam classics. The rulers of Pudukkottai have built several beautiful palaces and also constructed tanks and canals. The Collectorate of the district is now functioning in one of the palaces.