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Thanjavur
 

The Rice Bowl Of Tamil Nadu

 

Brihadeshwara Temple, TanjavurThanjavur 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.

Art

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.

Orientation 

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. 

Other Interests

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.