Brihadeeswara Temple
Brihadeshwar temple or the Big temple is the prime attraction of Thanjavur. Brihadeshwar temple was built in the early 11th century by Rajaraja Chola I. The temple is built in Dravidian style of architecture in granite.

Brihadeshwar temple, known also as Rajarajesvaram, is one of the well preserved Heritage Sites in Tamil Nadu. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has a 2.7 m high Shivalinga, which is about 7 m in diameter. The construction which encloses sanctum sanctorum is known by the name 'Periya Kovil' or the ‘Big temple’. The 70 m high ‘Vimana’ of the temple is built in such an architectural precision, that its shadow never falls outside itself. The Shikharam, which weighs about81.25 tons, is carved out of a single stone.

Brihadeshwar temple also features a massive idol of Nandi (bull), the mount of Lord Shiva. This idol, which weighs about 25 tons, has a height of about 3.6 m, length of 5.94 m and a width of 5.56 m. This idol is seated in ‘Nayak Mandapam’, which is decorated with intricate carvings. The ceiling of this mandapam is noted for its 1000 year old frescoes. Portraits of Sevappanayakan and his son Achyutappa Nayak (the early Nayak rulers) can also be seen on the front pillars of Nandi Mandapam.

Thanjavur Royal Palace
Thanjavur Royal Palace is one of the most popular attractions of Thanjavur. Thanjavur Royal Palace, situated within the Vijaynagara Fort complex, was the residence of the Nayak Kings of Thanjavur. The royal palace, built in 16th century, later became the seat of the Maratha rulers of Thanjavur in the 17th century.

Thanjavur Royal Palace offers Nayak Hall, Durbar Hall, Serfoji’s Saraswati Mahal Library and the arsenal tower for the tourists.

Nayak Hall, built by the Nayaks, house Thanjavur Art Gallery, where various Thanjavur artefacts belonging to the period of Cholas are displayed. Durbar Hall, built by the Marathas, displays a throne canopy decorated in Thanjavur styled mirror-glass works. Serfoji's Saraswati Mahal Library, situated adjacent to the Nayak Hall, houses a rare collection of Sanskrit books and palm-leaf manuscripts.

The palace also offers clear view of the Vijaynagara Fort complex and the Gopuram and the Vimana of the Brihadeshwar temple from the top of the arsenal tower, the erstwhile Palace watch tower and the arsenal of the Thanjavur Kings till 1855.

Thanjavur Art Gallery
Thanjavur Art Gallery, situated within the Thanjavur Royal Palace, is one of the main attractions of Thanjavur town. Thanjavur Art Gallery, which is housed in the Nayak Hall of the place, has an extensive collection of stone and bronze statues and idols belonging to the Chola period (8th – 9th centuries). Bronze statues belonging to the Pallava period are also displayed here.

Art Gallery also displays murals, paintings, sculptures and other artefacts that can be dated to the period in between 8th to 18th centuries. A statue of Raja Serfoji can also be seen in the Thanjavur Art Gallery.

Saraswati Mahal Library
Built during 1700 AD and located by the art gallery, this library has a huge collection of 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts written in Indian and European languages. It also has some Tamil treatises on medicine and commentaries from the Sangam period. The nearby museum houses some interesting exhibits like the Ramayana written on a palm leaf.

Thirumananjeri Temple
Thirumananjeri temple is one of the pilgrim destinations offered by Thanjavur town, which is located about 3 km to the west of Kuthalam village of Thanjavur District. It is believed that the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvathi took place at this place and hence the name Thirumananjeri temple, which was derived from the Tamil word 'Thirumanam' (wedding).

Poosam star of the Chithirai month is very auspicious at Thirumananjeri temple.

Velankanni Church
Velankanni Church, one of the religious sites, is situated on the Bay of Bengal coast. The holy shrine was constructed in the memory of the Lady of Health, also known as the Madonna of Velankanni. She was renowned among the people for possessing miraculous powers. Dedicated to Virgin Mary and the Heavenly Mother, this church is popular as a Sacred Arogya Matha Church.

According to the manuscripts, Mother Mary once visited this shrine with Jesus in the 16th or early 17th century. It is also said that Mary appeared in the dreams of Father Arulappa and expressed her desire of having a church in her name. For constructing the same, Arulappa along with J.P Dsouza, an engineer, finally established an Annai Velankanni Church at the site.

Housing a 97 feet Belfry, the church was started in 1971 and was opened in 1972. Offerings are made to God in the form of different shapes of candles, such as in case of jaundice, a liver shaped candle is offered. The preservation centre at the church exhibits small golden or silver replicas of the organs that have been presented to God after the disease has been cured.

Velankanni Beach
Velankanni Beach, one of the prominent attractions of the region, is located in the Nagapattinam District. The beach is popularly known as Lourdes of the East. It is oft visited as Church of Our Lady of Health is located in the vicinity of the beach.

