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Thanjavur's rise to prominence on world map was during the period of Chola reign, when the city served as the capital to the dynasty. It is believed that Thanjavur derived its name from a legendary demon of Hindu mythology, Tanjan who was killed at this place by Lord Vishnu. The City is famously called “Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu” because of the curvy delta it spans. Its official language is Tamil. Thanjavur city spans across the area of 36.33 Km2 and consensus reported the population of 222,619 in 2011 which approximates to population density of 6100 per Km2.
History of Thanjavur
Hindu mythological anecdotes state that there used to be a demonic devil named Tanjan. Neelamegha Perumal, Lord Vishnu's avtar killed that giant at this place to restore peace and humanity. The city is believed to have derived its name from this demon.
Though it is belived by scholars that the city existed during the Chola reign, it was during the rule of Chola monarch Vijayalya that teh city rose to prominence when he concurred the city from from the Mutharayar king Elango Mutharayar. The city henceforth served as the capital of Chola dynasty. After the fall of Chola dynasty, the city was ruled by a number of dynasties like Pandyas, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur nayaks, Vijaynagar empire, Thanjavur Marathas and British empire.
The administrative powers of Thajavur were given over to British Empire under the signed treaty of 1799. British records refer the city as Tanjore.
Climate of Thanjavur
The Cauvary river tributaries like the Vadavaaru, Grand Anaicut canal and Vennaaru flow through the city. On the global map Thanjavur is located at 10.8°N 79.15°E. Thanjavur is at a distance of 314 km (195 mi) south-west of Chennai and 56 km (35 mi) east of Tiruchirapalli.
The average temperatures of the city range from 81 °F (27 °C) in January to 97 °F (36 °C) in May and June. The average rainfall in the city is 37 inches (940 mm) with first monsoon rain set up in June and continuing till September. Summer start up by March and reach at its peak by May and June. The winter season spanning from November to February is pleasant and days are usually warm and nights are cool.
Culture of Thanjavur
Government of Tamil Nadu makes effort to preserve and promote the culture of Thanjavur. The most prominently visited place by tourists is the Brihadeeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is beautifully described by the historian Percy Brown as "a landmark in the evolution of building art in South India". The mesmerizing temple was built by the Chola king Raja Raja Chola I in 11th century. The temple was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.
Another excellent cultural hot spot is Raja Rajan Manimandapam. It was built during the Thanjavur Tamil Conference in 1991. A permanent exhibition of handicrafts is on at Sangeetha Mahal. During the rule of Nayak dynasty in 16th century art and music culture flourished magnificently in Thanjavur. Carnatic Music was codified in Thanjavur, and because of this strong association with Carnatic music Tyagaraja Aradhna, a Canatic Music Festival is held annually at Thiruvaiyaru which is at a distance of 13 Km from the city during the period of January-February. A major form of classical South Indian painting form Thanjavur paintings find their roots in Thanjavur. Thanjavur paintings have most depicted images of Lord Krishna. They are now considered as great cultural souvenirs.
There are a number of festivals that are celebrated in the city which are associated with its history and past culture like Saint Thyagraja Aradhna musical festival in January. Pongal and Maha Maham Festival in Kumbakonam in February and March held once in 12 years are important festivals. Other festivals include Arulmigu Thyagrajaswamy car festival, Muthupallakku thiruviza festival in May, Annai Velannkanni Festival in August and September and Sathya Thiruvizha in October.
Tourist Attractions in Thanjavur
Thanjavur is one of the most important tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu. There are many tourist attractions is Thanjvur which range from temples to places and library to music mahals. Most prominent of them is . This temple was build about 1000 AD by Chola king. Thanjavur Royal Palace and Art Gallery Thanjavur are other important attractions. Saraswathi Mahal Library is one of the best collections of ancient Indian manuscripts like a huge English dictionary, paintings, old documents etc. that one can come across. Sangeetha Mahal was like the entertainment zone for Chola and Nayak rulers. This place is a piece of art and magnificent testimonial of craftsmanship that speaks hundred of volumes about the ancient builders and architects of the ancient times.
Shopping in Thanjavur
Shopping in Thanjavur includes Silk weaves, Thanjavur paintings, dancing dolls, and traditional Crafts. These can be bought from several places government and private shops and shopping malls. If you are buying Thanjavur paintings, it is advised to go to the craftsman directly. Shopping malls like Singapore Shopping Mall, Grand Shopping, Philomina Shopping Mall etc. in the city make the experience of shopping in the city more modern and exciting.
Transportation of Thanjavur
The city has got wonderful network of roads and railways. Air transportation can be availed at nearest airport Tiruchirapalli International Airport. Sea port connectivity is at Karaikal Port which is 96 Km from the city.
Many of the cities of South India are connected with Thanjavur which include Chennai, Pattukkottai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli, Karaikal, Pudukkottai, Madurai, Kumbakonam, Ooty and Mysore.