Explore the Royal Past of Thanjavur through the Royal Palace Museum

On a visit to explore the royal past of Thanjavur, the Royal Palace Museum is sure to leave you spellbound, excited and gasping for breath due to the astounding mysteries you can unravel at the museum. At best, the museum is a confluence of past ruins and renovation, fabulous art and a wide range of royal belongings. The construction of the museum is a reason for intrigue for people who love grand architecture that mixes different architectural styles. It was the Nayaks, who captured Thanjavur in 1535, that built the maze-like complex. The rest of the structure was constructed by the Maratha dynasty which reigned for about two hundred years from 1676 to 1855.

Two of the most exciting sections of the museum are :

  • Saraswati Mahal Library Museum
  • The Art Gallery

People can visit seven sections of the palace. You will need to buy admission tickets to gain access to the museum, and the system for granting access is really exciting and efficient. A ‘full ticket’ would fetch you the access to the Art Gallery, Mahratta Dharbar Hall and Saraswati Mahal Library Museum along with Saarjah Madi and bell tower. Apart from these sections, several other sections can be accessed by buying separate tickets. With a wide range of collections of astonishing artefacts dating back centuries, the museum is a paradise for culture and history aficionados in the truest senses of the word. The place offers many items that are too good to miss; hence you need to set aside at least half a day to enjoy the items on display at the museum.

At the museum, there is a wide range of figurines and statues in stone and bronze exhibited in three different sections. Originally the private audience hallway of the rulers, the Rama Chowdam Hall boasts of a wide range of bronze images that are a feast for the eyes. Looking at the bronze images, it is hard not to wonder how such beautiful images were drawn. There is another separate session where a league of beautiful and astonishing stone sculptures, from the ages of Nayaka, Pandya, Chola and Pallava, can be seen. One can also observe a wide variety of sculptures of the God Nataraja, who is Lord Shiva in his dancing form. There are also several historic sculptures and idols from various temples such as Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple and Brihadeshwara Temple that ornate the museum in all its exceptional beauty and charm.

The next stop is the Saraswathi Mahal that houses breathtakingly beautiful and attractive Tanjore paintings. These fabled paintings are ornated and studded with various precious stones and gold leaves and are a feast to behold for anyone seeing same.

Taking a walk along the history lane can take you back centuries to the time when Thanjavur was ruled by kings. One can see a wide range of royal memorabilia consisting of the kings’ luxurious clothes, ornaments, headgear along with their weapons. There is also a great collection of elaborate woodworks and antique wooden furniture that speaks loudly about the affinity of the kings of Thanjavur towards art and craft.

The Royal Palace Museum is a true testimony of the exceptional history of Thanjavur in all its glory and opulent cultural diversity.