When it comes to Rajasthan, India is at her colorful best with its rich cultural heritage, colossal forts-palaces and also showcasing its riotous romantic sense of valor, honor and courage.

Tamil Nadu Attractions
India - Tamil Nadu - Thanjavur - Thanjavur Palace

Thanjavur Palace

Built by the Nayaks in the 1550 and partly by the Marathas, the majestic Thanjavur palace is huge masonry structure situated near the Thanjavur temple. This mighty palace has huge halls, spacious corridors, observation, arsenal towers and a shady courtyard. Once a grand structure, most of the sections of the palace are in ruins. It is being renovated now. The palace houses a library, a museum and an art gallery.

¤ Architecture of the Palace
Brihadeshwara temple, Thanjavur
To enter the palace one should take the way of a large quadrangular courtyard. The surrounding walls are pierced by big gateways to the north and east. The courtyard leads to a many-pillared hall. A small inner courtyard leads to a large one.

There is a building similar to the Vimana on the southern side of the third quadrangle. It is 190 feet high with eight storeys and is known as the Goodagopuram. This was the palace watchtower and also the armoury of the Thanjavur Kings till 1855 A.D.

¤ Highlights of The Palace

The major attractions of the palace are the two Durbar Halls of the Nayaks and the Mahrattas and the Raja Sarafoji Sarasvati Mahal Library. The Saraswathi Mahal Library has a wide collection of about 30,433 sanskrit and other vernacular palm leaf manuscripts. There are almost 6,426 printed volumes, besides a large number of journals. This library is the result of the three hundred years of effort of by the Nayak and Mahratta kings.

A tower called the Madamaligai emerges from the palace roof beyond the Goodagopuram. It has six storeys and is believed that this was build by Nayak ruler to enable him worship Sri Ranganatha of Srirangam every mid-day. Earlier, it was many storeys higher, but was destroyed by lighting. Thus, it had to be repaired and preserved.

The Sangita Mahal or the Music Hall is a miniature of the surviving court of Thirumalai Nayak's.

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