Top 22 Things To Do in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu for Culture Vulture

 In Tamil nadu, Temple, temple, Things to do, Travel, Travel Facts

Have you ever wondered what incredible Places to Visit in Tamilnadu? Thanjavur, a jewel in Tamil Nadu’s crown, is brimming with activities and rich cultural heritage. If you’re looking for the top things to do in Thanjavur, you’re in for a treat. 

From exploring ancient temples to attending the vibrant Thanjavur Dance Festival, there is no shortage of experiences. This year, dive into the best things to do in Thanjavur and discover why it’s a must-visit destination. 

Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or simply in search of a unique adventure, our guide to things to do in Thanjavur in 2024 will ensure you don’t miss out on anything. 

Join us as we explore the spectacular city of Thanjavur, a place where every corner tells a story.

Discover the 22 Best Things to Do in Thanjavur

Exploring the Best Cultural and Historical Sites

Explore  Thanjavur’s past through its cultural and historical sites. From grand temples like the Brihadeeswarar Temple to ancient fortresses such as Vijayanagar Fort, each site offers a unique glimpse into the city’s splendid heritage and architectural marvels.

1. Brihadeeswarar Temple: A Cultural Highlight in Thanjavur


The Brihadeeswarar Temple is one of the top things to do in Thanjavur. This magnificent temple, also known as the Big Temple, is over a thousand years old and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built by the great King Rajaraja Chola I in the 11th century. The temple is famous for its massive size and the beautiful artwork on its walls.

One of the most amazing parts of this temple is the tall tower above the main room where the god is worshipped. This tower is about 66 metres high, which is almost like a 15-story building! The top of the tower has a big capstone that weighs about 80 tons. People often wonder how the builders put such a heavy stone on top of the tower so long ago.

Visitors also admire the huge statue of Nandi, the sacred bull, which sits at the entrance of the temple. This bull is carved from a single rock and is one of the largest of its kind in India.

When you visit the Brihadeeswarar Temple, you can also see beautiful paintings on the walls that tell stories from old Hindu scriptures. Exploring this temple is definitely one of the best things to do in Thanjavur. It’s not just a place to see; it’s a place to feel the history and culture of Thanjavur.

Famous For

The Brihadeeswarar Temple, a pinnacle of Chola architectural excellence, stands out for its advanced stonemasonry and spiritual importance in Hinduism. Unique for its structural grandeur and engineering works, the temple has sustained through centuries purely through interlocking stones, without any adhesive materials. It serves as both a monumental example of ancient construction techniques and a vibrant centre for religious festivities, drawing attention for its deep spiritual and cultural significance to Thanjavur.

Working Hours

  • Open daily: 6:00 AM – 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Entry Fees

There is no entry fee to visit Brihadeeswarar Temple, making it accessible for everyone to explore its historical and architectural beauty.   

Suggested Read : 10 Places To Visit In Sivaganga:A Traveler’s Guide        

2. Thanjavur Palace: A Historical Marvel


The Thanjavur Palace, also known as the Maratha Royal Palace, is a remarkable place and one of the best things to do in Thanjavur. This historic palace is located in the heart of Thanjavur, close to the famous Brihadeeswarar Temple. It was originally constructed by the rulers of the Nayak kingdom and later enhanced by the Marathas.

The palace is a sprawling complex with several buildings, big courtyards, and beautiful towers. Visitors are often amazed by its grand halls and the deep, rich colours of the walls and ceilings. One of the main attractions inside the palace is the Art Gallery, which holds many ancient statues and sculptures. There is also the Saraswathi Mahal Library, which has a huge collection of old books and manuscripts, some of which are very rare.

Visiting the Thanjavur Palace gives you a glimpse into the royal past and the rich culture of Thanjavur, making it a must-see for anyone exploring the city.

Famous For

Thanjavur Palace stands out for its unique combination of architecture and history. It’s well-known for the Rajaraja Chola art gallery, filled with royal artefacts and ancient bronze statues that show the rich history of Tamil kings. The palace itself is a mix of strong fort-like features and beautiful royal designs, showing how it served both as a royal residence and a protective fort. This place isn’t just a building; it’s a key piece of history that tells stories about the rulers and people of Tamil Nadu from centuries ago.

