Gaja Cyclone Update & Tanjore City Information - 19 NOV 2018 - South Tourism Newsletter | South India Tourism

Cyclone Gaja & Tanjore City Information

Cyclone Gaja & its impact in Tamil Nadu’s delta districts:

Severe cyclonic storm Gaja crossed the Tamil Nadu coast on Friday, the 16th November 2018. Tanjore & its surrounding areas, especially Muthupettai, Pattukottai, Vedaranyam, Peravurani are very badly hit. The cyclone has caused severe damage to acres of coconut farms, banana plantations.  Lakhs of coconut trees & plantain were completely damaged and acres of paddy crop have also been seriously affected. In Muthupettai and Pattukkottai, there’s severe damage to coconut farms. Strong winds during cyclone have uprooted thousands of electric poles throughout the district, cutting off communication and electricity in the regions. Many electricity transformers have been destroyed and thousands of kms of electricity transmission wires have been snapped in the cyclone, thereby cutting the power supply in the affected areas. So people are living in complete dark for the last 4 days in delta districts. Though the Electricity Board have been deputed on the ground to restore power, it would take at least 2 weeks for the power to resume as the damage and the related repair work to be undertaken are huge.  Basic facilities including drinking water is not available and all the cyclone affected areas are facing an acute shortage of drinking water.


Cyclonic storms have destroyed completely the fishing boats of Fishermen. After having experienced the heavy destruction caused by the recent Gaja Cyclone in the Coastal areas covering Nagapattinam, Pudukottai etc, fishermen say that this is the worst ever cyclonic storm that they have seen in the last 50 years. Several boats have been damaged beyond repair due to the cyclone.


Overall, farmers and fishermen have lost their livelihood completely to Gaja Cyclone and their situation right now cannot be expressed in words.



Tanjore rose to prominence during the reign of Chola rulers. The highly fertile region of Tanjore is situated on Cauvery Delta and the city is also known with the sobriquet “The Rice Bowl of South India”. The city is of a tremendous historical significance famous for exquisite handicrafts, bronzes, handloom, silk and cotton sarees, and South Indian Musical instruments. The flow of Cauvery river makes the place so pretty with full of paddy fields and coconut palms. It was at its glory during the period of Cholas, Nayaks and Mahratta’s. Most of the Chola temples and UNESCO world heritage monuments are located in and around Tanjore. Brahadeeswarar temple of the ancient Chola architecture has a worldwide fame for its art and sculptures. It is the grandest temple in existence.


Attractions of Tanjore:

The most prosperous, extremely fertile and scenic city is Tanjore in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.  It is a pilgrim destination known for art, culture, architecture and South Indian religion. It was the royal city of Cholas, Nayaks and Marathas. Most of the Chola temples are located in and around Tanjore. Paddy fields, coconut groves, plantain and mango orchards are nourished by the Cauvery River and is popularly known as the “rice bowl of Tamil Nadu”. Brahadeeswarar temple, built in the early 11th century by Rajaraja Cholan I is the prime attraction of Tanjore. 


Brahadeeswarar Temple also known as the Big Temple,  was built by Emperor Raja Raja Cholan in tenth century AD. One of the living temples in Tamil Nadu, recognized by UNESCO is a World Heritage Site is the Big Temple in Tanjore. There is a 14 storey Gopuram in the temple which is 216 m high. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and there is huge lingam in it which is the second largest in the worldThe huge idol in the sanctum, the magnificent bull facing the Lord, the loft tower atop the sanctum have earned this temple, the name, Big Temple. The single stone weighing 80 tonnes placed atop the tower remains an engineering mystery even after 1000 years of its construction. The ‘big temple’ in the ancient India built of granite by the Chola architecture in a Dravidian style. The temple is of 33,000 sq. ft. and stands tall of 216 ft with its tower, carvings and sculptures. The shadow of the main structure does not fall on the ground. A royal portrait of Raja Raja Cholan paying obeisance to Lord Natarajar is remarkable. The carvings of nartakis or dancers showing eighty one of hundred and eight karanas in Bharatanatyam make this place a “UNESCO world heritage site”. This temple of Tanjore is sure a master piece of the Chola reign and one of the architectural wonders of the world.


The temple remains open from 5.00 am to 12.00 noon and also from 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm.


Art Gallery:

Entry fee for Indians: Rs.15 for Adult and Rs. 5 for Child. For Foreigner Rs. 70 for Adult and Rs.15 for child.

