- Travel and Places
Thanjavur, A Classic Display of Arts and Ancient Dravidian Architectural Excellence of Tamil Nadu, South India
A picture is worth thousand words. It is true about a video too. It gives you almost a real life situation or feel. When the point of discussion is some great travel destination and its unique views, the words are quite inadequate. It has to be virtually experienced. .
This time, our journey is to a historical monument in Tamil Nadu. For your information, Tamil Nadu is a state on the southern part of India. If you wish to know more about Tamil Nadu, you can read my article "Tamil Nadu - The Land of Temples". A couple of places and monuments in the state are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. It is a true recognition for these classic sites. The UNESCO's branding has improved the tourism potentiality of these places. Our destination this time is Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur. Before proceeding further, you are requested to watch the video appended above. My intention is to make you totally involve in this great journey.
How to Reach Thanjavur (also known as Tanjore)
By Road: Buses are available from all towns/cities of Tamil Nadu. The road is in excellent condition. Trichy to Thanjavur is 55 km and takes roughly one hour. The distance from Coimbatore is 291 km.
By Rail: Nearest Railway station is Thanjavur Junction. Another major station is Trichy.
By Air: Nearest Airport is Trichy.
Places of Interest: Thanjavur Maratha Palace, Thanjavur Royal Palace, Saraswathi Mahal Library dating back to the 1600s and Sivaranga Park.
Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur
'A poetry on rock', the art lover in you will say nothing less than that when you reach the spot. No doubt, the temple is a marvel in stone. This grandest temple is one of the most popular monuments of the world. It is also one of the finest contributions by the Chola dynasty. The Brihadeeswarar (or Brihadeeswara) temple is also known as 'Peruvudaiyar Kovil'. 'Kovil' is the Tamil term for the temple. This temple is a classic example for the enchanting South Indian temples.
The following are the grand features of the temple.
- The finest specimen of the South Indian temple architecture.
- Resting on a wide base, the tower rises to a height of 72 meters and contains 14 stories.
- The glided 'Kalasha' rests on a single block of granite weighing about 80 tonnes.
- A 16 ft. magnificent stone statue of Nandi is there on the front side of the temple.
- The Nandi, hewn out of solid block of stone, is said to be the second largest Nandi in the country (India).
- The walls of the temple are full of beautiful sculptures.
- The whole structures show the Dravidian temple architecture.
- Though constructed many centuries ago (during 1003-1010), even today it stands as a testament to the supremacy of Dravidian architectural brilliance and the great achievement of the Chola dynasty.
- The tower wall of the temple depicts various deities like Ganesha, Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhudevi, Ardhanarishwara, Nataraja, etc.
- The temple work includes 81 dance poses depicting Shiva in different dance postures.
- The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The Thanjavur Features
Thanjavur was once the capital of the Chola, Nayak and Maratha rulers and situated on the delta river Cauvery. It is just one hour drive from Trichy and is nearly 55 km from there. Thanjavur is called "The Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu". Like Kerala, it has total greenery and fields everywhere. Kumbakonam, Nagappattanam (Nagore) and Velankanny, some of the famous religious hubs of Hindus, Muslims and Christians are its nearby places and reachable within a time gap of one to three hours.
Thanjavur gains importance due to its culture and contribution to music and dance. Here you can watch some rare specimens of old art and architecture, inscriptions and paintings, all created centuries ago. 'Bharatanatyam', the classical dance form of Tamil Nadu and Karnatic Music are often mentioned with Thanjavur as these had such a glory time in the past here. Thanjavur is also known for its exquisite handicrafts, bronze castings and articles and South Indian musical instruments.
A journey to this land is worth and you will never forget it. It is a journey to a rich heritage and history.
Google Map of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
My Other Articles (Hubs) Related to Tamil Nadu
- Tamil Nadu- The Land of Temples
Tamil Nadu has the correct ingredients for a good travel destination. What makes it a different travel spot is the presence of a large number of temples in the state. Read this article for more.
- Trichy, A Vibrant City of Tamil Nadu in South India
Trichy is one of the major cities in Tamil Nadu. It is an industrial and education hub. It has also some great temples and churches. The city can reach within 5 hours from Coimbatore. Read more...
- Trichy, The All Religious Hub of Tamil Nadu, South India
Trichy, a major city in Tamil Nadu in India is considered to be a great hub for all religious people. Hindus, Christians and Muslims have their important religious places in and around Trichy.
- Kanyakumari: The Land's End of India And The Confluence of Three Seas
Kanyakumari is the land's end of India and the confluence place of three sees. Swami Vivekananda got enlightenment from the medication he made on the rock here. A beautiful and must see place.
© 2013 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth