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Famously known as the ‘city of temples’, Thanjavur is a beautiful place in South India which is known for its historical importance and cultural significance. Some of the main reasons why this city is called a cultural heritage are its Tanjore paintings, textiles and saris, Carnatic music, and handicrafts. Alongside this, the city is home to some of the famous architectural marvels which reflect the rich heritage of the place. The list of places to visit in Thanjavur is endless, and taking a tour of these will give a glimpse of the cherished history of dynasties that have ruled here.

17 Best Places To Visit In Thanjavur

Here is a list of some of the best places to visit in Thanjavur which will definitely take you to a different dimension and let you experience a time like never before.

1. Gangaikonda Cholapuram 

ne of the magnificent architectures

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This place is an architectural beauty that was built under the reign of the Chola empire which is considered to be the greatest empires of India. The Gangaikonda Cholapuram was once the capital city of the Chola empire for around two centuries. This is one of the magnificent architectures of the past and holds importance in the history of Thanjavur. Built by the Chola King Rajendra to commemorate his victory in the Pala Dynasty. In the present day, this city has turned into a small village where Lord Shiva Temple is a symbol of grandeur which makes it one of the best places to visit in Thanjavur in one day. 

Location: Tamil Nadu 612901
Timings: 6:00 AM-12:00 PM & 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

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2. Shiva Ganga Garden 

 well-maintained garden

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Located inside the Vijayanagar fort, this beautiful garden is one of the main highlights to explore apart from the places to visit in Thanjavur other than temples. Amidst the historical ruins of the fort stands this well-designed and well-maintained garden which is considered to be one of the famous places in Thanjavur. There is a square tank which is located inside the Siva Garden which was built during the 16th century by rulers. This was used to provide water to the Tanjore Palace and still used while the water tastes sweet.

Location: W Main St, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
Timings: 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM 

3. Vijayanagar Fort 

one of the famous places in Thanjavur

Image Credit:Plan MI Trip

Located at a distance of 2 km, the Vijayanagar fort is one of the famous places in Thanjavur. The mesmerizing architecture of the fort was built during the 1550 AD by the Nayaks and the Maratha’s. Inside the fort there is a Tanjore Palace, Sangeetha Mahal, an art gallery along with a library. Alongside this the Shiva Ganga garden is also situated inside the complex of the fort which adds a touch of beauty. One of the best places to visit in Thanjavur for couples, this should definitely make to your list for your next trip. 

Location: Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
Timings: 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

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4. Thanjai Mamani Koil 

Vishnu temple

Image Credit:Edutour.org

This place is an amalgamation of three Vishnu temples which is altogether called the Divyadesam. Part of the 108 such similar temple premises located in India, this place holds a lot of importance among the locals. Visited throughout the year by many devotees, the temple gives a one of kind experience to see the three abodes of lord Vishnu.

Location: Rajakrisnapuram, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613001
Timings: 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

5. Chandra Bagwan Temple 

temple view

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Devoted to the holy moon god, this is another temple which holds an importance in the heart of the devotees. Situated at a distance of 25 km, this temple is famous among the people who believe that they have the bad effects of the Moon according to their horoscopes.

Location: Thingaloor, Tamil Nadu 612204
Timings: NA

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6. Schwartz Church 

one of the oldest churches in India

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This is one of the oldest churches in India which was built by the Maratha ruler, Sarfoji II. During his reign, he came across the Prussian Lutheran missionary Rev Friedrich Schratwz and later became his disciple. In order to pay tribute to their friendship, the Maratha ruler decided to construct this around the year 1779.

Location: Fort, Sivaganga Garden,, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
Timings: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

7. Swami Malai Temple 

magnificent temple

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One of the best places to visit in Thanjavur in two days, this magnificent temple has an importance among the Hindu people of South India. Also, this temple is one of the Arupadaiveedu which is one of the six abodes of Murugan. It is believed that the temple is built over the ground where Lord Murugan imbibed and spread the knowledge of the universe to his father.

Location: 10, Vatampokki Street, Taluk, Swamimalai, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu 612302
Timings: 5:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM

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8. Saraswathi Mahal Library 

remarkable libraries of India

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Another one on our list of best places to see Thanjavur is the Saraswathi Mahal Library. According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, the Saraswathi Mahal Library is considered to be one of the remarkable libraries of India which has been there since many ages. Built around the 16th-17th century by the Nayak rulers, this place was later nurtured by the Maratha king Serforji II. Inside the library there is a vast collection of arts, maps. Paintings and manuscripts.

Location: E Main St, Rajakrishnapuram, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613001
Timings: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM | Lunch break: 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM (Closed on Wednesday and National Holidays)

9. Alangudi Guru Temple

famous place in Thanjavur

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Considered to be one of the famous places to visit in Thanjavur, the Alangudi Guru Temple is settled amidst the holy rivers Cauvery, Vennaru and Kolidam. Holding a strong mythological importance, this temple has been mentioned in many folklores. The idol worshipped is the Abathsahayeswarar form of Shiva which digested the poison of Vasuki Nag. Alongside that this temple also worships the Devguru Brihaspati also known as the planet Jupiter.