Timing: 9:00am to 5:30pm (lunch break 1:00 to 2:00pm)


Sarasvati Mahal Library:

The Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji's Sarasvati Mahal Library is one among a few medieval libraries existing in the world. Library was started between the intervals of 1535  AD and 1673 for the Royals of Nayaks and it was expanded by the Maratha kings between  1673 AD and 1855. Specifically during the kingdom of Saroboji II, thousands of books were placed. This library has collections of rare and illustrated manuscripts in Indian and European languages. The palm leaf manuscripts go beyond 20,000 in number. The rare Sanskrit books in the library were collected by the King Saroboji from various places of the western side of India and hence the name Saroboji.  Library remains open from 9.00 am – 1.00 pm & 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm


Entry fee for Indian adult – Rs.30 and Rs. 10 for child. For Foreigner, Adult – Rs. 90 and Child – Rs.35

Timing: 9:00am to 5:30pm (Lunch break 1:00pm to 2:00pm)


Tanjore Royal Palace: 

It is 1 Km away from the big temple. This was built by Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by Marathas. The total area of the palace is around 10 acres. It has huge corridors, spacious halls, observational and arsenal towers and shady courtyards. Now inside the palace, King Saroboji Saraswathi Mahal Library, Art Gallery and Sangeetha Mahal are situated. Thanjavur palace is one of the noteworthy palaces in Tamil Nadu. It is known for its architecture, sculptures, building techniques and many.


Please note Tanjore palace will remain closed on the below dates.


15th August – Independence Day

2nd October – Gandhi Jayanthi

18th October 2018 – Ayudha Pooja

6th November 2018 – Diwali

15th January 2019 – Pongal

26th January 2019 – Republic Day

17th April 2019 – Mahavir Jayanthi

1st May – Labours ‘Day



Schwartz Church, one of the oldest churches of South India, was constructed by a Danish missionary in 1779. It is located near the Tanjore palace. In those days, this church was known as big church.

Entrance fee: No Entrance for all Tourists.

Camera &Video: Not allowed



This temple is located 07 kms away from Tanjore city centre. The temple of mighty goddess Mariamman is one of the famous temples around Tanjore district.

Timing: Morning: 6.00 am to evening 8.30 am

Entrance fees: No Entrance fee

Camera & video: we need to get the permission from the temple administration office.  


Other Activities possible in Tanjore:

  1. Bronze factory -  Guest can see exclusively bronze castings and the whole process of making an idol.
  2. Tanjore Painting – this is the place where Tanjore painting is made.
  3. The Place where, the musical instrument Veena is made – it is located at south main Street.
  4. The Place where Tanjore dolls are made - it is located 7 kms away from Tanjore, near Punnainallur Mariamman temple.        


Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary is located in the town of Vaduvur in Tiruvarur District. It is 25 KMS away from Tanjore, on the way to Tanjore -Mannargudi. From Mannargudi to Tanjore 17 Km. 

Entrance                    : No entrance fee for tourist.

Best time to visit      : November to December

We can suggest this place to clients for bird watching.


Day Excursions from Tanjore:


Tanjore – Veilankanni – Tanjore 

Velankanni is a small town, located on the shores of Bay of Bengal. It is a famous Roman Catholic church, dedicated to Mother Mary - “ Our Lady of Good Health”. It is 100 Kms away from Tanjore & will take 2 ½ hours’ drive.

Time: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm

Entrance fee – No

Holidays – No

Camera & Video Camera – Not allowed


Festival: Velankanni car festival is celebrated every year in the month of September as Mary’s feast (Mother Mary’s birthday). It is a 11 day celebration from the day they hoist the flag at the church. 


Accommodation details


1. MGM Velankanni 

Category: 3 star,

Location: 1.5 km from Church.


02. Hotel Chandra Royal INN

Category: 3 star

Location: 1.5 km from the church.


03. Hotel Saravana Bhavan

Location: Walkable distance from the church. 

They have 27 rooms in operation. Rooms seems to be good. This can be suggested for Malaysian market and for domestic guests.


04. Hotel Clients park Inn

Category: 03 star, Location: Just 3 Km from the church. 


5. Queen’s INN

Category:       Location: 1.5 Km from church.

Contact number: -04365-263555, +91 9626927111


06. Velankanni Lake resort

Category: Resort      Location: 05 Km from the church.  




Fish land multi-cuisine restaurant     - 8940880055, walk able distance from the church, 


Hotel Annai Saravana Bhavan - 04365 263 700. Its walk able distance from the church.      