Entry Fees

  • Adults: INR 50
  • Camera: INR 30

Working Hours

  • Open daily: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

3. Rajarajan ManiMandapam: A Tribute to King Rajaraja Chola in Thanjavur

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Rajarajan Mani Mandapam is a beautiful and important place in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It was built in 1987 to honour a great king named Rajaraja Chola, who ruled long ago and built many amazing temples, including the famous Brihadeeswarar Temple. This building is not just a tribute to his legacy but also a centre for cultural activities and events.

The Mandapam is designed in a traditional style with a lot of open spaces and gardens around it, making it a peaceful place to visit. It often hosts exhibitions, music performances, and other cultural events that showcase the rich heritage of Thanjavur.

Visiting Rajarajan Mani Mandapam is one of the things to do in Thanjavur because it not only tells the story of a great king but also continues to be a place where art and culture are celebrated. It’s definitely on the list of Thanjavur things to do for anyone interested in history and culture. This spot is a must-visit for everyone exploring things to do in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Famous For

Rajarajan Mani Mandapam is renowned for its role as a vibrant hub of arts and learning in Thanjavur. This site is not just a monument but a living center where the community gathers to delve into and celebrate the area’s cultural roots through various artistic expressions. Unique for its engaging programs, the Mandapam regularly organizes workshops, seminars, and festivals that focus on preserving and promoting the traditional arts and crafts of the region. It stands as a modern testament to the enduring influence of King Rajaraja Chola I, connecting the past with the present through cultural continuity and educational initiatives.

Entry Fees

There is no entry fee to visit Rajarajan ManiMandapam, making it accessible to everyone interested in exploring the cultural heritage of Thanjavur.

Working Hours

  • Open daily: 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM

4. Gangaikonda Cholapuram: A Masterpiece of Chola Architecture in Thanjavur


Gangaikonda Cholapuram is an important temple located near Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It was built by King Rajendra Chola, who was the son of the famous Rajaraja Chola. This temple is similar to the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur and is known for its magnificent architecture.

The temple has a big statue of Lord Shiva, which is the main god worshipped here. The complex is beautifully decorated with sculptures and carvings that tell stories from Hindu mythology. One of the most striking features is the massive stone Nandi (bull) that sits facing the temple, which is a common sight in Shiva temples.

Visiting Gangaikonda Cholapuram is one of the things to do in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It’s a place that shows the power and art of the Chola dynasty. For anyone looking at Thanjavur things to do, this temple offers a peaceful and spiritual experience. It’s truly a must-visit for those exploring things to do in Thanjavur.

Famous For

Gangaikonda Cholapuram is celebrated for its distinct and remarkable vimana (temple tower), which rises majestically above the landscape, marking a significant architectural achievement of the Chola era. Unlike other temples, this structure uniquely demonstrates the advancement of Chola art and engineering, setting a historical benchmark in temple construction. It also holds a unique place in history as the centrepiece of the city that King Rajendra Chola established to commemorate his conquests. The temple not only reflects the architectural grandeur of its time but also serves as a spiritual beacon, drawing devotees and historians alike to marvel at its legacy and continued cultural importance.

Entry Fees

There is no entry fee to visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram, allowing everyone to explore this historical gem without cost.

Working Hours

  • Open daily: 6:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

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5. Airavatesvara Temple: Exploring Architectural Splendor in Thanjavur


Airavatesvara Temple is a famous temple located near Thanjavur in Tamilnadu. It was built by King Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century and is known for its stunning design and intricate carvings. This temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites known as the “Great Living Chola Temples.”

The temple is smaller than the Brihadeeswarar Temple but is admired for its detailed sculptures and stone carvings that cover its walls. These carvings tell stories from ancient Hindu scriptures. One of the most interesting things about this temple is the stone chariot in the front yard, which is a beautiful piece of architecture.

