Located at a distance of around 300 km south of Chennai, Tanjavur houses the UNESCO Certified Heritage site - the Brihadisvara temple. Thanjavur was the royal capital of the
Cholas, Nayaks and Marathas. Thanjavur takes its name from the demon Tanjan. According to legend, Tanjan ran amok in the city and was finally killed by Sri Anandavalli Amman and Sri Neelamegapperumal. Tanjan’s last wish was the city to be named after him and it was granted.
Thanjavur was once surrounded by a fortified wall and a moat, though most of this has now disappeared. During the 10th and 14th centuries, Thanjavur was the centre of
Tamil learning and culture. The Cholas have left in the great temple of Brihadisvara, a paradigm of their architectural ambitiousness.
Apart from the Brihadisvara temple, other prime interests are the palace built by the Nayaks, which houses the Sarasvati Mahal Library, and the Rajaraja Museum. Sangeetha Mahal (an acoustically perfect musical hall), the Schwartz Church (built in 1779 by Raja Serfoji to honour Rev. Schwartz of Denmark), Sivaganga Tank (famous for sweet water), Sharja Madi, Rajagopala Beerangi, Rajaranjan Mani Mandapan, Rajarajan Museum, Tholkappiyar Sadukkam, and Mariamman temple are the other attractions. The near by places of interest are
Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Dharasuram and Gangaikondacholapuram.
Thanjavur is famous for classical music and arts. Many renowned musicians and Bharatanatyam exponents are associated with the city. It is also well known for the unique painting style of Thanjavur Painting and Thavil, a percussion instrument.
Thanjavur has a population of over 0.3 million and is the headquarters of
Thanjavur district. The temperature of the city varies from 22.8°C to 36.6°C. The main languages spoken here are Tamil, Sourashtra Language, Marathi and English.
The nearest airport is at Tiruchirapalli 58 km away. Thanjavur Railway Station is a major rail junction of the district and connects Thanjavur with Chennai, Chidambaram, and Kumbakonam. It is also well linked by road to major cities in south India.