(Last Updated on : 02/02/2009)
There are lots of interesting places around Thanjavur and most of them can be reached by town buses or by hired vehicles without any difficulty. Some of them are:
This temple is situated at Punnainallur, 6 kms away from Thanjavur. It is one of the local temples of Thanjavur and attracts a large number of devotees.
It is situated 13 kms away from Thanjavur on the banks of the river Cauvery. This ancient temple is dedicated to Panchanadiswara i, e, Lord of 5 rivers named Cauvery, Vennaru, Vettaru, Kudamurutti and Vadavaru. These five rivers form a network like garland to this Lord.
Thiruchattruruthurai, Thiru-vedikkudi, Kandiyur, Thiruppoon-thuruthi and Thiruneithanam are the 'Saptha Sthalas' of this temple. The deity of Ayyaru proceeds to these Saptha Sthalas during Chitthirai (April-May) festival. On the way to this temple, the beautiful image of Brahma, the superb panels of Ravana lifting Kailas at Thiruppoonthuruthi, Siva mounted on the bull with Uma, Ardhanari and Dakshinamurthi with veena in His hands are some of the fine pieces of art which can be noticed.
This temple contains spacious halls and corridors. The idol of Lord Brahma is very gracefully executed. Some sculptures here are of Chalukyan style, which were brought as war trophy. The Thyagaraja Aradhana festival is organised here in January when most of the leading exponents of Carnatic music come to perform and are listened to by lakhs of enthusiastic fans of classical music. A huge complex is under construction here to accommodate the ever increasing number of devotees.
Karikal Chola of the Sangam Age built a barrage at the delta head of Thanjavur and it serves even today. The slave labours, who were the prisoners of war from Ceylon, built this. Stones were piled up across the river for 1080 ft. It was 60 ft. wide and about 20 ft. high. It survived the ravages of time and floods for over 1500 years due to the skills of ancient engineering. It is completely made of stones and earth. The dam here was repaired by Captain Caldwell in 1805.
It is the overhead regulator of the water of Cauvery for irrigation. The park here is a nice place for picnic. Buses are operated from Thanjavur and Kumbakonam. It is about 48 km from Thanjavur.
This is a Siva temple, which is about 18 kms from Thanjavur. There is a separate shrine for Chandra (Moon God) in this temple and it is one of the nine places of Navagrahas. The pilgrims visit this all round the year.
One can see a famous Vinayaka temple here. There is a Vishnu temple next to it. Here, the Vinayaka Chathurthi festival (August-September) is very well known and thousands of people gather here during that time.
This is a famous Siva temple, situated at 43 kms from Thanjavur and near Kumbakonam on the Mannargudi Road. It is one of the temples of Navagraha (Nine Planets) and this place has the shrine of Guru (Jupiter). The devotees from all over India visit this temple throughout the year. This temple was built during the Chola period and depicts the Chola architecture.
This historic town is situated 30 kms from Thanjavur. Two temples named, Pallavanatha Swamy temple constructed by Chola king and the '108 Sivalingam' temple can be seen here.
A granary of 80 ft. breadth and 36 ft. height for storing 3,000 'kalams' of paddy can be seen here. The Nayaka kings constructed the town in 1600-1634 A.D. The state archaeological department has declared it as a monument.
Here, one can see a shrine for Vinayaga and this place is situated near Swamimalai. The temple is an architectural wonder. The river Cauvery changed the course to the right (valam) here hence the place came to be known as Thiruvalanchuzhi. The image of Vinayaga here is in the form of sea foam. It is known by the name Swetha (white) Vinayaga. It has exquisitely chiselled stone pillars and stone lattice work of intricate design.
Poondi Madha Shrine
This is a village situated about 3.5 kms from Thanjavur. Budalur is the nearest railway station here. It is a Roman Catholic pilgrim centre like Velankanni and people from all over India visit this place. The accommodation is provided by the church authorities to the pilgrims.
Manora is situated 65 kms away from Thanjavur on the way to Kodikkarai in Saluvanayakkappattinam. Raja Serfoji built here a large number of storeyed towers in 1814 to commemorate the victory of the British over Napoleon in the battle of Waterloo. For a short period, it served as an observatory and a lighthouse. The tall tower is visible from a distance of 5 kms. It was utilised to keep books on shipbuilding, by the king.
Thanjavur is the biggest town in Thanjavur district and a commercial centre for silk, utensils and trade. It is 36 kms far from Thanjavur and is linked by road and rail. It is the treasure-house of art and architecture as almost all the important temples are found in and around Kumbakonam. It serves as a focal point from where all the Chola temples could easily be visited.
Mahamagam, the Kumba Mela of the south is very popular here. It occurs once in 12 years when the planet Jupiter enters the constellation Leo and the Sun in Aquarius. A large number of devotees come here from all over India to have a holy dip in the Mahamagam tank here, which is located in the middle of the town. It is believed that the holy Ganges flows into this tank on that day.