Industrial visit to the Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu i.e. Thanjavur, will be a learning experience, Thanjavur’s economy is mainly agro-based. The main industrial attractions of Thanjavur are Sugar factories, Dairy Plant, Modern Rice Mills, Textile Spinning Mills, manufacturing of musical instruments, Subsidiary unit of BHEL etc.
Thanjavur (earlier known as Tanjore) was the royal city of the Chola, Nayak and the Maratha rulers. Thanjavur derives its name from Tanjan, a giant, who, according to legend, devastated the neighbourhood and was killed by goddess Sri Anandavalli Amman and Lord Vishnu.
Tanjan’s last request that the city might be named after him was granted. Thanjavur reached the zenith of its glory between 10th and 14th centuries, especially during the reign of Raja Raja Chola. Thanjavur has produced many classical musicians and Bharatanatyam dancers and is also well known for its unique painting style called Tanjore Painting and Thavil, a percussion instrument.
Apart from hundreds of ancient temples, the district is also known for its exquisite handicrafts, castings, pith craft and South Indian musical instruments.
Sights to See
The glorious Chola legacy has left behind not less than 74 temples in and around Tanjore, of which the Big Temple (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) built in 1010 AD is the crowning glory of Dravidian temple architecture. There has been continuous worship for over a thousand years here and the architecture of the temple symbolises the fusion of ritual and philosophic concepts that flowered in the region.
The palace near the temple is a vast building of masonry built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas. Grand buildings with huge corridors and spacious halls, two palace towers, the armoury and the observation towers are visible from all parts of the city, and worth visiting.
Located inside the palace, this museum has the best collection of bronzes in the south. A number of stone carvings are also found here. Among the notable sculptures are those of Bhairava, Umasahita Siva, Kali, Somaskanda and Rama Lakmana group. Timings: 9.30 am to 1 pm & 3 to 6 pm. It is open on all days except national holidays.
Established in 1981, the university is engaged to research and advanced study in Tamil. The Tamil University Museum has a collection of coins and musical instruments. Tel: 04362 226518
Darasuram (34 km): Situated on the outskirts of Kumbakonam, Darasuram has many ancient temples of great architectural merit. The Airavateswara temple is the most important of them all. According to legend, Shiva is said to have appeared here in the form of a ‘Rudraksha’ tree. Yama, the god of death, did a long penance to please Shiva at this spot to be cured of an ailment. The temple was built by the Chola King Raja Raja II in the 12th century. The temple derives its name from the story of Airavatha, the white elephant of India, which had his white colour miraculously restored by bathing in the tank here after his colour was changed as a result of a curse by sage Durvasa. In front of the main shrine is the Alankara Mandapa with a fine colonnade of piers, each of which has square panels on the sides sculptured with scenes from the Shaivite traditions. On the south front of this Mandapa, each side of the base has large stone wheels and a horse. Thus the Mandapa has the appearance of a chariot, wherein the deity is decorated on festival occasions. It is said that originally there were seven enclosures (like Srirangam) to the temple, but today the temple stands in a single court. Other shrines in the enclosure are those of Parvati, Yama, Subramanya, Saraswati and sculptured representation of the Saptamatrikas and various Shaivaite devotees.
Gangaikondacholapuram (71 km): Gangaikondacholapuram was the capital of Rajendra Chola (1012-1044 AD), the son of the great Chola king Raja Raja. According to history, Rajendra Chola had conquered several northern kingdoms in order to bring the holy waters of river Ganga to his kingdom. As a mark of celebration, he created a “liquid pillar of victory” (Jalamaya Sthambha), a tank where the vassal kings contributed Ganga water as tribute to the conqueror. Hence he was called Gangaikondachola — the Chola king who brought the Ganga – and the town was named after him. The Shiva temple here, dedicated to Lord Brihadeeshwara, is similar in many aspects to the temple in Tanjore. There are some striking sculptures of Mahisasuramardini, Nataraja, Ardhanariswara, Chandikeshwara, etc. The Vimana is 170 ft high. Recently, the state Archaeology Department unearthed the remains of a royal palace constructed by Rajendra Chola I, at a site in Maligaimedu, 2 km southwest of Gangaikondacholapuram.