Visiting the Airavatesvara Temple is one of the top things to do in Thanjavur. It offers a peaceful place for visitors to explore and admire the art from centuries ago. It’s a must-see for those interested in history and architecture, making it a great choice for things to do in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Famous For

Airavatesvara Temple stands out for its dynamic vimana, smaller yet more complex than its counterparts, showcasing a unique verticality in Chola temple architecture. This temple is distinguished by its innovative engineering, including a sophisticated use of space and light that creates a dramatic effect on the sculptures and reliefs during different times of the day. Celebrated for these unique architectural nuances, the temple serves as a profound study in the evolution of Chola art and temple design.

Entry Fees

There is no entry fee to visit Airavatesvara Temple, making it freely accessible to all visitors who wish to explore its historical and architectural beauty.

Working Hours

  • Open daily: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

6. Vijayanagar Fort: A Historical Expedition in Thanjavur

Image Source - nativeplanet

Vijayanagara Fort is a significant historical landmark in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. This fort, partly built by the Nayak rulers in the 16th century and later expanded by the Marathas, is not just a fort but a large complex that includes temples, a palace, and a library.

One of the main attractions inside the fort is the Thanjavur Maratha Palace, which is known for its large halls and beautiful architecture. Also, the fort houses the Saraswathi Mahal Library, one of the oldest libraries in Asia, with a rich collection of manuscripts and books.

Visiting Vijayanagara Fort is one of the most interesting things to do in Thanjavur because it gives you a glimpse into the past through its ancient structures and the stories they tell. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or simply want to see some of the iconic Thanjavur things to do, the Vijayanagara Fort is a must-visit

Famous For

Vijayanagara Fort is celebrated for its strategic design and defensive architecture, which have stood the test of time. It uniquely encapsulates the fusion of military prowess and cultural depth, providing a panoramic view of Thanjavur’s historical landscape. The fort’s broad ramp parts and deep culvert highlight the architectural skills and the lengths to which rulers went to protect their domain. This landmark is not only a evidence to the past rulers’ power but also a living museum that continues to educate and fascinate visitors.

Entry Fees

  • General Entry: INR 15 for Indian visitors and INR 200 for foreign visitors.
  • Camera Fee: Additional charges may apply for carrying cameras inside certain parts of the fort.

Working Hours

  • Open daily: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

7. Schwartz Church: A Historical Sanctuary in Thanjavur


Schwartz Church is a special and important place in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It was built in 1779 by the ruler of Thanjavur, Raja Serfoji, as a tribute to his teacher, Reverend Christian Friedrich Schwartz, a Danish missionary. The church is known for its beautiful white architecture and serene atmosphere.

Visiting this church is one of the top things to do in Thanjavur because it is not just a place for prayer, but also a symbol of love and respect between a teacher and a student. Inside the church, you can see a marble tablet that has a touching scene of the Raja mourning at the deathbed of Schwartz, showing their deep bond.

Schwartz Church stands out as a peaceful retreat and a significant historical site, making it a meaningful addition to the list of things to do in Thanjavur. Exploring this church offers a quiet moment to reflect on history and the connections between different cultures, which is why it’s one of the Thanjavur things to do for visitors interested in history and architecture.

Famous For

Schwartz Church is celebrated for its unique role as a bridge between cultures, highlighting the enduring impact of international relationships in India’s colonial history. This architectural gem, with its stark white façade, symbolises the harmonious blend of European design and local Indian craftsmanship. The church not only commemorates a personal relationship but also stands as a testament to the cultural and religious exchanges that shaped Thanjavur’s diverse history. It serves as a poignant reminder of the mutual respect and learning between the East and West during a pivotal era.

Entry Fees

There is no entry fee to visit Schwartz Church, making it accessible for everyone to appreciate its historical and architectural value.

Working Hours

  • Open daily: 7:00 AM – 8:30 PM and 9:00 – 11:00 AM

8. Thanjavur Art Gallery: A Treasure Trove of Chola Art and History


Thanjavur Art Gallery is a special place in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, where you can see a lot of beautiful and old artworks. It is located inside the Vijayanagara Fort and is one of the top things to do in Thanjavur. This gallery is famous for its collection of bronze statues, stone sculptures, and ancient paintings that date back hundreds of years.

