The Finest Architecture in South India at Thanjavur

Architecture of Tamil Nadu

Thanjavur is a culturally-rich city with a number of fine examples of south Indian architecture. It also has some of the best temples and monuments that boast of architectural brilliance and outstanding craftsmanship. Here’s a look at some of the them in case you are planning on visiting Thanjavur any time soon:

Brihadeeswarar temple

Constructed entirely out of granite during CE 1010 by the Chola dynasty king Raja Raja Chola I, it is also known as the ‘Big Temple’. It’s said to be one of the finest examples showcasing typical Dravidian architecture in all its full glory. The temple is dedicated to Lord Brihadeeswarar who is one of the forms of Lord Shiva. The exteriors and interiors of the temple are full of beautiful sculptures with this temple also having one of the largest idols of the main deity.

Thanjavur Royal Palace complex

The Royal Palace was built by the Nayak kings and further added to by the Maratha kings while they were ruling the city from 1676 to 1855. The end-result is that the beautifully-executed palace structure has many sections with each one worth devoting time to. The Saraswati Mahal Library Museum and the Art Gallery are a must-see. While the library houses an extensive collection of Serfoji’s collections of palm leaf manuscripts, books and paintings, the Art Gallery is home to a magnificent collection of bronze and stone sculptures. Maharaja Serfoji Memorial Hall and Maratha Durbar Hall are also brilliant works of craftsmanship and shouldn’t be missed.

Airavatesvara temple

Located in Darasuram, Thanjavur, this temple is famous for its mesmerizing history, beautiful architecture and great divinity. It was built by Raja Chola II in the 12th century CE in the typical southern Dravidian design. It is constructed entirely out of granite in the shape of a chariot and stands tall in its grandeur. It is created in the typical Chola period design and is embellished with unbelievably intricate sculptures and carvings in stone.

Sukkiran temple

Located in Kanjanur, Thanjavur, this temple is another example of the beauty in south Indian temple architecture. It’s believed to have been built by the medieval Cholas with an imposing, intricately carved 5-tiered gopuram and two prakarams. It is one of the navagraha temples and is specific for sukran (Venus). Aside from its divinity, people also visit the temple for its brilliant architectural beauty.

You can visit Thanjavur by rail, road or air as the city is well-connected. Neighboring Trichy provides air connectivity. You could also stay over at the Sangam hotel as you tour this great city