After successfully finishing the tough task of visiting Navagraha Temples within a day, I reached hotel by 10:30pm and I was tired and exhausted, slept without dinner.
I got up late and today I wanted to do a relaxed trip. So I got ready by 11am, had my breakfast in a restaurant next to my hotel. Started towards Thanjavur, it is 40 kms from kumbakonam and it takes one to one and half hour drive from kumbakonam. I thought of visiting few more temples on the way to Thanjavur but, it was a bit late and I wanted to spend more time in Thanjavur. I reached Thanjavur palace by 1:30pm.
Tanjavur Palace is of the must visit place for tourist and historians. The entry ticket cost 60 rupees for the palace which includes an art Museum inside the palace complex and a Movie about Tanjavur. The palace complex is so big, there is a School and Police station functioning inside it. The major attraction is the bell tower or watch tower infront of the palace which is almost like a six story building but tourists are prohibited from climbing up. But we are allowed to go to the terrace of the palace from there we could able to witness the palace tower and Watch tower a bit closer. This palace is one of the finest example of Maratha architecture who has ruled Tanjavur from 16th – 17th century. The darbar hall was really amazing with marvelous paintings on the roof. In the Museum we could see the antique statutes of Indian gods dating from 4th to 5th century. Last but not the least there is documentary film about Tanjavur which is played for about every one hour in an air conditioned theater. It is really mind blowing, most of the film was shot from aerial view using drones. The duration of the film was about 40 mins, they have nicely shown the rich history of Tanjavur and its art and architecture It is surprising to believe that how a kind of advanced civilization exist in ancient period. Overall the palace is worth visiting.
After visiting Palace I went to the place which symbolizes the richness of Chola dynasty. Yes that’s the Tanjavur Big temple. As I approached near to temple I could see the majestic temple tower. Parking place in front of the Temple was almost full so I was diverted to another place on the left side around 200 m form the Temple. I parked my car, and was walking on a small bridge. I could see Big Temple in a long view.
It is really amazing as well as beautiful as I entered inside I could see complete view of temple, as you could see in pictures.
Big temple is really huge and was constructed in a very large area with enough of free space. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also known as Brihadeeswarar Temple/ Peruvudaiyar Aalayam/ Thanjai Periya Kovil/ RajaRajeswara Temple etc. It is a 1000 year old temple constructed by Raja Raja Chola. It is one of the largest temples in India and is an good example of Dravidian Culture and architecture.
I was totally mesmerized by the beauty of the Big Temple. I sat at one corner exactly opposite to the temple so that I could enjoy the view. Even though there were so many visitors, I could feel the silence, peace and positivity. I was enjoying the moment.
Later I started walking and saw a big statue of Nandi. There was a Pujari who was distributing Prasad and was explaining that this statue is carved out of a single rock. Also he was explaining that the entire temple structure is made out of granite. I also came to know that there are so many secret passages which leads to different places like King’s Palace and different places of Tanjavur. Also sometimes these passages are also used as traps in order to trap the enemies.
The temple tower is nearly 200 ft height and is one of the tallest in the world, it weighs around 80 tons. The huge cap of Tanjore big temple is constructed in such a way that the shadow of the Tanjore big temple Gopuram will not fall on the ground. This particular planning and type of construction is not an easy task to go with. I wonder how they have constructed and how the tower been positioned. The carvings on the temple are unimaginable. I wonder even with our advanced technology, we will not be able to do such lively architecture. Hats off to the architects.
I visited the main temple area where I could see the huge Shiva Linga, beautifully decorated with flowers and Vibudhi. Such a soothing feeling. There are so many small temples and you could find small lingas installed in different places of big temple. I think one day must be good enough to enjoy the beauty of Big Temple.
I came out @ 6.30 in the evening and I was filled with happiness and totally energized. Such a beautiful memory….
I travelled back to hotel, followed by dinner and sleep. Next day is my last day of this trip…
I got early in the morning as I wanted to start to Chennai atleast by 12pm, so that I could reach early and could prepare myself for next day office after a memorable trip…
I got ready by 6.30am and started visiting temples. I spoke to local people to know what are the temples nearby. These are the temples I visited.
1. Kasi Vishwanatha
It is a Lord Shiva Temple with Parvathi in Visalakshi form. This temple is constructed in two acres. Next to temple there is Mahamaham tank. Temple has two towers known as gopurams. The tallest is the western tower, with seven stories and a height of 720 ft. The temple has so many carvings of Kasi Viswanathar and Visalakshi.
2. Mahamagam Tank
It is one of the largest temple tanks in Tamil Nadu. Usually it will be with full of water but when I was saw, there was not enough water. Mahamaham festival will be held in this Mahamagam tank, devotees gather from different places of India at Kumbakonam to have a holy dip in the tank.
3. Nageswara Swamy
This is a Shiva temple constructed in 9th century by Cholas. It has three gopurams. There is a local belief that the worship during morning, afternoon and evening needs to be performed at the three Nageswaran temples namely Nageswaran Temple, Tirunageswaram and Thirupampuram respectively. Design of the temple is in such a way that during the first three days of Tamil month Chittirai (April – May), the rays of the Sun falls directly in the base of the god in temple.
4. Ramaswamy Temple
Ramaswamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple belongs to 16th century. On the temple walls, one could see the depiction of Ramayana in pictorial format.
5. Sarangabhani Temple
This is a Lord Vishnu Temple and one among the Divya Desams.
6. Someshwar Temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
There was some logic, some calculation while constructing temples, once you reach temple or its surroundings one could feel peace and some kind of energy flowing.
After visiting all the temples, I went back to hotel, checked out and started back to Chennai…with positive energy…