Tanjore Palace and Museum and Brihadeeswarar Temple

Saravasti goddess of music

entrance to the Saravasti Mahal Library- Saravasti is the  goddess of education and music

We were incredibly blessed in Tanjore because our host was a South Indian tour guide and extremely passionate and knowledgeable.  She took us to the Tanjore Palace.  The main courtyard of the palace is now turned into an art museum featuring lots of statues collected from all over this part of India. There was also Saravasti’s Library with palm leaf books and ancient manuscripts, but no cameras allowed inside.

closeup details of building

close up of intricately painted library entrance

Inside the museum…

goddess statue inside the museum

goddess statue inside the museum

hand on a statue

hand on a statue

bronze statues

bronze statues

whale bones

whale bones

palace with view of temple

the courtyard of the museum/palace with view of another temple in the distance

part of the palace musuem

main tower of the Palace: the Goodagopuram

We were able to climb to the top of the Goodagopurum via a narrow staircase and enjoy the view of the city!

view from the top

view from the top

note the temples in the distance

note the temples in the distance

temple poking out of the trees

temple poking out of the trees

The man represented below was important and I forget why! But he got a statue for it.  Anyone?

statue and goats

statue and goats

We also went to see the Brihadeeswarar Temple.  It was not long after Mumbai had suffered a bombing that got international attention.  They wouldn’t let us bring our video camera in fear for the monument.  Looking up at the glorious structure, I could see why they would want to protect it- not only is it a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s over a thousand years old.   Tamil is one of the oldest cultures in continuity.  Our host could read the inscriptions on the side of the temple!

In the main ritual room in the center of the temple stood Shiva’s symbol, a giant black linga, similar to the one we’d seen in Rishikesh.  The goddess statues, although originally sculpted topless, all had a colorful piece of cloth wrapped over their breasts to protect their “modesty.”  Around the temple a few men determinedly washed a smaller version of Shiva’s lingam and bull with a yellow white milk bath.  Our hosts also gave us a crash course on all the various gods and their wives. I’m glad there won’t ever be a quiz, because I’m not sure I could ever keep all those details straight!

Brihadeeswarar Temple at night
Brihadeeswarar Temple at night
inscriptions on Brihadeeswarar Temple

inscriptions on Brihadeeswarar Temple

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Tanjore Palace and Museum and Brihadeeswarar Temple

  1. My town where I grown up and I like very much. Almost 20 years I went out of Tamil Nadu but now breath the same air/peace in my birth place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s