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The birthplace of one of India’s most remarkable civilisations: the Dravidian’s. The only people to spread Hinduism beyond India their style and culture has spread as far as the Mekong. This is where their legacy began and whilst Tanjore is today a bustling, modern Indian metropolis the historical building blocks of this society are still very present. Our pick of the best places to stay in Tanjore all evoke the best of the town’s history and culture.
From the millennia old Brihadishwara Temple to the grandiose Royal Palace of the Nayaks there are some truly impressive sights to behold in this lesser known city. A fascinating visit for those interested in the history of the Tamil’s or just a detour from South India’s well traversed tourist trail.
Thousands of worshippers flock to the Brihadishwara Temple each day. To enter through its Nayak gates, past the resident temple elephant (give him a rupee and he’ll give you good luck) is to enter a world dating back to 1003. Housed within its walls is one of India’s largest sculptures, a 6m long statue of Shiva’s sacred bull, as well as a 61m tall tower. Now a World Heritage Site it was the master plan of Rajaraja I: the ‘king of kings’, and took over seven years to complete. The best time to visit is at sunrise or sunset, when the sun bathes it in soft pinks or fierce orange.
Tanjore’s Royal Palace lies in a state of flux. Dating back to 1535 it is in equal parts repair and disrepair. Walk along its labyrinthine corridors for a sense of the splendour in which the Nayak’s lived. Housed within the palace are the Saraswati Mahal Library Museum and the Art Gallery, which include an interesting collection or artwork and regal paraphernalia. A worthy visit.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Tanjore are all tranquil stays within easy reach of town.
For a family stay
- Ideal River View Resort is somewhat self-explanatory. Located overlooking the Thanjavur River it is the ideal stay for the entire family. With an array of onsite activities there is no time to be bored – plus there are plenty of hammocks dotted around its luscious grounds should you over exert yourselves. Accommodation is comprised of private cottages with large and colourfully decorated rooms.
For heritage style
- Housed in a charming blue fronted colonial building, Tanjore Hi is a heady concoction of modern meets traditional and colonial meets Indian décor. There is a sunny roof terrace serving South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes. A charming stay.
Still not sure which to book? From family to heritage browse through our list of the best places to stay in Tanjore to start to plan your trip. Otherwise check out all our Tamil Nadu recommendations, or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Best Hotels in Tanjore
Ideal River View Resort from £55Tanjore
It is simply impossible to be bored at this delightful family resort. The cottages are colourful & stylish with great views over the river and paddy fields. Enjoy a traditional massage in the spa, relax by the pool or explore by bicycle. The restaurant menu is multi-cultural with plenty of choice.Sights nearby - The land of the old Pandyan & Chola dynasties. The area is sprawling with beautiful UNESCO sitesSwimming Pool - A wonderful 46-square feet outdoor pool, just steps away from the lovely East Coast BeachSpa - An Ayurvedic centreBack to Nature
Tanjore Hi 14 rooms from £55Tanjore
Elegantly updated colonial townhouse in great central location. Bedrooms are sleek and modern with accents in the hotel's signature vibrant blue. Large windows flood the rooms with natural light. Charming and stylish rooftop restaurant overlooking the palace, serving Indian and international fare.Sights nearby - Directly opposite the Tanjore Palace entrance, and located near to the Brahadishwara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Views - Rooftop restaurant has stunning views of the palaceOutstanding location