Thanjavur Details

Origin of the name:

The name Thanjavur is derived from "Tanjan", a legendary asura in Hindu mythology. Thanjavur is one of the oldest cities in India and has a long and varied history dating back to Sangam period. The city rose into prominence during the rule of the Later Cholas when it served as the capital of the Chola empire. After the fall of the Cholas, the city was ruled by the Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, the Madurai Nayaks, the Thanjavur Nayaks, the Thanjavur Marathas and the British. It has been a part of independent India since 1947.

Population: As Thanjavur is the eleventh largest city in Tamil Nadu with a population of 221,185 (est. 2008).

Climate: Weather, Summers 28- 38C. Winter 24- 28C

Economy: Thanjavur's economy is mainly agro-based. The town acts as a focal point for food grains transported from the adjoining areas of the Cauvery Delta. The town also has some medium and small-scale enterprises. Tourism constitutes a major portion of the town's revenue. Prominent supermarket chains such as Food World, Nilgiris, Spencers and Subhiksha have their branches in Thanjavur. There are also a few local supermarket chains of which Punniyamoorthi Pillai Departmental Store (PPDS) is the largest.

Agriculture: Agriculture is the main activity of Thanjavur. Paddy, Sugarcane, Coconut, Plantain are the major crops


Thanjavur is renowned for its culture of education. It is home to the famous Saraswati Mahal library which dates back to the end of the 16th century and contains over 30,000 rare manuscripts. It has now been fully computerized.One of the famous school in the city is Don Bosco MMS. St.Antony's Hr sec School. Kalyanasundaram Hr. Sec. school (since 1891) and St. Peter's, founded in the 18th century by Schwartz, are renowned schools in the town. Currently, Thanjavur has four universities, viz., the Tamil University, Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology & Research Academy, Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute Of Science & Technology and Periyar Maniammai University and several colleges including the renowned Thanjavur Medical College.There are other Engineering Colleges namely the upcoming Parisutham Institute of Technology & Science (P I T S) & St Joseph's College of Engineeringand Teacher educational colleges like Dr.S.R.J College of Education. There are also many research centres, including the Paddy Processing Research Centre (Now Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology) and Soil and Water Research Centre.


         Tamilnadu Small Industries Development Corporation Limited

         Chella Industries

         Kulavi Tobacco Industry

         Sivam Wood Industries

         Sakthi Industries‎

Movie Theatres:

         Ajantha Talkies

         Arul Theatre

         Cholan Theatre

         Ganesh Talkies

         Jupiter Theatre

         Kamala Theatre

         Sri Kumaran Theatre

         Sri Rani Paradi

         Vanitha Theatre

         Yagappa Talkies

Geography : Thanjavur is located at 1048N 7909E / 10.8N 79.15E / 10.8; 79.15[5]

Sea level: The town has an elevation of 57 metres above mean sea level

Tourism: Places of interests in and around Thanjavur

Thanjavur is famous for the Brahadishwara Temple (or Brahadeeswara temple) built by Rajaraja Chola during the 11th century. The Brahadishwara Temple, also known as the Big Temple, is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The temple is enclosed in two courts, surmounted by a lofty tower and including the exquisitely decorated shrine of Murugan. Among the other historic buildings is the Vijayanagara fort, which contains a palace that was expanded by the Maratha king Serfoji II with an armoury, a Bell Tower and the Saraswathi Mahal Library, which contains over 30,000 Indian and European manuscripts written on palm leaf and paper. Also built by Serfoji II is the Manora Fort, a monumental tower, situated about 65 km away from Thanjavur. The then "Sangeetha Mahal" has been converted to a handicrafts exhibition centre now which has handicrafts from local artisans. Raja Rajan Manimandapam which is also one among the tourist places in Thanjavur, Thanjavur is in the second place next only to Chennai in attracting more tourists.

History: The Thanjavur area has a rich historical heritage and is a prism of ancient as well as the modern south Indian civilizations. The city was once the stronghold of the historic Cholas and at one time was also the capital of the Cholas, Mutharayars and Marathas when they were at the peak of their power. Since then, Thanjavur has been one of the chief political, cultural and religious centres of South India.

Thanjavur contains over 90 temples, as it was favored by the Chola rulers between the 1st - 12th centuries, the Nayakas in the 16th century, and the Marathas in the 17th and 18th centuries.[4]


Notes: Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian art and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, an UNESCO World Heritage Monument are located in an around Thanjavur. The foremost among the Great Living Chola temples, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the center of the town. Thanjavur is also the home of the Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region. The town is an important agricultural center located at the heart of the region, known as the "rice bowl of Tamil Nadu". South Zone Culture Centre in Thanjavur is one of many regional cultural centres established by Indian Government to preserve and promote traditional cultural heritage of India.

Near By Places :

         Kumbakonam (40 km),

         Pattukkottai (45 km),

         Mannargudi (37 km),

         Pudukkottai (55 km),

         Tiruvarur (58 km), peravurani (80)

         Nagappattinam (84 km)

Festivals: Thanjavur festivals are celebrated with great religious fervor and enthusiasm. The Natyanjali Dance Festival and the Carnatic Classical Musical Festival are some of the prominent festivals of Thanjavur that bears relics to the rich cultural heritage and traditional legacy of the region.

The Natyanjali Dance Festival is celebrated for a continuous period of five days on the propitious religious event of Mahashivratri. The Dance Festival takes place in Chidambaram area of Thaanjavur which is situated besides the Bay of Bengal. The Natyanjali Dance Festival provides the classical dancers of India with a wonderful platform to display their unique dancing skills and rich cultural traditions.