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
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
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
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
|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 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, 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, 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.