Solo – Travel to The CHOLA Kingdom

Tripoto
7th Nov 2015

Lotus flower blooms

Photo of Lotus flower blooms by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The Grand Entrance of Brihadishwara Temple

Photo of The Grand Entrance of Brihadishwara Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Brihadishwara Temple

Photo of Brihadishwara Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Offerings to Lord Shiva

Photo of Offerings to Lord Shiva by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Shivalinga / Nagalinga /Cannonball Flower

Photo of Shivalinga / Nagalinga /Cannonball Flower by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The beautiful garden at the Big Temple

Photo of The beautiful garden at the Big Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Dancing Dolls

Photo of Tanjore Dancing Dolls by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Dancing Dolls

Photo of Tanjore Dancing Dolls by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Dancing Dolls

Photo of Tanjore Dancing Dolls by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Dancing Dolls

Photo of Tanjore Dancing Dolls by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Script carvings on the temple stones

Photo of Script carvings on the temple stones by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The magnificient Big Temple

Photo of The magnificient Big Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Script carvings on the temple stones

Photo of Script carvings on the temple stones by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The Pillars and Nandis

Photo of The Pillars and Nandis by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The Big Nandi

Photo of The Big Nandi by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Vimana / Tower

Photo of Vimana / Tower by Vyshalini S Kakarla

One of the artistic sculptures

Photo of One of the artistic sculptures by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Script carvings on the steps

Photo of Script carvings on the steps by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Vimana / Tower - 216 ft tall

Photo of Vimana / Tower - 216 ft tall by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Vimana / Tower - 216 ft tall

Photo of Vimana / Tower - 216 ft tall by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The Mandap

Photo of The Mandap by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Very Artistic

Photo of Very Artistic by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Very Artistic

Photo of Very Artistic by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Vimana / Tower from the side view

Photo of Vimana / Tower from the side view by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Vimana / Tower from the side view

Photo of Vimana / Tower from the side view by Vyshalini S Kakarla

History time

Photo of History time by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Detailed writings on The Chola Dynasty

Photo of Detailed writings on The Chola Dynasty by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Detailed writings on The Chola Dynasty

Photo of Detailed writings on The Chola Dynasty by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Paintings of The Chola Dynasty

Photo of Paintings of The Chola Dynasty by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Sculptures

Photo of Sculptures by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Paintings of The Chola Dynasty

Photo of Paintings of The Chola Dynasty by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Maha Nandi

Photo of Maha Nandi by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Palace Complex

Photo of Tanjore Palace Complex by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Sangeetha Mahal

Photo of Sangeetha Mahal by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Paintings

Photo of Tanjore Paintings by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Arts

Photo of Tanjore Arts by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Art plates

Photo of Tanjore Art plates by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Paintings

Photo of Tanjore Paintings by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Tanjore Art Gallery

Photo of Tanjore Art Gallery by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Restoration of beautiful sculptures

Photo of Restoration of beautiful sculptures by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The gorgeous hall inside the Art Gallery

Photo of The gorgeous hall inside the Art Gallery by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Nataraja - The Lord of Dance

Photo of Nataraja - The Lord of Dance by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Statue of The Chola King

Photo of Statue of The Chola King by Vyshalini S Kakarla

92 feet long bone of a whale

Photo of 92 feet long bone of a whale by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The Whale Skeleton

Photo of The Whale Skeleton by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The art on the ceiling at Saraswathi Mahal

Photo of The art on the ceiling at Saraswathi Mahal by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Saraswathi Mahal Library

Photo of Saraswathi Mahal Library by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Thiruvayaru - Five Rivers

Photo of Thiruvayaru - Five Rivers by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Ashoka Halwa and Wheat Halwa, Thiruvaiyaru

Photo of Ashoka Halwa and Wheat Halwa, Thiruvaiyaru by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Amazing taste of Ashoka Halwa

Photo of Amazing taste of Ashoka Halwa by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Ready to serve "Ashoka Halwa"

Photo of Ready to serve "Ashoka Halwa" by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Andavar Halwa Shop, the best one for Ashoka Halwa

Photo of Andavar Halwa Shop, the best one for Ashoka Halwa by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The beauty of countryside

Photo of The beauty of countryside by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Sri Thyagaraja's Grave

Photo of Sri Thyagaraja's Grave by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Ms. Karunambhal in Panchanatheeshwar Temple

Photo of Ms. Karunambhal in Panchanatheeshwar Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The pond in Panchanatheeshwar Temple

Photo of The pond in Panchanatheeshwar Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Entrance of the Panchanatheeshwar Temple

Photo of Entrance of the Panchanatheeshwar Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The beauty of countryside

Photo of The beauty of countryside by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The incredible love of a grand-mother

Photo of The incredible love of a grand-mother by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The beauty of countryside

Photo of The beauty of countryside by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Moon Temple, Thingalur

Photo of Moon Temple, Thingalur by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Agriculture - The backbone of INDIA

Photo of Agriculture - The backbone of INDIA by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Festive crowd on the streets of Tanjore

Photo of Festive crowd on the streets of Tanjore by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The typical south Indian style breakfast

Photo of The typical south Indian style breakfast by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Rains in Greens

Photo of Rains in Greens by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Sri Kalyana Sundarar Temple at Thirumanancheri

Photo of Sri Kalyana Sundarar Temple at Thirumanancheri by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Incredible MOTHER-hood!

