Top things to do

Top Choice Hindu Temple in Thanjavur (Tanjore)

Brihadishwara Temple

Come here twice: in the morning, when the tawny granite begins to assert its dominance over the white dawn sunshine, and in the evening, when the rocks capture a hot palette of reds, oranges, yellows and pinks on th…
Top Choice Palace in Thanjavur (Tanjore)

Royal Palace

Thanjavur’s royal palace is a mixed bag of ruin and renovation, superb art and random royal paraphernalia. The maze-like complex was constructed partly by the Nayaks who took over Thanjavur in 1535, and partly by a …
in Thanjavur (Tanjore)

Calimere (Kodikkarai) Wildlife & Bird Sanctuary

This 333-sq-km sanctuary, 90km southeast of Thanjavur, is noted for vast flocks of migratory curlews, terns, plovers, sandpipers, shanks and more that nest in the tidal mud flats from October to March. Unfortunately…
in Thanjavur (Tanjore)

Tamil Museum

Just down the road, the uninspiring Tamil Museum houses a blasé collection of coins, carvings and cannonballs.
South Indian in Thanjavur (Tanjore)

Sri Venkata Lodge

A friendly, popular, veg-only place near the centre of everything, that does a nice thali.
Arts & Crafts in Thanjavur (Tanjore)


Thanjavur is a good place to shop for handicrafts and arts. For fixed prices, there's a branch of government-run Poompuhar.
Indian in Thanjavur (Tanjore)


This classy hotel restaurant does a very nice line in fresh, tasty, mainly Indian veg dishes, along with a decent multicuisine breakfast buffet.
Multicuisine in Thanjavur (Tanjore)


The Hotel Gnanam's smart-ish nonveg restaurant is very good, with a wide range of northern dishes and local Chettinadu fare – and even beer.
Indian in Thanjavur (Tanjore)

Vasanta Bhavan

The most popular of several veg places facing the local bus stand downtown, Vasanta Bhavan doles out biryani and North Indian curries as well as your usual southern favourites, in AC comfort.
Antiques in Thanjavur (Tanjore)

Kandiya Heritage

Thanjavur is a good place to shop for handicrafts, especially near the palace, where shops such as Kandiya Heritage sell antiques, reproduction bronzes, brightly painted wooden horses, old European pottery, jeweller…