When you visit the Thanjavur Art Gallery, you can learn a lot about the history and culture of Thanjavur and the surrounding areas. The gallery showcases pieces that tell stories from long ago, including statues of gods and goddesses from Hindu mythology. This makes it a fascinating visit for anyone who wants to understand more about Indian art and history.

Exploring the Thanjavur Art Gallery is definitely one of the best things to do in Thanjavur. It is an enriching experience and a must-visit for anyone looking for interesting Thanjavur things to do and wanting to see beautiful art from the past.

Famous For

Thanjavur Art Gallery stands out as a cultural beacon, offering a deep dive into the artistic traditions that flourished under the Chola dynasty. The gallery is particularly celebrated for its intricate relief panels and detailed frescoes that provide a window into the daily life and spiritual practices of ancient Tamil civilization. It serves as a cultural repository, preserving and displaying rare artifacts that encapsulate the aesthetic and historical essence of the region. Visitors are drawn to its unique ability to narrate the rich cultural tapestry of Thanjavur through art and sculpture.

Entry Fees

  • Adults: INR 50
  • Children (below age 12): INR 25
  • Foreign visitors: INR 300

These fees help maintain the gallery and preserve the precious artworks housed within.

Working Hours

  • Open daily: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

9. Nandi Bull at Brihadeeswarar Temple


Seeking blessings of the Nandi Bull at Brihadeeswarar Temple is one of the top things to do in Thanjavur. This massive statue is located right in front of the main temple and is a significant part of the temple complex. Nandi, the sacred bull, serves as the mount and gatekeeper of Lord Shiva, to whom the temple is dedicated.

Carved from a single piece of rock, the Nandi Bull is one of the largest of its kind in India. It measures about 12 feet in length and 9 feet in height, showcasing incredible craftsmanship. Visitors come from all over to admire its size and detailed carvings, making it a popular attraction and a true symbol of Thanjavur’s rich cultural heritage.

Exploring the Nandi Bull statue is definitely one of the best things to do in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It’s a perfect example of the artistic skills of the Chola dynasty and a must-see for anyone interested in history and art, adding to the list of Thanjavur things to do.

Famous For

The Nandi Bull at Brihadeeswarar Temple is celebrated for its role in the spiritual ambiance of the temple, positioned as it is at the entrance, facing Lord Shiva with unwavering devotion. This remarkable statue is not only noted for its massive proportions but also for symbolising the eternal waiting of the devotee for divine revelation. Its presence enhances the sanctity of the temple and offers a profound lesson in faith and patience to pilgrims and visitors alike, making it a deeply revered site in Thanjavur’s spiritual landscape.

Entry Fees

There is no entry fee to visit the Nandi Bull at Brihadeeswarar Temple, making it accessible for everyone to admire its grandeur.

Working Hours

  • Open daily: The temple and the Nandi Bull can be visited from 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM and from 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

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10. Thiruvanajozhi Temple: A Serene Sanctuary of Spirituality in Thanjavur

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Thiruvanajozhi Temple is a peaceful and spiritual place near Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It is one of the best things to do in Thanjavur for those who enjoy visiting quiet and holy sites. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the major gods in Hinduism, and is known for its beautiful architecture and serene surroundings.

Visitors often praise the temple for its calming atmosphere and the intricate carvings on its walls. These carvings depict stories from ancient Hindu scriptures, helping visitors understand and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the area. The temple is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a perfect spot for quiet meditation or prayer.

Exploring Thiruvanajozhi Temple is definitely one of the top things to do in Thanjavur. It offers a unique glimpse into the spiritual life of the region and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the spiritual and historical aspects of things to do in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Famous For

Thiruvanajozhi Temple is revered for its harmonious blend of nature and spirituality, The temple is distinctively recognized for its traditional Dravidian architecture, featuring towering gopurams and ornate mandapas that are emblematic of Tamil religious art. It serves as a vital cultural hub, where ancient rituals and ceremonies breathe life into the age-old practices that define Tamil spiritual observance. This temple not only provides a serene retreat but also connects visitors with the divine through its sacred atmosphere and profound cultural significance.