Mayiladuthurai (85 km): Situated on the banks of river Kaveri, this place used to be called Mayuram. Mayuranatha Swami temple, Parimala Ranganatha Swamy temple, Kasi Vishwanatha Swamy temple, Punukeeswarar temple, Vadhanyeswarar temple and Ayyarappar temple are some of the famous temples in Mayiladuthurai.
- The Thanjavur District Co-op. Milk Producers Society
- Thanjavur Spinning Mill
And many More Industries for more information see state wise list of Industries
Point Calimere (Kodiakkarai) (80 km):This sanctuary is renowned for its incredible congregation of migratory waterfowl, Flamingos in particular. Five to ten thousand Flamingos can be seen here at one time during the season. The sky looks pink when such a fabulous flock of Flamingos takes to flight, their numbers almost extending to the horizon. With the exception of the great Rann of Kutch, nowhere in Asia can such large number of Flamingos be seen. With a total area of 17.29 sq km, almost half of the sanctuary consists of tidal swamps called the great swamp, which forms an ideal habitat for Flamingos and other water birds. During spring when the trees and shrubs are laden with wild berries, it attracts thousands of birds like the green pigeons, rosy pastors, koels, mynas and barbets. As the winter sets in a huge wave of insectivorous birds congregates here attracted by the abundance of insect and vegetation. The place starts seething with paradise fly catchers, indian pittas, shrikes, swallows, drongos, minivets, blue jays, and wood-bucks. Spotted deer and Wild Boar can also be seen in this sanctuary. Season: November to February for Flamingos and other migratory birds and through out the year for black buck and spotted deer.Kodikkarai is a railway station connected to Thiruthuraipundi, which in turn is connected to Karaikudi and Mayiladuthurai. Motorable roads connect the sanctuary from Thanjavur and Vedaranyam (11 km). Forest jeeps are available from the Poonarai Rest House for a fee to view wildlife in the sanctuary. Accommodation at Poonarai Rest House (10 suites) and Point Calimere Rest House. For reservations: Wildlife Warden, Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, 110, Public Offices Road, Nagapattinam-611001. Tel: 04362 222349Poompuhar (100 km): This was once a major port of the Chola Empire called Kaveripoompattinam. The original city was submerged by the sea and now only a small village remains. The greatness of this city has been brought out in some of the poems in the Sangam literature and also in the great Tamil epics of Silappathikaram and Manimekalai. Buses are available from Chidambaram and Thanjavur. Accommodation: Tourist Bungalow, Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, Poompuhar. Tel: 04362 260439.Swamimalai (35 km.):This is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. The temple has been built at an elevation of 30 m (100 ft). Lord Subramanya is called Swaminatha, because it was here that he initiated his father Lord Shiva, into the mysterious significance of the divine “Pranava Mantra”. The shrine to the boy-god Subramanya is situated on top of the hill and the Shrine of Shiva is situated below, indicating the fact that the son and father stood here as master and disciple.Tirukandiyur (10 km): This place is famous for Srikandeswar (Brahma) and Harshavimochana Perumal temples. These temples have exquisite sculptures.Thirunallar (101 km): The place is famous for its temple dedicated to Lord Saneeswara.
Vaitheeswaran Kovil (80 km): An ancient temple dedicated to Shiva – as Vaitheeswaran literally meaning the divine provider of cures. Adorned with imposing towers, Mandapams and pillars, this well visited shrine has been sung of by the Saivite saint poets. This shrine is also referred to as an Angarakasthalam. The town is also famous for ‘Nadi’ astrology.
Thirubhuvanam Temple (45 km): The temple was built by KIng Kulothunga on the model of the Brihadeeswarar Temple. The stately stone gopuram of rare workmanship from the pedestal to the stripe is a standing moment of the architectural glory. A stone inscription in the temple discloses the existence of a university here for teaching advanced course in Miamsa and Tamil. Tel: 0435 2460760
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