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.
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.
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.
Siva Ganga Garden - Siva Ganga Garden is one of the main attractions of Thanjavur. Siva Ganga garden is located within the Vijaynagara Fort nearby the Thanjavur Palace, towards the North East of Brihadeshwar temple. The garden features a large square tank, built in the 16th century, to provide water to the Thanjavur Palace. The garden as well as the tank was built by Sevappa Nayaka, the 16th century Nayak ruler of Thanjavur. Siva Ganga Garden has become a popular picnic spot in Thanjavur, as it features a park and a well maintained garden with rare species of flowering plants.
Airavateswara Temple - Airavateswara temple is one of the pilgrimage attractions offered by the temple town of Thanjavur. Airavateswara temple, situated nearby Kumbakonam at Darasuram, is dedicated to Lord Airavateshwara or Lord Shiva. As per legends, Airavata, the white elephant who is the vehicle of Lord Indra, worshipped Lord Shiva here to get relieved of the colour curse from Sage Durvasa. It is believed that Airavata, with blessings from Lord Shiva, retained its white colour by bathing in the sacred water of this temple.
Keelaperumpallam (Keezhperumpallam) Temple - Keelaperumpallam (Keezhperumpallam) temple or the Kethu temple or the Kethu Navagrahastalam is one of the navagraha temples offered by the temple town of Thanjavur. Keelaperumpallam temple, associated with Lord Kethu, is situated about 6 km from Thiruvengaadu enroute Poompuhar-Mayiladuthurai road. The sanctum sanctorum of Keelaperumpallam temple abodes Lord Naaganaadaswamy and his consort Goddess Ambal, who is in the North West direction. The idol of Lord Kethu can also be seen in the sanctum as worshipping Lord Naaganaadaswamy.
Vellai Puliar Temple - Vellai Puliar temple is one of the ancient temples offered by the temple town of Thanjavur. The name Vellai Puliar denotes that the main idol here, Lord Ganesha, is made of white stone. This temple is noted for its intricate carvings and architectural excellence.
The Serfoji Sarasvati Mahal Library - The Serfoji Sarasvati Mahal Library or the Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji's Sarasvati Mahal Library, situated within the Thanjavur Royal Palace, is one of the prime attractions of Thanjavur. This Library was started as a Royal Library of the Nayak Kings of Thanjavur during 1535 - 1675 AD. Later it served as the royal library for the Maratha rulers, especially Raja Serfoji, who assembled works from Sanskrit as well as other languages for the development of the library. The library came under the control of Tamil Nadu Government in the year 1918. The name of the library was changed from Sarasvati Mahal Library to Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji's Sarasvati Mahal Library in the honour of Maharaja Serfoji.
Grand Anicut - Grand Anicut is one of the prime destinations of the tourists visiting Thanjavur. Situated nearby Trichy, the Grand Anicut or the Kallanai is one of the heritage sites of Tamil Nadu which is still in use. Grand Anicut was built by the Chola King Karikalan around 1st Century AD on the Cauvery River at the beginning of Cauvery delta. The 329 m long and 20 m wide Grand Anicut is considered among the oldest dams of the world.
Swami Malai Temple - Swami Malai temple is one of the popular destinations situated in the vicinity of Thanjavur. Swami Malai temple is the fourth one of the Aaru Padai Veedu or the six holy abodes of Lord Murugan, the others being Thiruparamkundram, Thiruchendur, Palani, Thiruthani and Pazhamudhircholai. The name of the deity, Swaminathan, is derived from the incident in which Lord Muruga preached the meaning (porul) of the Pranava Mantram 'OM', to Lord Shiva, his father. Swami Malai temple is situated atop a 60 feet high artificial hillock, with a plight of 60 stairs to reach it, which represents an average human life cycle of 60 years.
Chandra Bagawan temple - Chandra Bhagwan temple or the Thingalur temple or the Chandra Navagrahastalam is one of the pilgrimage destinations of tourists visiting Thanjavur. Chandra Bhagwan temple is located about 25 km north of Thanjavur, on the Thiruvaiyaru-Kumbakonam route. Chandra Bhagwan temple is one of the prominent navagraha temples in South India. It is believed that Lord Chandra (Moon) worshipped Lord Shiva to get relieved of the curse of Daksha Prajapathi at this place and received his blessings. The temple is mostly visited by those who have bad effects of Moon in their horoscope. The full moon days that fall on the Panguni month are considered auspicious at this temple and special prayers are offered to Lord Chandra.
Schwartz Church - Schwartz Church, situated in the proximity of Thanjavur Palace, is one of the attractions of Thanjavur. Schwartz Church was built by Raja Serfoji, the last sovereign ruler of Thanjavur, in the year 1779, to honour the Danish missionary Reverend Frederick Christian Schwartz. Schwartz Church also has a white marble structure, towards its western part, which was placed here in 1798 to commemorate Schwartz. This marble structure is noted for its intricate carvings depicting the final moments of Schwartz, who is seen surrounded by Raja Serfoji and his ministers.
Sangeetha Mahal - Sangeetha Mahal, situated within the Thanjavur Palace, is one the main attractions of Thanjavur. Sangeetha Mahal or the Hall of Music was built in the early 1600's during the reign of the Nayak King Sevappa Nayak. It was known by the name 'Navaratnamanamaina Nataka Sala' (the Theatre adorned with gems). This theatre was later renamed as 'Sangeetha Mahal’ during the reign of the Marathas. Sangeetha Mahal is noted for its architectural and acoustic properties. It is a rectangular hall with a vaulted roof with four pankahs and several decorations such as chandeliers. The hall was constructed in such a way that there is a balanced absorption and deflection of sound waves. The hall is also devoid of excess amplification. The water-pool in front of the stage as well as the decorations and perforations also helped in the deflection of sound waves.
