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Especially known for its Tanjore school of painting, Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Sited on the banks of the River Cauvery, Thanjavur is famous for its Brihadeeswar Temple built by Rajaraja Chola in the year 1010 AD. Considered as an important agricultural centre located in the Cauvery Delta and is known as the 'Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu'. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments are located in and around Thanjavur.
Dedicated to lord Shiva, this 212 ft. (64.8 meter) towering Shiva temple is popular, ancient, and home to one of the largest Shiva Lingas of the country. Built out of granite, the temple has huge statue of Nandi and the outer wall of the upper storey is carved with 108 dance postures of Bharatanatyam. Considered as the big temple, the temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site known as the 'Great Living Chola Temples'. The sanctum is at the center of the western square. It is surrounded by massive walls that are divided into levels by sharply cut sculptures and pilasters providing deep bays and recesses. Each side of the sanctuary has a bay with iconography.
Punnai Nallur Mariamman Temple
Popularly known as Mariamman Kovil, this is one of the famous Hindu temple built by the Maratha rulers. Built over the natural formation of the anthill, the seven-tiered gopuram was erected recently. The Great saint Sadhasiva Brammendra swamy shaped the white-ant hill into a form of Mariamman and also installed a powerful Chakra.
Constructed by the Nayakas around 1550 CE, also known as 'Aranmanai' and Maratha Palace, this palace hosts myriad primeval items, including the Thanjavur paintings, statues from the Pallava, Chola, Pandiya and Nayaka periods. Divided into two parts, where the first part followed by Saraswathi Mahal Library is extended by Maratha rulers and it houses Royal Museum, Maratha Darbar Hall and Sangeetha Mahal. The second part of the palace was constructed during Nayaka period and it houses Goodagopuram, Manimandapam and Art Gallery. It is one of the top places to visit in Thanjavur.
This is one of the important old structures in India that were built during the British administration in the country. Built by Raja Serfoji in 1779 to honor the Danish missionary Reverend Frederick Christian Schwartz. Also known as Fort Church, the main attraction is the white marble monument and is noted for its intricate carvings depicting the final moments of Schwartz.