The beach lies on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal. Velankanni village is located towards the south of this beach and was believed to be the port for trading with various western countries such as Rome and Greece.

Thiruvanajozhi Temple
Thiruvanajozhi temple is one of the attractions offered by Thanjavur. Thiruvanajozhi temple, situated on the outskirts of Thanjavur town, was built in between 14th to 15th centuries. The temple is noted for its architecture, Swayambhoo Shivalinga and ancient inscriptions. This temple is a popular venue for classical dance forms and music.

Suryanaar Koyil
Suryanar Koil, situated 21 kms from Kumbakonam is built by King Kulothunga Chola I in the year 1100 AD. This temple is dedicated to Sun God Surya who is known as the giver of health, sucess and prosperity. Every year in mid January, the harvest festival is celebrated in thanks giving and to honour, Surya or Sun Surya is the most powerful living God - whom everyone can see, perceive and pray. Though he is visible, he also has been presented in a variety of forms. Lord of this planet is God Siva Surya resides with his wives Chaya and Suvarcha in this holy place. With Surya at the centre, temples of the other Grahas are around Surya.

Chandran Temple
Thingaloor, Though there is a question about when this temple was built, historians agree that it must have been in existence since before the beginning of the Bhakti period, which was well before the seventh century A.D. Dedicated to the Moon or Chandran in Sanskrit and Thingai in Tamil, a visit to this temple is said to grant a confortable and long lilfe. In astrology, Chandran is the planet that removes stress and sorrow. Chandra or Moon is a lovable God - Pleasing to the children as well as elders, universally appealing to everyone whatever may be the religion. Goddess Parvathi rules the planet. This temple is situated at 30kms from Kumbakonam.

Sevvai Temple
Vaitheswaran Koil, With the Vaitheswaran Koil, there is a special shrine dedicated to Ankarakan or Sevvai or Mars. It is situated 55 kms from Kumbakonam. The belief is that if prayers are offered to Ankarakan, he will bestow valour, victory and strength to the person. Upon entering the temple, devotees first go the Siddamrita tank. The water is said to have curative properties for various skin ailments. There ia also a widespread belief that a visit here would remove obstacles that delay marriage. Mars is regarded as a God of martial character, red in every aspect. Even the Romans held him as their Guru. He is the Son of Earth and is ruled by Lord Subramanya. This town is also called as Pull-irukku-Veloor. Jadayu - the eagle who made a gallant attempt to stop. Ravana from proceeding to Lanka with Sita, got relieved of his wings by Ravana, fell down here and eventually got Moksha. Even today we can see the place where Jadayu was cremated - 'Jadayu Kundam'.

Vaidheeswaran koil is a crowd puller for many reasons along with the Angarakan. Vaidyanadha Swamy ( shiva ) is believed to cure illness of the ardent devotees. Lot of people throng here everyday, offer their prayers for regaining their health with the grace of the deity. Ambal is called Valambika alias Thaiyal Nayaki.

Budhan Kovil
Thiruvenkadu, is 60kms from Kumbakonam.There is a reference to this temple in Valmiki's Ramayana. Therefore it is said that the oldest part of the temple is more than 3000 years old. Dedicated to Budhan or Mercury this temple in Thiruvenkadu makes up the last of the Navagraha Temples. Budhan is said to bestow wisdom and intellect. Budha or Mercury is considered as the greatest among the wise. This Devata bestows wisdom and wealth on his devotees. He is ruled by Lord Maha Vishnu. This temple is referred in 'Saiva Thirumurais' and Sastras. This place is similar to Kasi with all the Snana Ghats. One can do all the karmas here, that is supposed to be done in kasi. We can find a separate sanctum sanctorum for bhudan. Bhudan holds the portfolio of Education and Arts and it is the next popular place students prefer to go after Tuition centers.

Guru Kovil
Alangudi, 19kms from Kumbakonam. is regarded as a Guru Sthalam or Jupiter where Lord Dakshinamurthy is held in great revernce. The Shrine attracts a large number of devotees when Jupiter transits between zodiac signs. Parvathi, the consort of Lord Shiva, is said to have been reborn on the banks of the Amrita Pushkarini within the temple precincts before being reunited with siva. He results in a cure from ailments and helps one to ward off his/her sins and gives strength, valour, longevity, etc. He grants the boon of fatherhood to the childless, good education (Vidya). The speciality here is that Lord Guru is engraved on the wall and is not in the form of separate idol reunited with Shiva.

Sukran Temple
Kanchanur, 22kms from Kumbakonam. This Shiva Sthalam is associated with Sukran or Venus and is maintained by the Madurai Adinam. It is Located in a quite hamlet of Thiruvaaduturai.This Shrine is also referred to as Palaasavanam, Brahmapurai and Agnisthalam. Brahma is said to have had a vision here of Shiva's wedding with Parvati.Men visit to pray for the well being of their wives. Sukra or Venus is the bestower of long life, wealth, happiness, children, property and good education. He is ruled by Goddess Mahalakshmi.

