One of the oldest historical cities in India, Thanjavur is located in the state of Tamil Nadu in the south of India. Thanjavur acquired its name from a prehistoric demon called Tanjan in Hindu mythology whilst the city is also widely known as the religious and cultural hub of Tamil Nadu. With rich and vast culture a prominent feature, the history of the city is also rich and vast with the first recollection of the city dated back to the period of the Sangam. The famous Cholas Empire provided the city with a platform to get famous as Thanjavur was the chosen capital of the empire. When the Cholas Empire eventually left, the city was then taken over by the Mautharayars and the Marathas, who riddled the city with vast art and culture still visible to see today. Well commonly known in the modern day as the'Rice Bowl of the South, the name is a reflection of the economy being orientated towards agriculture. The city serves the whole region and transport of these goods are frequent to nearby areas. With such spectacular and breathtaking architecture and Indian art throughout the whole city, it is no surprise that religious monuments and artifacts play a big role in enticing people to visit the city and to contribute to the city's revenue stream. The city has many ancient temples dotted around with most of the Great Living Chola Temples still standing today. Monuments also play a key role in the landscape of the city with many UNESCO World Heritage Monuments available to see in Thanjavur. For visitors to the city, there is a chance to buy a unique Tanjore painting, which are produced from the region. Some travelers find these as perfect gifts and souvenirs and a true reminder of their time in the city. As local tradition dictates, the city of Thanjavur is famous throughout India for it's nurturing of Carnatic music and also Classical dance with the pioneers of this type of music and dance all come from the city. To celebrate this feat, Thanjavur is the location for the annual Natyanjali Dance Festival, which is a fantastic experience for all visitors. The official languages in Thanjavur include Telugu and Tamil, but English speakers will tend to be able to communicate with locals and to survive during their stay. Best Season Due to the climate reaching very humid and hot temperatures during the summer months, the best season to visit Thanjavur tends to be during the winters and the back end of the summers where temperatures are more mild and comfortable for sightseeing. The best months tend to be October through to March. Getting there Thanjavur has no airports within the district, and the nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli International Airport where international flights from Kuala Lumpur, Sri Lanka, Dubai and Singapore to and from the airport are frequent. There are also frequent direct flights to and from Chennai on a daily basis. After flying to Tiruchirapalli International airports, there are then numerous options to get to Thanjavur either by train or bus. Tourists can also reach Thanjavur via train from most other major and small cities in India. The station is called Thanjavur Junction, and there are daily trains to and from the following cities; Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore,Ernakulam, Palakkad, Tiruchirapalli, Thrissur, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Erode, Salem , Tirupur , Rameswaram and weekly trains to Tiruchendur, Bhubaneshwar, Varanasi, Allahabad, Jabalpur, Vijayawada, Vizianagaram and to all main cities. Government run buses and private buses are also a good way to reach the city with frequent daily journeys going from and to cities such as Mannargudi, Pattukkottai, Kumbakonam, Pondicherry, Thiruvarur, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Trichy. Night buses are also available for destinations afar such as the journey from major cities Chennai and Bangalore which take roughly nine hours. Although the state-run buses can often be cramped and without air conditioning, the private companies offer a much more luxurious service with air conditioning and comfortable seating. It is recommended to book with private companies online to secure a seat and avoid a scramble. Travel is often cheap in India, and therefore, some tourists may feel more comfortable arriving in the city with a taxi. Taxi services are available in most cities for long journeys and these companies include taxi guide and Thanjai Call Taxi which are the two most prominent and trustworthy companies. Tourist Attractions In Thanjavur, there are many things to see and do and It is most certainly a place where you can always keep busy. There is an array of ancient temples to explore, food markets to visit and to try the local cuisine, museums and also parks to visit. Brihadeeshwara Temple - The number one attraction in Thanjavur is to visit and explore the world famous Brihadeeshwara Temple. Also known as Peruvudaiyar Kovil to the locals and people of the state, it is a Hindu temple which was erected in respect of Lord Shiva. The temple was built by the Cholas Empire and is a prime example of the abilities of Tamil architecture and a true representation of the success of the empire. The Temple doesn't just serve as a dedication to Lord Shiva, but it also demonstrates the drive and abilities of Raja Raja Chola I. Throughout India, the temple is the pride of the whole country due to it demonstrating the prowess and greatest successes of Indian architecture whilst also being the largest in the country. Due to such impressive status, it is no wonder that the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with lots of work done each year to ensure the preservation and protection of this remarkable building. Widely known as the Great Temple to most Indians due to it being a of such a unique stature, the temple is located in the centre of fortified walls which were built during the 16th century. The temple also has one tower which is called Vimana and standing at 66 meters, and the temple is one of the tallest towers of its kind throughout the world. To make it even more remarkable, it is known that the single tower was produced out of a single stone carving. Saraswathi Mahal Library – One of the world's oldest libraries, The Saraswathi Mahal Library is a unique place of education in that it holds and displays a rare collection of Palm Leaf Manuscripts and Paper which are written in a variety of languages including Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and English as well as other local Indian indigenous languages. With over 60,000 volumes of the manuscripts held by the library, due to the on-going preservation work done by the library to ensure their future, only a few are put out on display. With many visitors and travelers visiting the library solely to see the artifacts, the library strives to display as many as possible without compromising the preservation of the manuscripts. A truly humble place, visitors should be sure to take some time out and check out this ancient library and see the manuscripts and papers for themselves. Sri Garbarakshambigai Amman Temple - Located in a tiny village not far from the city of Thanjavur, the special Sri Garbarakshambigai Amman temple is an ancient temple of God Shiva which was given to Sri Mullaivananathar and Sri Garbarakshambigai Amman in their honor. Three of the famous Nayanmaars are known to have praised the glory of the temple whilst also stirring verses. The temple is most famous for being the place where the Goddess Sri Garbarakshambigai Amman cures infertility amongst women in need. The Goddess was known to have blessed the infertile women in order to conceive whilst also offering them safe passage and a tragedy free delivery of the baby. A fantastic and inspirational temple, this is a must do tour to fully experience the aura and culture of the temple. Accommodation Budget – For backpackers and other travelers on a budget, there are various cheap hotels available including; Hotel Karthik Royal Lodge Hotel Parv For those looking for something a little bit more mid-range, the following hotels are recommended; Hotel Sangam Hotel Ramnath And for those with a little bit extra cash to spend staying in luxury within the region, then there are some truly incredible resorts available to you, all with high-class facilities; Oriental Towers Tanjore Hi Hotel Parisutham Temple Tower Ideal River View Resort Hotel Gnanam All of these hotels of all budgets can be accessed and booked via their websites. As one of the oldest and most historical cities in India, when you visit Thanjavur, you will instantly feel the blessed aura about the city and the incredible traditions and cultures that have been built over centuries. A truly warming city with plenty to do and see and with easy connections to and from the city, you won't regret your time in Thanjavur whether your passing through or spending a lot of time in the region.