Point Calimere Wild life Bird Sanctuary – Kodikkarai 

The sanctuary was created in 1967. It is a 21.47 square kilometre protected area in Tamil Nadu, south India along the Palk Strait where it meets the Bay of Bengal at point Calimere at the south-eastern tip of the Nagapattinam district.  It is famous for large congregations of water birds like #002060buck, Green Bee eater, Pipit, Deer, Lapwing and Brahminy Kite, especially greater flamingos

Visiting Hours              : 8.00 Am to 5.00 Pm

Entrance                       : Rs.20/- per person.

Camera & video            : Camera Allowed but video not allowed.


Tanjore – Tranquebar – Tanjore:

Tranquebar is 120 Kms away from Tanjore. Tranquebar is also known as Tarangambadi, which means ‘Place of the singing waves’.  Tranquebar is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district.  It is about 100 kms south of Pondicherry near the mouth of a distributary of River Cauvery.  It was a Danish colony in India from 1620 – 1845.


Tranquebar Beach - Tranquebar beach is a sea side village, where the Danish merchants settled for trade.  A beautiful Governor’s palace is on the right of the beach, which tells us the past. 


Danish Fort A Danish navy officer built this fort in 1620 A.D.  It is called as Dansborg Fort. Locally this fort is called as Danish fort. It is still standing like a rock.  It is just 100m away from the sea shore. The fort consists of two levels.  The Rooms adjoining the Rampart wall at the lower level were used as go-down, prison as well as rest area for the soldiers.  The upper level was used for the residence of the Governor and the Priests.  The monument is declared historically important under the Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1966.  


Timings: 10 AM – 2 PM & 3 PM – 6 PM

Entrance: Indians – Rs.5/- & Foreigners – Rs.50/- 

Camera:   Rs.50/-

Video   :   Rs.100/-

Holidays: Fridays & Government Holidays


Tranquebar Hotels:

Bungalow on the Beach – Heritage -  

It is very near to the Fort


Gate House                    - Heritage -

It is 1 Km from the Fort


Tanjore – Gangaikondacholapuram – Tanjore

Gangaikondacholapuram is 75 Kms away from Tanjore & 35 Kms away from Kumbakonam.  The city was founded by Rajendra Chola to commemorate his victorious march to the Ganges.  King Rajendra Cholan expanded the Chola dynasty till the end of river Ganga and he brought Ganga water in a golden pot and consecrated the reservoir 'Ponneri or Cholaganga', Due to this incident the king Rajendra Cholan was named as “Gangaikondan” & so this place is called as “Gangaikondacholapuram”. The name ‘Gangaikondacholapuram’ means – The Town of the Chola who captured Ganges. This temple was built in 11th century and it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a replica of Brahadeeswara Temple in Tanjore.  It was built by Rajendra Cholan (1012-1044 AD), son of the Great Raja Raja Cholan. The Shiva Lingam in the temple is the biggest in South India.  The inner sanctum’s temperature remains controlled, meaning, it remains cool during summer and warm during winter.  There are 42 Chola style sculptures on the roof as well as in the walls. It is located in between Chidambaram and Kumbakonam.

Timings: 7 AM – 12 Noon & 4 PM – 8 PM (for inner sanctum)

Entrance fee - No

Holidays - No

Camera and Video charges - No





1. Ideal river view resort

Category: Resort

Location: Vennaru River (7 Kms from Tanjore city towards Kumbakonam direction)


2. Hotel SVATMA

Category: Heritage property

Location: city centre (2 Km from Tanjore Big temple and Palace).


3. Hotel Tanjore Hi

Category: Boutique property

Location: 01 Km from Tanjore Big temple and walkable distance from Tanjore Palace.


4. Hotel Sangam

Category: 03 star

Location: Trichy road (02 km from Tanjore Big temple & 03 km from Tanjore palace)


5. Hotel Parisutham

Category: 3 Star,

Location: GA Canal road (01 km from Tanjore Big temple and 1.5 Km from Tanjore Palace)


6. Hotel Lakshmi

Category: 3 Star

Location: Marys Corner (02 km from Tanjore big temple and 2.5 km from Tanjore palace).


7. Hotel Star Residency

Category: 03 Star

Location: N.S.C Bose Nagar (500 m from big temple and 01.5 km from Tanjore Palace).


Others Hotels:


1. Hotel Gnanam

Category: 02 Star,

Location city centre, (Old bus station (half km from big temple and 01 km from Tanjore palace).


2. Hotel Hyders Park

Category: 3 star

Location: New bus stand (06 km from big temple and 7 km from Tanjore palace).


