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Temples in Thanjavur

Brihadeeswara Temple
The Brihadeeswara Temple, situated in the district of Thanjavur, is one among the temples of the “Great Living Chola Temples”, a UNESCO approved World Heritage Site. The foundation of the temple is believed to have been laid in 1002 CE and was completed in 1010 CE by Rajaraja Chola I of the great Chola dynasty. One of the largest of its kind, the Brihadeeswara Temple is a highlight of the glorious architectural talents and of the skillful technicians during that era.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Considered as one of the most historically important places during the Chola dynasty, Gangaikonda Cholapuram was pronounced as the capital of the regions under the Chola rulers by Rajendra Chola I from 1025 CE for about 250 years. The city was actually founded by the emperor to memorialize his victory over a battle with the Pala dynasty. Back in those days, the entire administration affairs of South India, ranging from Tungabhadra in the north to Ceylon in the south, was once controlled by this city.

The town of Rameshwaram is a third grade municipality in the district of Rameshwaram which is located on the Pamban Island separated from mainland India. Rameshwaram, which is situated at the very tip of the Indian peninsula called the Gulf of Mannar, is only about 50 km from Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. The final station stops of the trains coming from Chennai and Madurai are in Rameshwaram. Considered to be one of the most holiest places in India, there is a significant flow of pilgrims to Rameshwaram every year for a specific reason.

Darasuram Temple
The Darasuram Temple is located at about 3 km from Kumbakonam town in Thanjavur district and is considered to be a “storehouse” of art and architecture. The temple is believed to have been constructed between the 10th and the 12th century by the Chola rulers. It shares a lot of similarities in terms of architecture between the Great Living Chola Temples and the Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple in Thanjavur.

Tirumanancheri Temple
This temple is quite famous among the devotees from the Hindu community who wish to find suitable life partners for marriage or in order to overcome certain obstacles that have occurred in their marital life. Located in the Thanjavur district, the primary deity of this temple is Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathi who are worshiped in the named of Lord Kalyanasunderaswarar and Devi Kokilambal respectively. Certain traditional rituals and prayers are performed in this temple which are widely believed by the devotees to eliminate any marriage-related issues.

Tiruvarur Temple
Located at just about 56 km from Thanjavur city, the ancient Sri Thyagaraja Temple is where Lord Shiva is worshiped as the primary deity in the name of Somaskanda. Within this temple, various other shrines are also dedicated to the other mythological characters such as Vanmikanathar, Tyagarajar and the Kamalaamba. The temple is built on a plot that covers a total area of 33 acres while the Kamalalayam, the temple tank also covers 33 acres of land making it one of the largest of its kind in the country.

Velankanni, a small town located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, was once a trading port that conducted businesses with Rome and Greece. Today, this tiny commercial center lost its value gradually with the development of the much larger city of Nagapattinam. Today, Velankanni is a highly regarded pilgrimage for the Christian community, not only in India but in other parts of the world too. The town of Velankanni is a parish under the Tanjore Roman Catholic Diocese where there is a shrine under the same parish dedicated to Our Lady Of Good Health.

Thirukkadaiyur is a small temple town which is located on the eastern coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and is about 300 km south of Chennai and just 15 km north of Karaikal. The temple of Thirukkadaiyur has many interesting fables and legends behind its making told by the local people. A particular story goes on that Mrikandu, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva once asked the Lord himself for a son to call his own. The Lord granted him the wish with a condition that Mrikandu had to choose between a goodhearted and responsible boy who would live for just 16 years or a boy with an evil heart who would live for 100 years. Reluctantly, Mrikandu chose the boy with the lesser life span.

Nagore Dargah
The Nagore Dargah (also spelled as Nagoor Dargah) is a minaret which is regarded holy by the Muslim community of the world. The minaret was built over the tomb of Shahul Hamid, the 13th generation descendant of the highly respected Sufi saint Muhiyudin Abd al-Qadir al-Jalani. Shahul Hamid was born in the year 1490 and lived up to be about 89 years old at the time of his death. The minaret that was built in his honor is located in the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal in Nagore, a town in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. The Dargah that we see today was built by the devotees of Shahul who was believed to have fulfilled their wishes and prayers. There is also a wide notion that about 60 percentage of the Dargah was constructed by people belonging to the Hindu community.

Garbharakshambigai Temple
The Garbharakshambigai temple is one of those Hindu worship places where certain interesting and unusual rituals are conducted. The temple has been constructed for a very specific and unique purpose – progeny and child birth. Located in Thirukarugavur in Tamil Nadu, this temple witnesses a heavy flow of pilgrims every year who throng the place to wish for children to be born in their families.

This ancient temple located near Nannilam in Thanjavur district is dedicated to Lord Muruga who is worshiped here in the form of Arumugaswamy. The uniqueness of this temple is that, although the primary deity is considered to be Lord Shiva in the name of Bhramapureeswarar, the significance of the shrine for Lord Muruga is much more greater.

The township of Sikkal is situated at about 5 km from the city of Nagapattinam on the way to Thiruvarur. This small town is famous for its temple built to suit the requirements of a typical Shiva temple. However, the primary deity of the temple is considered to be Lord Muruga who is worshiped in the name of Singaravelavar and the female deity who can be seen in a standing posture is Velnedunganni. The temple is quite well-known for its significance in history and among legends. Lord Ganesha, Mahalakshmi, Nataraja, the Sun and the Moon Gods also have their separate shrines within the premises of the temple.


Popular places in Thanjavur

Shivaganga Fort
Sivaganga Fort, a 16th century fort is a quadrangular fort surrounded by stone walls. Other nearby attractions include the Brihadeeshwara Temple, Schwartz Church and an amusement park.

Rajagopala Beerangi
Rajagopala Beerangi is a huge sized canon which is displayed at the Thanjavur East Kothalam. It is currently the biggest canon in India.

Maratha Durbar Hall
The huge pillars, beautiful stucco paint works and fresco painted ceiling of the Maratha Durbar hall are indeed eye catching.

Sivaganga Garden
Sivaganga Garden is also called as the green lungs of Thanjavur city. It is a beautiful place in Thanjavur with lots of fun activities arranged for visitors.

Schwartz Church
Schwartz church was constructed by the Chola king Raja Serfoji in 1779, to show his affection towards the Danish missionary Christian Friedich Schwarz.

Royal Palace
This palace was originally built by Nayaka rulers as their royal residence and was further reconstructed by Maratha rulers. An adjoining museum known as Royal Museum displays the personal collection of Serfoji II.

The Saraswathi Mahal Library
The Saraswathi Mahal Library is also known as Serfoji Mahal Library which consists of a collection of old palm leaf manuscripts written in several Indian languages. It is one of the oldest libraries in Asia.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Gangaikonda Cholapuram means “the town of the Chola who conquered the Ganga.” Other attractions of this place are ruins of ancient structures and an archaeological museum.

Vijayanagar Fort
The Vijayanagar fort is located about 2 km to the north east of the Brahadeeswara Temple. This fort was built partly by Nayaks and partly by Maratha rulers during the early 1550 AD.


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