Sri Brihadisvara Temple
Built by the great Chola King, Raja Raja I in the 10th century AD, this temple is an outstanding example of the Chola architecture. Guarding the inner shrine of the temple, is the gigantic statue of Nandi, the Bull, while the walls of the sanctum are covered, with the wall paintings of Chola and Nayak periods.Temple is selected by UNESCO as world heritage monuments.
The Palace, on the east main street is a series of large and rambling buildings of fine masonry, built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD, and partly by the Marathas. The courtyard leads to a many-pillared hall. A small inner courtyard gives access to a large one. On the southern side of the third quadrangle is a vimana like building, 190 feet high with eight storeys and it is the Goodagopuram. This was the palace watch tower and also the armoury of the Thanjavur Kings till 1855 A.D.
Saraswathi Mahal Library
This library has one of the most important oriental manuscripts collections, in India. Established around 1700 AD, the library contains a collection of over 44,000 palm leaf, and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. Over eighty per cent of its manuscripts are in Sanskrit, many on palm leaves, some very rare or even unique. The Tamil works includes treatises on medicine, and commentaries on works from the Sangam period.
The world famous Thanjavur paintings, painted on wood, glass, mica, ivory and on walls, are characterised by the use of primary colours, with stylised modelling effects by shading the inside of the contours. Painting on ivory, mica, and the more difficult genre of glass paintings, were all introduced in the 18th century. Whereas the religious paintings are highly decorative and flat, the paintings of the women are highly stylised with an element of reality infused in the portraits