Entry Fees

There is no entry fee to visit Thiruvanajozhi Temple, allowing everyone to explore and enjoy the serene environment without cost.

Working Hours

  • Open daily: 6:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Knowing More About The Arts and Crafts in Thanjavur

Delve into the artistic traditions of Thanjavur, a city renowned for its unique arts and crafts including the intricate Thanjavur paintings, bronze sculptures, and classical musical instruments. Participating in workshops or visiting local artisans provides a hands-on experience of these cultural treasures.

11. Discover the Art of Thanjavur Painting: Creative Workshops to Explore


Thanjavur Painting Workshops are a fascinating and creative activity, making them one of the top things to do in Thanjavur. These workshops teach the traditional art of Thanjavur painting, which is famous for its vibrant colours, surface richness, and compact composition. Often depicting Hindu gods and goddesses, these paintings are known for their unique style that includes gold foil overlaid on delicate figures.

Participating in a Thanjavur painting workshop allows you to learn directly from skilled artisans who have been practising this art for generations. It’s not just about painting; it’s about preserving a piece of Tamil culture. You get to create your own artwork, making this one of the best things to do in Thanjavur.

For anyone visiting the area, joining a painting workshop is highly recommended as one of the most enriching things to do in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It’s a wonderful opportunity to engage deeply with the local culture and bring home a piece of it.

Things to Do at Thanjavur Painting Workshops

  • Learn Traditional Techniques – Gain hands-on experience in the unique methods used in Thanjavur painting, including the application of gold foil and the creation of embossed effects.
  • Create Your Own Artwork – Under the guidance of experienced artists, you will have the opportunity to create your own Thanjavur painting, which you can take home as a souvenir.
  • Understand Cultural Significance – Understand the historical and cultural significance of Thanjavur paintings, which have been a part of Tamil culture for centuries.
  • Interact with Local Artisans – Engage with local artists and craftsmen, gaining insights into their daily lives and the challenges they face in preserving this art form.

Explore Different Themes – Work with a variety of themes common in Thanjavur art, such as Hindu gods and goddesses, floral motifs, and religious scenes.

12. Veena Making Workshops


Veena Making Workshops are truly unique and one of the top things to do in Thanjavur. The Veena is a classical musical instrument important to South Indian music. These workshops give you a chance to see how the Veena is made, from carving the wood to stringing the instrument.

In these workshops, skilled craftsmen teach you about the different parts of the Veena, including the large resonator, the bridge, and the tuning pegs. They show the careful attention to detail required to create the rich, melodious sound that the Veena is known for.

Participating in a Veena making workshop is one of the best things to do in Thanjavur, especially if you enjoy music or are curious about musical instruments. It’s also a great way to support local artisans and learn a skill that has been passed down through generations.

For anyone planning their activities for 2024, adding this to your list of things to do in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu offers a unique and enriching experience that connects you deeply with local traditions and crafts.

Things to Do at Veena Making Workshops

  • Learn the Craftsmanship – Understand the detailed process of crafting a Veena, from selecting the right wood to carving and assembling its various parts.
  • Hands-On Experience – Get involved in the making process under the guidance of expert craftsmen, allowing you to actively participate in creating parts of the Veena.
  • Appreciate Musical Heritage – Learn about the cultural significance of the Veena in South Indian music and how it has influenced local traditions.
  • Interact with Artisans – Engage with local craftsmen and artisans, learning about their skills and the challenges they face in preserving this ancient craft.
  • Create Your Own Miniature Veena – In some workshops, you might have the opportunity to make a small model of a Veena, which you can take home as a keepsake.

13. Exploring the Art of Silk Weaving: A Cultural Journey in Thanjavur


Silk Weaving Units are fascinating places to visit and are among the top things to do in Thanjavur. Thanjavur is known for its beautiful silk fabrics, which are used to make sarees and other garments. These units allow you to see how silk is transformed from threads into stunning pieces of fabric with vibrant colours and patterns.

