Thanjavur is more of a pilgrim centre than a tourist destination. It is also popularly known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. The city is dotted with temples and palaces that are reminiscent of the Dravidian civilisation, making it not only a temple town but also a cultural headquarter. The ancient Brihadishwara Temple with its ochre foundational blocks is a magnificent piece of South Indian temple architecture with the intricate detailing on its walls, ceilings and pillars. The Thanjavur Royal Palace is another marvel that speaks largely of the royalty of the past empires. There is an art gallery that not only houses art pieces and sculptures from the Chola period but also offers a beautiful view of the entire town. It is a delight to watch festivities such as Pongal, Ekadasi or Saraswati Puja over here when the entire city puts up a show and comes to life. There is a worldwide demand for Tanjore paintings, which have almost become souvenirs for festive occasions of the Thanjavur culture. The artistic brass plates and handloom silk sarees too are beautiful collectibles that are only available in Thanjavur. You can stay at Svatma or Ideal River View Resort to make the trip a rejuvenating one.
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One of the best examples of temple architecture and also one of the tallest temples in the world, this dates back to the 11th Century. The temple was built in Thanjavir by the famous Chola King Chola Raja I and is completely in the Dravidian style of architecture. The awesome part is that the top portion of the temple is built in such a way that it never casts a shadow on the ground during noon. Each and every portion of the temple is widely encarved with motifs and patterns of gods and goddesses. The temple is surrounded with a high wall and the entrance has stone structures beautifully standing till date. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and a beautiful idol is placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.