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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By Air

The city does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is in Trichy only 54kms away from Tanjore. Many private and public airlines operate domestic flights to and from Trichy. Some other international airlines too operate regular flights to this airport.

By Road

A good network of well maintained roads connect Tanjore with major south Indian cities like Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and so on. These places again are linked to rest of the country by road.

By Rail

The city has a railway station of its own. A well laid out rail network links Tanjore with cities in this part of India. Many important trains service the station regularly.

Key places to visit
Sri Brihadeshvara Temple, Royal Palace, Schwartz Church, Shivaganga Fort


Places to Visit

Sri Brihadeshvara Temple

This finest granite structure is now a UNESCO World heritage site. Completed in AD 1010 and dedicated to Lord Shiva, it was built by Rajaraja Chola I as a symbol of the unrivalled power and might of the Cholas. The temple basement is covered with inscriptions that give details of the temple’s administration and revenue, and provide valuable historical information on Chola society and government.

The temple is constructed using granite, mostly of large blocks, a rock that is not available in the neighborhood and had therefore to be brought from a distance- itself a colossal task. The plinth of the Central Shrine is 45.72 square m., the shrine proper 30.48 square m. and the vimana 60.96 m. high. On the massive plinth, covered throughout with inscriptions, there are niches on three sides in two rows, containing representations of deities such as Siva, Vishnu and Durga.

The entire wall space and ceiling of the passage were originally covered with exquisite paintings; a coat of paintings, executed during the Nayak period in the seventeenth century, now obscures most of them.

Royal Palace

This palace was originally built by Nayaka rulers as their royal residence and was further reconstructed by Maratha rulers. A large quadrangular courtyard leads into the palace complex. Outside the palace there is a seven-storeyed observation tower meant for the royal families.

The splendid Maratha Durbar Hall, built by Shahji II in 1684 has elaborately decorated pillars, walls and ceilings. The Durbar Hall now houses the Rajaraja Museum and Art Gallery with an impressive collection of bronze and stone idols dating from 7th to 20th centuries. Next to the museum is the Saraswati Mahal Library, constructed by the Maratha rulers. This is one of the most important reference libraries in India. An adjoining museum known as Royal Museum displays personal collection of Serfoji II.

Schwartz Church

The 18th century Schwartz Church or Christ Church is a legacy of Tanjore’s colonial past, standing to the east of the Shivaganga Tank. This church was constructed by the Danish missionary, Reverend Frederik Christian Schwartz in 1779. When he died, the enlightened Maratha ruler Serfoji II donated a striking marble tablet to the church. This tablet made by John Flaxman has been placed at the western end of the church. It depicts the dying missionary blessing his royal patron, surrounded by ministers and pupils from the school that he established.

Shivaganga Fort

The Quadrangular Shivaganga Fort is situated towards the south west of the old city. Built by the Nayaka ruler, Sevappa Nayaka, in the mid-16th century, the battlemented stone structure covers an area of 35 acres surrounded by a part rock-cut moat.

The Square Shivaganga Tank in the fort was excavated by Rajaraja I and later renovated to provide drinking water for the City. The fort contains the great Brihadishvara Temple, Schwartz Church, and public amusement park.

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