3. Hotel Green palace

Category: Apartment hotel

Location: Trichy to Nagai (Vilar) Bye-pass road (9 km from Big temple)


4. Hotel Abi’s Inn

Category: Apartment hotel

Location: Pudukkottai main road (3.5 km from Tanjore big Temple).


Home stays:


1.Barnabas Home Stay

Located: Arulandham Nager( 2.5 km from Tanjore big temple and 03 Km from Tanjore palace.


2. Raja Home stay

Location: Giri road (1.5 km from the big temple)


3. Rams Inn

Location: Selvam Nagar, Medical College Road (Half km from Big Temple)


Restaurants in Tanjore


City Centre - Local Restaurants:


Pure Vegetarian

  1. Arya bhavan (near old bus stand) – Half a km from Tanjore Big temple.
  2. Saravana Bhavan (city centre) – Half a km from Big temple.
  3. Vasantha bhavan (nearby hotel Sangam) – 01 km from big temple.
  4. Krishna bhavan    (nearby Lakshmi) 01.5 Km from Big temple.  


Non Vegetarian

  1. Aasif biriyani (near Sangam) - 1.5 kms from Big temple.  
  2. Sathars (Gandhiji road) - 1 Km from the temple.
  3. Red ruby restaurant (Restaurant of Hotel oriental tower) Multicuisine – 2 kms from the temple and 2.5 kms from the Palace.
  4. Red ruby garden restaurant.
  5. Domino’s Pizza - Adhu Palam Junction. Nearby hotel Parisutham - Half km from the temple.
  6. Hotel Thevar’s restaurant - Gandhiji road – 01 km from the temple.
  7. Cholanadu mess – Located at opposite Mani Mandapam - 3 km from big temple.    


Nearby New bus stand - 5 Km from Big temple


Vegetarian Restaurant:


1. Krishna Bhavan – Trichy road – New bus stand opp - 05 km from big temple


2. A2B Restaurant - Located Trichy bye bass – 10 km from big temple.


3. Ram Ariyas – just opp of bust stand – 5.5 km from big temple.


4. Ram Ariyas - Near to Vallam Trichy bye bass - 14 km from Big temple- Tanjore.   


Non – Vegetarian Restaurant


1. Banana leaf- Located at Trichy by pass road - 6 km from big temple


2. Junior Kuppanna - Multicaulisin restaurant – 12.5 km from big temple (Trichy by bass road)


3. Chennai dharbar (near new bus stand) 5 km form Big temple.  5 km from big temple.


4. Marry brown (Old Pudukkottai road - 5 km from big temple)


5. KSM Hakkim biriyani (near new bus stand – 5.5 km from big temple.



Thiruvaiyaru is situated on the banks of the river Kaveri, 13 kms away from Thanjavur. Thiruvaiyaru means Five Rivers around the city. The Five Rivers are ArisilaaruVennaaruVettaaruKudamuruttiyaaru and Kaveriaaru. Thiruvaiyaru is more renowned for its association with Saint Thyagaraja, who, along with Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri, referred as the Trinity of Carnatic music 


Aiyarappar temple (Shiva)

Thiruvaiyaru has an old Siva temple dedicated to Panchanatheeswar Thiruvaiyaru. The presiding deity of the Shiva temple here, Panchanadeeshvarar (in Tamil, Ayyarappan ' both connotes the same meaning, `the Lord of the Five Rivers'). This temple is one of the six temples along the banks of the Kaveri which are considered equivalent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Opening Time: 06am to 11pm. Again 04pm to 8:30pm.

Entrance fee: No Entrance fee


Saint Thiagaraja & Carnatic Music Festival: - 25th February 2019

Saint Thiagaraja was one of the greatest composers of Carnatic Music, a form of Indian classical Music. He was a prolific composer and highly influential in the development of the classical Music tradition. Thiagaraja and his contemporaries Syama Sastri and Muthuswami Diskhitar were regarded as the Trinity of modern Carnatic music. Every year Thyagaraja Aardhana in Thiruvaiyaru is celebrated between January & February.  This year, the music festival is to be held on 25th February 2019. Music concerts and performances by leading musicians would mark the aradhana celebrations of the saint composer and the high point of the musicians rendering the pancharatna kritis in chorus is a feast indeed. The aradhana is observed on the day when the saint attained samadhi. The venue of the festival is near the samadhi of Thiagaraja on the banks of River Cauvery.


Note: Hotels in and around Tanjore will be sold out during this time as leading Musicians & people from various walks of life visit Tanjore to attend this music festival. So please plan the client program accordingly.

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