There’s a thousand years of history to be savoured in Tanjore – or Thanjavur to the locals. This ‘city of temples’ surrounded by rivers and emerald-bright paddy fields was once the glittering, cultured capital of the medieval Chola empire, which held sway over this part of India for half a millennium. Nowadays, its chief claim to fame is the magnificent Brihadisvara temple, a vision in apricot-hued granite, built in the early 11th century on a truly epic scale and deservedly UNESCO-listed.
You could spend hours discovering its richly carved towers, monumental sculptures and delicate murals to a gentle soundtrack of chanting from the four-times-a-day rituals to Shiva. If you can tear yourself away, however, the royal palace complex – an ornate souvenir of later dynasties – has an enjoyably eclectic offering that includes everything from early Chola bronzes of Hindu gods to exquisite illustrations of India’s flora and fauna. And after that, you can return to the present day with a cardamom-scented badam milk or masala toasted sandwich from one of the popular stalls at the nearby bus stand.
Be taken back in time in Tanjore with the help of our on-the-ground experts who know the most engaging guides and the places to stay that are a cultural highlight in themselves.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Malcolm, who's travelled extensively in India. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember.
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