When you visit a silk weaving unit, you can watch the weavers at their looms, carefully weaving the silk threads into intricate designs. The process involves great skill and patience, showing the dedication and craftsmanship of the weavers. You’ll learn about the different stages of silk weaving, from spinning the silk to dyeing it and then weaving it on traditional looms.

Exploring the silk weaving units is one of the best things to do in Thanjavur in 2024. It’s not just an opportunity to see how silk garments are made but also a chance to appreciate a traditional craft that has been part of Thanjavur’s culture for centuries. For anyone looking for meaningful and educational things to do in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, visiting these units is a must.

Things to Do at Silk Weaving Units in Thanjavur

  • Observe the Weaving Process – Watch skilled weavers as they intricately weave silk threads on traditional looms, creating beautiful patterns and designs.
  • Learn About Silk Production – Discover the entire process from silkworm cultivation to spinning, dyeing, and finally weaving the silk into fabric.
  • Try Your Hand at Weaving – Some units may offer visitors the chance to try weaving on a loom, providing a hands-on experience.
  • Understand Traditional Techniques – Gain insights into the traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations and how they contribute to the uniqueness of Thanjavur silk.
  • Purchase Authentic Silk Products – Take the opportunity to buy genuine silk products directly from the source, including sarees, scarves, and other silk accessories.

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14. Discover the Ancient Art of Bronze Casting: A Must-Do Experience in Thanjavur


Bronze Casting Workshops are one of the top things to do in Thanjavur and offer a unique glimpse into an ancient craft that has been part of this region for centuries. In these workshops, you can learn about the traditional process of creating bronze sculptures, which is known as the “Lost Wax” method.

The process begins with sculptors creating a detailed wax model of the statue they want to cast. This wax model is then covered in a clay mould. Once the clay hardens, it is heated so the wax melts away, leaving a hollow space. Molten bronze is poured into this space to form the sculpture. Finally, when the metal cools down and solidifies, the clay mould is broken to reveal the bronze statue.

Visiting a Bronze Casting Workshop is not just educational; it’s a fascinating way to connect with the artistic heritage of Thanjavur. It is highly recommended as one of the things to do in Thanjavur 2024, providing insight into the skill and artistry that goes into making bronze artefacts.

Things to Do at Bronze Casting Workshops in Thanjavur

  • Watch the Casting Process – Observe the intricate process of bronze casting from start to finish, understanding each step from wax modelling to the final bronze casting.
  • Learn from Master Craftsmen – Interact with experienced artisans who specialise in this ancient technique and have maintained the tradition for generations.
  • Participate in a Workshop – Some workshops may offer hands-on sessions where you can try creating a simple wax model or assist in some parts of the casting process.
  • Understand the Artistic Significance – Gain insights into how bronze casting has played a crucial role in the creation of religious and cultural artefacts throughout Indian history.
  • Purchase Handmade Artefacts – Many workshops sell finished pieces, allowing you to take home a piece of authentic Thanjavur craftsmanship.

15. Crafting Traditions: Explore Pottery Making in Thanjavur


Pottery classes in Thanjavur are a great way to dive into the local culture and learn a traditional skill. These classes are one of the fun things to do in Thanjavur and are suitable for everyone, from complete beginners to those with more experience.

When you join a pottery class, you’ll work with local artisans who have been practising this craft for many years. They’ll show you how to use a pottery wheel to shape the soft clay into pots, bowls, or other items. You’ll learn how to knead the clay, centre it on the wheel, and shape it with your hands while the wheel spins.

These classes not only teach you how to make pottery but also offer a relaxing experience as you feel the clay take shape under your fingers. It’s a creative and satisfying activity, making it a must-try among the things to do in Thanjavur 2024. You’ll leave with a unique handmade souvenir and a memorable experience of Thanjavur’s artistic tradition.

