Thanjavur Pilgrimage Tour
Thanjavur was the royal city of the Cholas, Nayaks and the Mahrattas. Thanjavur derives its name from Tanjan-an asura (giant), who according to local legend devastated the neighbourhood and was killed by Sri Anandavalli Amman and Vishnu, Sri Neelamegapperumal. Tanjan's last request that the city might be named after him was granted.
Bragatheeswarar Temple :
The Big Temple. Rajaraja Cholan, the Great Chola king built Bragatheeswarar Temple. Big Temple is an example for the Indian sculptural architecture greatness. Temple is surrounded by moat on two sides and Grand Anaicut river on the other side. This temple is unique to have the tallest tower over the sanctum sanctorum unlike the other temples. It is 216 feet tall. The stupa at the top is made of bronze.The walls of the sanctum are covered, with the wall paintings of Chola and Nayak periods, comparable to the famous Ajanta cave frescoes.
Guarding the inner shrine of the temple, is the gigantic statue of Nandi, the Bull. The Nandi is 12 feet tall, 191/2 feet long and 81/4 feet wide. And it weighs around 25 tons. Nayaka kings constructed a Mandapam for the Nandi to protect it from sun and rain.
Puliyur Vyagrapureeswarar Temple :
Around 80 Kms from Thanjavur, situated 3/4 Km North of Ramarmadam Busstop in Nagapattinam - Tiruvarur Main Road. The ancient history says Kamadhenu, the devalogha cow prayed to Lord shiva in this shrine to get rid of its sabam. One more speciality about this temple, on evenings, Nataraja is worshipped first prior to all other gods. This is also referred as Dhakshina Chidambaram. chidambaram is where famous temple of lord Nataraja located. This village is also called as Vyagrapuri named after the lord.
Sikkal Singaravelavar Temple :
Around 80 Kms from Thanjavur situated in Nagapattinam Tiruvarur Main Road. The ancient history says here only Lord Murugan got the 'Sakthi Vel' from Parvathi (refered as Velnedunkanni amman in this temple ) and killed Suran. This temple is one of the few temples in Tamilnadu which has both Siva and Vishnu in the same campus. The 'Vel vankuthal' festival in the Tamil month of Iyappasi is very famous here.
Goddess Parvathi gave Gnana milk to Thirugnana Sambandar here, when he was a child. After this, he sang the famous Devaram. Lord Shiva as Thoniappar resides in a thoni (boat). The boat symbolizes that Thoniappar helps people cross their sea of birth. Every year during Thiruvadirai Nakshatra of Chiithirai month, the famous Thirumulaippal Utsav is held.
Located 32 Kms away, Swamimalai is one of the six abodes (Arupadaiveedu) dedicated to Lord Murugan. Lord Murugan preached Pranava mantra "OM" to Lord Shiva and that why he is called Swaminathan. The 60 steps to the temple indicate the 60 years of the Tamil calendar. This temple is praised by Arunagirinadar. Every Thursday, Lord Swaminathan is decorated with Diamond Vel. Thirubuvanam 45 Kms away, Thirubuvanam has a 13th century Chola temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Also well known for its silk weaving industry.
13 Kms from Thanjavur, where the famous saint Thyagaraja lived and attained samadhi. The famous temple at Thiruvaiyaru is dedicated to Shiva, and is known as Panchanatheswara. An eight day music festival is held here, every January, in honour of the saint.
55 Kms away from Thanjavur. The Thyagarajaswami Temple is famous for the largest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. This vast temple houses Thyagaraja, Kamalamba and Vanmikanathar and has been sung by the Saiva Saints. The pillars and the halls here are of great beauty. Rajaraja Cholan was an ardent devotee of Thyagarajaswami. This temple is also referred to as a Prithvi (Earth) Sthalam. Thiruvarur is also the birth place of saint Thyagaraja.
Vaitheeswaran, Thaiyal Nayaki, Muthukumaraswamy (Shiva, Parvathi, Subramanya Swamy) An ancient temple dedicated to Shiva - as Vaitheeswaran literally meaning the divine provider of cures. Adorned with imposing towers, Mandapams and pillars, this well visited shrine has been sung by the Saivite Saint Poets. It is of said that Angarakan - Mars, Kartikeya, Jatayu and the Rig Veda worshipped Shiva here. This shrine is also referred to as an Angarakasthalam.
Travel Information :
Air : The nearest airport is at Tiruchi. Thanjavur is 65kms east of Tiruchi. Next closest airport is at Madurai. It's about 200 Kms by road. If you come from other parts of the country you can land in Chennai airport. Thanjavur is around 350 Kms south of Chennai by road.
Train : There is a railway junction in Thanjavur. It's well connected with Tiruchi, Chennai and Nagore.
Road : Thanjavur is well connected with all the major towns in TamilNadu. And also it is connected with Kochi, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Bangalore in Karnataka.