( General Information )
was the ancient capital of the Chola kings whose origins, go back
to the beginning of the Christian era. Power struggles between these
groups were a constant feature of their early history, with one or other gaining the ascendancy at various times. The Cholas'
turn for empire building came between 850 and 1270 AD and , at the
height of their power. Probably the greatest chola emperors were
Raja Raja who was responsible for building the Brihadishwara Temple
( Thanjavur main attraction ) and his son Rajendra-I whose navy
competed with the Arabs for controls of the Indian Ocean trade routes
and who was responsible for bringing Srivijaya under Chola control.
Thanjavur is famous for its distinctive art style , which is
usually a combination of raised and painted surfaces. Krishna is
the most popular of the gods depicted and in the Thanjavur school
his skin is white rather than the traditional blue-black.
The enormous gopurams of the Brihadeshwara Temple dominate
Thanjavur. The temple itself, between the Grand Anicut Canal and
the old town is surrounded by fortified walls and a moat. The old
town, too used to be similarly enclosed, but most of the walls have
now disappeared. What remains are winding streets and alleys and
the extensive ruins of the palace of the Nayakas of Madurai.
Handicrafts Item Poompuhar (A unit of TamilNadu Handicrafts),
Gandhiji Road, Thanjavur. Tanjore Paintings Thanjavur is famous
for a special style of decorating the paintings which were done
both on glass and board. In both types, the figures and the background
are richly embellished with gold leaf and gems as ornaments. The
relief work on board is achieved by applying gesso, a mixture of
gypsum or plaster of Paris and glue. Krishna in various poses has
been the main theme, but there are also various paintings in temples,
of all the other Gods and Saints.