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Things to Do in Pottery Classes in Thanjavur

  • Learn Basic Techniques – Master the foundational skills of pottery, such as wedging, centering clay on the wheel, and shaping it into forms.
  • Create Your Own Pottery – Use the techniques you learn to craft your own pieces, such as pots, vases, or plates.
  • Experience the Kiln – Learn about the firing process, where your creations are hardened in a special oven called a kiln.
  • Decorate Your Pieces – After your pottery is fired, you can decorate it with paints or glazes to add a personal touch.

Interact with Local Artisans – Gain insights from skilled potters who share their experiences and tips, making the learning process even more enriching.

16. Celebrate Tradition with Thanjavur Dancing Dolls: A Vibrant Cultural Experience


Buying a traditional Thanjavur Thalaiyatti Bommai, also known as a dancing doll, is one of the charming things to do in Thanjavur. These dolls are a famous craft from this area and are known for their bright colours and the unique way they can move.

The Thanjavur dancing dolls are made using terracotta, a type of clay, which is then beautifully painted in vibrant colours. The most special feature of these dolls is their ability to sway or dance. This movement is created by a weighted base that is balanced so the doll can nod and sway with a gentle touch.

Visiting a local shop or craft market to pick out a dancing doll lets you see the variety of designs available. Each doll often represents different characters from local folklore and culture, making them not only a toy but also a piece of cultural art.

Choosing a dancing doll is not just a fun activity; it’s also a wonderful way to support local artisans and keep traditional crafts alive. Make sure to add this to your list of things to do in Thanjavur 2024.

Things To Do

  • Watch Artisans at Work – Observe local artisans as they skillfully craft these unique dancing dolls, learning about the materials and techniques used.
  • Choose Your Favourite Doll – Explore the variety of dolls available, each painted with bright colours and different designs, and select one that catches your eye.
  • Learn About Cultural Significance – Discover the stories and cultural meanings behind the different characters and styles of the dolls.
  • Participate in a Painting Workshop – Some places may offer workshops where you can paint and decorate your own Thanjavur doll.

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17. Discover Artistic Treasures: Gallery Hopping in Thanjavur


Gallery hopping in Thanjavur is a wonderful way to see and appreciate the local art that this city has to offer. It’s one of the things to do in Thanjavur that allows you to dive into the rich culture and history expressed through paintings, sculptures, and other artworks. As you visit various galleries, you’ll encounter both traditional and contemporary pieces, showcasing the artistic diversity of the region.

Each gallery in Thanjavur displays unique works by local artists, from famous Thanjavur paintings, known for their vibrant colours and intricate details, to modern art that tells stories of today’s Thanjavur. This activity not only supports local artists but also gives you a deeper understanding of the cultural fabric of the city.

Planning gallery hopping is a must-do for your 2024 itinerary, making it one of the enriching things to do in Thanjavur. It’s a perfect activity for art lovers and anyone interested in learning more about the local culture through its visual expressions.

Things to Do While Gallery Hopping in Thanjavur

  • Explore Varied Art Styles – Discover a range of art from traditional Thanjavur paintings to contemporary works, showcasing the rich artistic heritage and modern creativity of the region.
  • Meet Local Artists – Take the opportunity to meet with artists and curators, gaining insights into their creative processes and the stories behind their works.
  • Attend Art Demonstrations – Some galleries may offer live demonstrations, allowing you to see artists in action and understand the techniques they use.
  • Participate in Art Workshops – Engage in hands-on activities or workshops offered by some galleries, where you can try your hand at creating your own art piece.
  • Purchase Artwork – Support the local art community by purchasing a piece of art that resonates with you, which can serve as a unique souvenir of your visit.

Buy Local Items While Shopping In Markets

Experience the vibrant markets of Thanjavur, where local handicrafts, traditional silk sarees, and handloom products showcase the craftsmanship of the region. Browsing these bustling markets is a must-do for anyone looking to take a piece of Tamil Nadu’s culture home.

18. Discover Thanjavur’s Shopping: Crafts, Textiles, and Antiques


The Royal Palace Complex Craft Shops in Thanjavur are a must-visit for anyone looking to take home a piece of local craftsmanship. Located within the historic grounds of the Thanjavur Palace, these shops offer a variety of authentic Thanjavur paintings and crafts that are perfect for gifts or souvenirs.