Saneeshwaran Temple
Thirunallar, 55kms from Kumbakonam. is the only temple that is dedicated to Lord Sani Or Saturn. When the Planet Saturn transits between zodiac signs, literally millions throng this shrine. The Legendary King Nala is said to have been relieved of his affictions, which were due to the malefic influence of Saturn, after worships in this temple. Of the numerous tanks theertams, the Nala theertam is the important one. By bathing here, it is belived that one washes off all kinds of misfortune , afflictions and to escape from the woes of sani. Saniswara or Saturn, is generally known to affect one adversely on occasions when he occupies certain positions in one's horoscope.A prayer to him, especially on Saturdays, is said to mitigate the hardships one will have to face during these periods. Saniswara is considered equally a bestower of all benefits to the devotees who pray sincerely to him. He is ruled by Lord Yama.

Raahu Temple
Tirunageswaram, This vast temple known for its shrine to Rahu, one of the nine celestial bodies in the Navagraha situated 8kms from Kumbakonam. A legend has it that the mythological serpents Adiseshan, Dakshan and Kaarkotakan worshipped Shiva here. Legend also has it that King Nala worshipped Shiva here as in Thirunallar. Rahu is instrumental in strengthening one's power and converting even an enemy into a friend. He is ruled by Goddess Durga. The main deity's name is Nageshwarar and Ambal's name is Girigujambikai. She is decorated as a small girl in the Mornings, as young lady in Noons and as lady in evenings.. Here Ragu resides with his wife and everyday, during Rahu kalam, when Milk is poured over Rahu idol, it miraculously changes to blue colour. People having Ragu dosha come here during Rahu kalam and perform Abishekas.

Kethu Kovil
Keezhperumpallam, 57kms from Kumbakonam, is an ancient Shaivite temple and legend has it that Kethu, the other planetary node of the nine celestial bodies worshipped Shiva here. Rahu and Kethu are associated with legend of the serpent that helped Lord Shiva churn the milky ocean. There is a Shrine dedicated to Kethu in this temple. Ketu brings prosperity to the devotee's family. He grants good health, wealth, cattle and all round prosperity. He is ruled by Lord Ganesha and Indra. . Those who are affected by Kethu dosha come here for rectification.

Kumbakonam Mahamaham Tank
Mahamaham is a Hindu Kumb Mela festival celebrated every 12 years in a small temple-town called Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu , India . Hindus consider taking a holy dip at the Mahamaham tank on the day of Mahamaham as sacred. The last Mahamaham was celebrated on March 6 , 2004 , with people from various places taking the holy dip in the Mahamaham tank.

The festival is celebrated at an interval of around eleven to twelve years. The festival takes place at a particular time as determined by astrological position: during the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai (February-March) when the conjunction of the moon with the lunar asterism (Magha Nakshatra) and when Jupiter is in the constellation of Leo.

The festival lasts for nine days. During this festival, thousands of Hindu devotees come to Kumbakonam, and take bath in a tank named Mahamaham tank. Some of them instead of taking bath in the tank, sprinkle water from the tank on their bodies. It is believed that taking bath or sprinkling water of the tank on the bodies cleanses all the sins.

Nagapattinam was founded in 1991 and since then the district has its headquarters in Nagapattinam city, which is at a distance of around 15 km from Velankanni. With numerous beaches that are situated on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal, it attracts a large number of people. .

Sowriraja Perumal temple, Shri Kayahorana Swami Neelayathatchi Amman temple and Nellukkadai Mariamman temple are the prime attractions of Nagapattinam. Tourists can also visit a mini museum and a historic lighthouse that are located nearby. The Victorian pillar standing in front of the District Collectorate office represents the Guinness Record Achievement of planting a maximum number of saplings in 24 hours.

Nagore, located at a distance of around 18 km from Velankanni, is a town in the Nagapattinam District. The prime attraction of this town is Nagore Dargah, also known as Nagore Shariff.

The shrine is dedicated to Hazrat Syed Hameed Qadir Vali, a Muslim saint, who took birth in a Muslim family. He belonged to a village in the central province presently known as Madhya Pradesh. The saint delivered the message of One God, One Soul, One Supreme Power, and preached doctrines related to love and devotion.

For spreading the philosophies of Islam and messages of Prophet Mohammed, he sent his disciples to work among the local people. The premises of the dargah house the relics of the Saint, which are decorated by flowers on Khandoori festival, an annual anniversary celebration.

Sikkal is a city, which is known for housing a beautiful Muragan Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Singaravelan. Possessing a large complex, the temple premises and its pillars are adorned with intricately designed stone carvings.

The temple also houses a wide collection of paintings that belong to the bygone era and represent a perfect blend of colours and portrayals. The temple complex also has a small shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Hanuman. People of the region believe that the offerings made to the deities help to come out of problems and hurdles.


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