Overlooked by many travellers who visit South India, this town is home to the glorious historical legacy of the great Chola Empire. Thanks to a job that requires me to run around and travel like a headless chicken, I reached Thanjavur, one of the busiest commercial towns in Tamil Nadu, on a not-so-sultry March morning of 2017.
While heading for work that morning, I saw a few foreigners walking through the sidewalks aiming their DSLR cameras in all possible directions. They were trying to capture some fresh and offbeat angles of the town where sleeps history, while Thanjavur refused to stop for anyone. A lot of sign boards pointed to all possible routes with names of different temples, palaces and museums written on them. It didn’t take too long for me to be conscious of the fact that this place definitely had enough to hold the interest of its tourists for at least a couple of days.
While temples and its timeless architecture are Thanjavur’s middle name, paradox is beyond doubt its surname. Though the crowded town had a busy air to it, it felt like the place was not affected by the passage of time or the change in fashion whatsoever.
“The past is very much my present”, cried every nook and corner of this place and its premises. And we know that these are not words that we say in the same breath usually.
This place definitely does not hurry up but surprisingly, neither does that stop her from accomplishing anything. The natives still preferred to live in independent houses. Apartments continued to be a rare sight and even if we spotted one, they were not more than three storeyed. Having lived in cities for a long time now, getting to see the clear blue sky while not having to strain the neck because of the high-rise structures blocking the view felt like a unfamiliar happening.
Visiting the town for exactly two days and a night as part of work, we definitely did not have the time to see all the sights and landmarks of Tanjore but neither did I want to miss visiting the most eloquent edifice which showcases the power and grandeur of King Rajaraja and his Chola Empire while they were at their zenith.
The Brihadishwara Temple, also fondly called as the Big Temple, was lavish looking in every sense of the word.
I am going to type no more. Let the (unedited) pictures speak for itself!
Courtesy: My humble One Plus Two