Location: Sivan S St, Alangudi, Tamil Nadu 612801
Timings: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM

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10. Our Lady of Sorrows Church

sitting arrangements in the church

Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

To get the desired peace and solace, explore one of the finest religious Tanjore tourist places, the Our Lady Of Sorrows Church. The third week of September is the most dynamic time when the annual car festival is held. The festival promotes harmony and peace among the community, despite the faith and religion of people being different.

Location: Mappillai Naicken Patty, Tamil Nadu 613403
Timings: 5:00 AM – 8:00 PM

11. Brihadeeswarar Temple 

Brihadeeswarar Temple

Image Credits: Gunasegar M for Wikimedia

A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thanjavur, the Brihadeeswarar Temple is a Chola architectural masterpiece. The premises has a temple tower called “Vimana”, almost 66 meters long. The round apex structure is believed to be built out of a carving on a single stone. Upon entry, you are greeted with the huge Nandi figurine, almost 13 feet in height. Back in 2010, it completed 1,000 years of being one of the top Thanjavur tourist places.

Location: Membalam Rd, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
Timings: ‎6.00 AM – 12:30 PM & 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM

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12. Thanjavur Royal Palace

Thanjavur Royal Palace

Image Credits: Wikimedia

Otherwise locally known as Aranmanai, the palace was built by Thanjavur Nayak rulers. The complex currently houses the royal family but has a few other interesting buildings including the fabulous queen’s courtyard, Sadar Mahal Palace, and Durbar Hall. Being a memorial, it contains a gallery where the splendid collection of Chola bronzes can be found. Little can we talk about one of the top royal places to visit in Thanjavur.

Location: Rajakrishnapuram, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613001
Timings: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

13. Kandiyur

Kandiyur Temple

Image Credits: Rajesh Unuppally for Wikimedia

Merely 9 km away from the city centre of Thanjavur is a small village called Kandiyur. Why it gets a mention in the list of Thanjavur tourist places is due to the deep influence of the kingdom which once ruled Thanjavur. You will definitely feel like taking a break once you reach Kandiyur. The biggest attraction of Kandiyur is indeed the Sri Hara Saabha Vimocchana Perumal Temple which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Location: Kandiyur, Tamil Nadu 613205
Timings: Always open

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14. Punnai Nallur Mariamman Temple 

A Temple Gopuram

Image Credits: Nittavinoda for Wikimedia

The Punnai Nallur Mariamman temple is one of the most famous temples in Tamil Nadu. Dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, the temple is one of the greatest architectural splendors showcasing the true form of Dravidian style. The temple might be ancient but the recently built seventh-tier gopuram is still maintained by the royal family of Thanjavur.

Location: Mariamman Kovil, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613501
Timings: 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Thanjavur Art Gallery Entrance

Image Credits: Richard Mortel for Wikimedia

There is no doubt why the art gallery of Thanjavur is on the list of best places to visit in Thanjavur. The world-famous signature of Thanjavur are the legendary Tanjore paintings and Tanjore Dolls. The art gallery is where you will find authentic paintings of Tanjore for sale. You can witness the amazing art pieces on display in the gallery – simply colorful, elegant and grand.

Location: 31, 4th cross, Thendral Nagar, 12th Cross Rd, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
Timings: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

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16. Sangeetha Mahal

 A Tamil Dance Performance

Image Credits: Wikimedia

Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

A fine establishment and cultural centre, the Sangeetha Mahal was used for cultural activities for public audiences. The Mahal depicts the intricate art in its walls and ceilings with the auditorium  fitted with the finest acoustics. It is also known as “Hall of Music”. It was established in the 17th century during Sevappa Nayak’s rule. You can truly experience the fine craftsmanship showcased by architects and builders of the time.

Location: Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613001
Timings: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM

17. Poondi Madha Basilica

 Poondi Madha Basilica

Image Credits: Jayarathina for Wikimedia

One of the most peaceful places to visit in Tanjore, the Poondi Madha Basilica is a Catholic pilgrimage centre. Thousands flock to this church in the belief that prayers would be answered. Moreover, the place inside brings immense satisfaction and peace to the minds of people. The church building is white in color and has a huge tower centre which is visible from quite a distance. 

Location: Thanjavur, Poondi, Tamil Nadu 613105
Timings:  9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

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These are some of the best places to visit in Thanjavur which offers a glimpse of the beautiful heritage of this place. From showcasing the remains of the Chola Empire to the other ruling dynasties, there is a lot to explore in this age-old city. So when you’re planning a vacation in Tamil Nadu, make sure to visit this place and have a great time exploring the historical ruins.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Thanjavur 

What is Thanjavur known for?

Thanjavur is known worldwide for its beautiful Tanjore paintings and also the Brihadeshwara temple which is the living heritage of the Chola Empire.

Is Thanjavur worth visiting?

Thanjavur is a truly magnificent place to visit and enjoy the beautiful architecture and also learn about the culture and history of Tanjore paintings which is famous worldwide.

What is there to shop in Thanjavur?

There is a wide range of things to buy in Thanjavur which includes Sarees, gold paintings, Brass sculptors and also Tamil art books.

How much do the Tanjore paintings cost?

The Tanjore paintings cost somewhere between 3700 to 31000, which totally depends on the amount of work done on them.

How old is the Tanjore temple?

The Tanjore temple is around 1000 years old which was built by the Raja Chola in the 1010 CE.

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