Photo of Incredible MOTHER-hood! by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The entrance of Sri Vaitheeshwar temple

Photo of The entrance of Sri Vaitheeshwar temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The beautiful pond in Sri Vaitheeshwar temple

Photo of The beautiful pond in Sri Vaitheeshwar temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

One of the great ways to harvest rain water

Photo of One of the great ways to harvest rain water by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Sri Airavatheshwar Temple at Darasuram

Photo of Sri Airavatheshwar Temple at Darasuram by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Sri Airavatheshwar Temple at Darasuram

Photo of Sri Airavatheshwar Temple at Darasuram by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The entrance of Airavatheshwar temple

Photo of The entrance of Airavatheshwar temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The beautiful pillars of Airavatheshwar Temple

Photo of The beautiful pillars of Airavatheshwar Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Maha Nandi at Airavatheshwar Temple

Photo of Maha Nandi at Airavatheshwar Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The grand Mantap at Airavatheshwar Temple

Photo of The grand Mantap at Airavatheshwar Temple by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Work in Progress by ASI to restore the originality

Photo of Work in Progress by ASI to restore the originality by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Very artistic carvings on the pillars

Photo of Very artistic carvings on the pillars by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The elegant elevations

Photo of The elegant elevations by Vyshalini S Kakarla

The conjoined heads of a Bull and an Elephant

Photo of The conjoined heads of a Bull and an Elephant by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Mandapam and Pillars

Photo of Mandapam and Pillars by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Exquisite Chariot carving

Photo of Exquisite Chariot carving by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Here ends my two day trip with a good veg dinner

Photo of Here ends my two day trip with a good veg dinner by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Hotel Gnanam

Photo of Hotel Gnanam by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Hotel Gnanam

Photo of Hotel Gnanam by Vyshalini S Kakarla

Remembering my very first solo trip to The Siamese Kingdom – Ayutthaya, Thailand which has increased my love to explore the world while exploring the nooks and crannies of my soul. Traveling solo is one of The Best things everyone should experience in their lifetime. Traveling by myself gave me quality time and to absorb a culture in a new way.

Revisiting the History and connecting with the past is an incredible experience – I am fortunate to visit such beautiful places in Thanjavur / Tanjore, India and in its surroundings which was ruled by The Cholas starting in the 9th century. I visited two of magnificent temples built by The Cholas, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Brihadishwara Temple at Tanjore and Airavateshwara Temple at Darasuram, Kumbakonam. These two temples are the best classic examples of the brilliant art and architecture by The Cholas. I highly appreciate and thank the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for maintaining the sanctity of these living temples. 

The places I visited were in the outskirts of Tanjore and Kumbakonam except the Brihadishwara Temple and the Palace. I used public transportation (Bus) to visit all the places since it is the safest mode of transport when we travel alone and also to enjoy traveling like a local. I was able to enjoy my bus rides in spite of continuous rains and the festive crowd – “Getting out of the comfort zone is the key thing that differentiates A TRAVELLER from a tourist”.

Places that interested me to visit during my 2 days trip:

 *Brihadishwara Temple, Tanjore – This temple was built 1000+ years ago. The grand entrance of the temple welcomes with the flock of beautiful birds. I was astonished by seeing the creative, outstanding and detailed architecture of the temple. The tower of the temple is 216 feet and it is one of the tallest in the world.

 *Tanjore Palace – A good place for art and history lovers. The palace has different halls - Durbar Hall, Sangeetha Mahal, The Art Gallery, Saraswathi Mahal Library and Bell Tower. The parts of the palace are ruined and some are under renovation.

 *Panchatheeshwar Temple, Thiruvayaru – This is one of beautiful Shiva temples near Tanjore. The temple has a beautiful pond with a bevy of swans and also there is an elephant name “KARUNAMBAL”.

 *Sri Thyagaraja Bhagavathar Grave, Thiruvayaru – Sri Thyagaraja was one of the greatest composers of Carnatic music. Thiruvaiyaru Tyagaraja Aradhana is held annually at this place to pay homage for the great composer of Indian Classic Music.

 *Cauvery River at Thiruvayaru – Thiruvaiyaru is situated on the banks of the River Cauvery.

 *Moon temple at Thingalur – This temple is located in a small village near Thiruvayaru. It is one of the Navagraha temples and the deity is Moon.

 *Kalyana Sundarar Temple, Thirumanancheri – An interesting belief about this temple is that the unmarried male / female who visits this temple and praise the lord will get married soon.

 *Vaitheeshwarar Temple near Chidambaram – It is one of the Navagraha temples and the deities are Lord Shiva and planet Mars. The temple has a temple tree at the entrance and a beautiful pond inside.

 *Airavateshwara Temple, Darasuram, Kumbakonam – This is one of the amazing and gorgeous temples I have visited so far. This temple has brilliant stone carvings that includes the conjoined heads of Bull and Elephant and also a very small carving of the dancing Lord Ganesha.

Stuffs to buy:

*Tanjore Painting, Tanjore Art plates and Tanjore dancing dolls at Sangeetha Mahal in the Tanjore Palace Complex / at the Government Arts store

*Ashoka Halwa (A popular dessert made with moong dhal as its key ingredient) from Andavar sweet shop, Thiruvaiyaru 

INCREDIBLE ART and ARCHITECTURE of INDIA!

My stay at the Hotel Gnanam was very comfortable. I appreciate the cleanliness and discipline in the hotel. The food was good as well.
Photo of Hotel Gnanam Thanjavur, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India by Vyshalini S Kakarla
Photo of Hotel Gnanam Thanjavur, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India by Vyshalini S Kakarla