The Brihadeesvarar Temple or The Big Temple as it is commonly called by the natives of Tanjore, is an architectural marvel of immense glory, that has astounded the world with its stupendous proportions and grandeur. Built in the year 1010 by King Raja Raja Chola, this monument of World Heritage has, for a thousand years, stood as a symbol of the flourishing sculptural expertise and rich culture of ancient India. Tanjore, ‘the Granary of Tamilnadu’ is also the home of Carnatic music, dance and traditional handicrafts. Thanjavur was the ancient capital of the Chola kings, and the stylized bronze work for which the Chola period was famous, is still produced in this town.
Having overloaded myself with this and more information on Tanjore, I reached the palace in search of all the glory of the old Chola capital. The 16th century palace complex was built by the Nayaks and later renovated by the Marathas. Situated close to the old bus stand, the first of the museums I visited here was the Royal Museum. “Is this the might and valour of the Cholas I heard of? What am I seeing here?” I wondered; a scantily lit room with drums, urns, perfume bottles, wooden boxes, manuscripts, gifts, jewellery, weapons and other belongings of the Marathas.