Thanjavur also known as Tanjore is an important pilgrim center in South India and is also the seat of the Thanjavur Maratha empire.
The region earlier by the Cholas has ever since laid great emphasis on learning and the library has a collection of more than 30,000 palm leaf manuscripts in different subjects ranging from arts, culture, history and ayurveda. Carnatic Music and Bharatnayam Dance, developed a great deal in this region. Tanjore Painting, a distinct form of painting popular in South India. The small town is home to several museums.
Known for its UNESCO World Heritage site of Brihhadeshwara Temple, which was built in the 11th century AD by the Cholas, the town of Thanjavur has many hidden treasures for the travelers. The original name of the temple was Rajarajeshwara, meaning The Temple of the God of Rajaraja (Raja – king, Eshwara – God), which was later renamed by the Thanjavur Maratha rulers as Brihhadeshwara meaning the Great God.
Despite no granite quarries in the vicinity, the temple is entirely built of granite. The Nandi Bull statue at the entrance is carved out of a single stone. The dancing poses present synchronized hand and feet movements of Bharatnatyam dance form. According to the inscriptions, 23 types of pearls, 11 varieties of diamonds and rubies have used during the period.