Vijayanagara Fort - Vijaynagara Fort is one of the popular historic monuments in Thanjavur. The fort, built in early 1550 AD, is located at a distance of 2 km towards the North East of Brihadeshwar temple or the Big temple. The Nayak king Vijay Raghav constructed a part of Vijaynagara Fort and later it was completed by the Maratha rulers. The fort encloses of Thanjavur Palace, Sangeetha Mahal, Serfoji’s Saraswati Mahal Library, Art Gallery and Siva Ganga Garden.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church - Our Lady of Sorrows Church, known also as Viagula Madha Church, is a prominent attraction of Thanjavur. This is the oldest church in Thanjavur District, which is believed to have been erected even before the period of Veramamunivar or Constanzo Beschi (1740 A. D.), an Italian Jesuit priest and Missionary of South India and a famous Tamil poet. Our Lady of Sorrows Church is famous for the annual car festival which is held on the third week of September every year. It is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety regardless of religion or caste. This church is one of the symbols of religious harmony in the temple town of Thanjavur.
Aalangudi Temple - Aalangudi Temple or Arulmigu Abathsagayeswarar temple or Guru Navagrahasthalam is one of the attractions situated in the vicinity of the temple town of Thanjavur. Aalangudi temple is dedicated to Lord Guru Bhagavan or Lord Dakshinamurthy or Lord Brahaspati, who is one of the Navagrahas, commonly referred to as the planet Jupiter. It is believed that Lord Shiva consumed the Alavisham at this place and hence the name Alangudi. At Aalangudi temple, there are also shrines dedicated to Sri Kalangamar Katha Vinayagar, Sri Abathsagayeshwarar, Sri Elavarkuzhali Ammai, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Murugan. Thursday is an auspicious day at Aalangudi temple.
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).
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 - Suryanaar Koyil or the Surya Navagrahasthalam or the Tirumangalakkudi temple is one of the navagraha temples offered by Thanjavur. Suryanaar Koyil, situated in Tirumangalakkudi village nearby Thanjavur, is dedicated to Lord Suryanarayana or Surya (Sun). Suryanaar Koyil is an ancient temple built by the Chola Kings. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses the idol of Lord Suryanarayana in a chariot. There are shrines dedicated to Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi and Brihaspati (Guru) within the sanctum of this temple. There are also Shrines dedicated to other celestial bodies and Kol Theertha Vinayakar outside the sanctum of the temple.
Raahu Temple - Raahu temple or the Raahu Navagrahasthalam is one of the attractions at the temple town of Thanjavur. Raahu temple, situated about 6 km away from Kumbakonam town at Tirunageswaram, is one among the navagraha temples of Thanjavur. Raahu temple is associated with Lord Rahu, the King of Snakes.
Saneeshwaran Temple - Saneeshwaran Temple or the Shani Navagrahasthalam or the Tirunallar temple is one of the popular navagraha temples situated in the vicinity of Thanjavur. This temple is situated at Tirunallar, which is about 52 km away from Kumbakonam. Saneeshwaran temple, considered amongst the most revered Saneeshwaran temples in India, is famous for Sani Peyairchi festival which is conducted during those days when Lord Sani switches over to another Zodiac sign.
Kanchanur (Kanjanoor) Temple - Kanchanur (Kanjanoor) temple or the Sukra Navagrahasthalam is one of the navagraha temples at Thanjavur. Kanchanur Temple, known also as Bhrammapuri or Agnisthalam, is situated in the vicinity of Thiruvavaduthurai near Kumbakonam. Kanchanur Temple, associated with Sukhran or the Venus, is famous for the festivals such as Mahasivarathri, Navarathri and AadipooramIt is believed that Lord Shiva blessed Parasaramuni with his Mukti Thandavam at this place. The Tamil Thai month is considered as an auspicious occasion at this temple.
Pullirukkuvelur Vaideeswaran Kovil - Pullirukkuvelur Vaideeswaran Kovil, one of the renowned Shivasthalams, is a popular destination of pilgrims visiting the temple town of Thanjavur. Pullirukkuvelur Vaideeswaran Kovil, dedicated to Lord Vaidyanathaswamy (Shiva) is also considered among the navagraha temples as the Angaarakan Navagrahasthalam. As per legends Jatayu (Pull), Rig Vedam (Irukku), Sambadi, Surya (Oor) and Skanda (Vel) worshipped Lord Shiva at this place and hence the name Pullirukkuvelur. Rama, Lakshmana and the Saptharshis also worshipped Lord Shiva at this place.
Sri Swedharanyeshwarar Temple - Sri Swedharanyeshwarar temple or the Mercury Temple or the Budha Navagrahasthalam is one of the navagraha temples offered by Thanjavur. Sri Swedharanyeshwarar temple, situated about 23 km way from Mayiladuthurai at Tiruvenkaadu on the Sirkali – Poompuhar road, is the Navagrahasthalam of Budha, the ruler of knowledge, studies, music, medicine and astrology. Sri Swedharanyeshwarar temple is dedicated to the deities Lord Swedharanyeshwarar and his consort Ambal. It also has minor shrines dedicated to Adi Devatha (Lord Vishnu) and Prathyathi Devatha (Lord Narayanan). Wednesday is an auspicious day at this temple.