Thanjavur paintings are famous for their vibrant colours and unique use of gold foil, making them true masterpieces of Indian art. In addition to these paintings, the craft shops also sell beautifully crafted statues, traditional jewellery, and handmade silk items that showcase the skill and creativity of local artisans.

Shopping at the Royal Palace Complex Craft Shops is one of the best things to do in Thanjavur. It not only supports the local economy but also helps preserve the traditional arts and crafts of the region. Make sure to include a visit here in your things to do in Thanjavur in 2024 list for a genuine and enriching shopping experience.

Things to Buy at the Royal Palace Complex Craft Shops in Thanjavur

  • Thanjavur Paintings – Purchase these iconic, vibrantly colored paintings embellished with gold foil, known for their depth and elegance.
  • Handmade Silk Products – Look for beautifully woven silk sarees, scarves, and other garments showcasing traditional designs.
  • Bronze Sculptures – Buy intricately crafted bronze statues, which reflect the ancient tradition of metalwork in Thanjavur.
  • Musical Instruments – Pick up finely made traditional instruments like the Veena, which is a symbol of the rich musical heritage of the region.

19. Unique Souvenirs and Crafts: What to Buy in Thanjavur


Visiting local markets is one of the most exciting things to do in Thanjavur. These markets are lively places where you can feel the real heartbeat of the city. As you walk through the bustling lanes, you’ll find vendors selling a wide range of goods from fresh spices and colourful silks to handmade souvenirs that capture the essence of this historic city.

The spice markets offer a variety of fragrant spices that are a key part of Tamil cuisine. Here, you can buy fresh, quality spices like turmeric, cardamom, and black pepper. The silk stalls feature beautiful silk sarees and other silk garments, showcasing the rich weaving traditions of Thanjavur.

Shopping in these markets not only gives you a chance to buy unique items but also supports local vendors and artisans. It’s a must-do activity for your 2024 visit, allowing you to immerse yourself in local culture and take a piece of Thanjavur home with you. Exploring the local markets remains one of the top things to do in Thanjavur in 2024.

Things to Buy in Thanjavur

  • Spices – Purchase fresh and aromatic spices like turmeric, saffron, and coriander that are staples in Indian cooking.
  • Silk Products – Explore the vibrant collection of silk sarees, scarves, and other garments, known for their quality and craftsmanship.
  • Thanjavur Paintings – Unique to the region, these detailed, gold-leaf paintings are a true representation of local artistry.

Handicrafts – Look for beautifully crafted wood and bronze items that reflect the traditional skills of local artisans.

20. Discover the Elegance of Thanjavur Handloom Sarees: A Shopper’s Guide


Purchasing handloom sarees is one of the wonderful things to do in Thanjavur. These sarees are made using a traditional hand-operated loom and are famous for their quality and beauty. Each saree is a work of art, showcasing intricate designs that are often inspired by local culture and nature.

Handloom sarees from Thanjavur are made from silk or cotton, and they stand out due to their vibrant colours and patterns. The process of making these sarees involves great skill and patience, which is passed down from generation to generation among weavers.

When you buy a handloom saree, you are not just getting a piece of clothing, but a piece of Tamil Nadu’s heritage. This makes it a meaningful souvenir to take back from your visit. Exploring the local markets to find these sarees is definitely one of the best things to do in Thanjavur in 2024. You’ll not only be buying a beautiful garment but also supporting the traditional skills and livelihoods of local artisans.

Things to Buy in Thanjavur: Focus on Handloom Sarees

  • Silk Sarees – Look for pure silk handloom sarees known for their lustre and fine craftsmanship. These are perfect for special occasions and festivals.
  • Cotton Sarees – Opt for cotton sarees which are ideal for daily wear due to their comfort and breathability. They come in various colours and patterns.
  • Kanchipuram Sarees – Consider the rich and intricately woven Kanchipuram sarees, a specialty of Tamil Nadu, known for their durability and traditional designs.
  • Chettinad Sarees – Explore Chettinad sarees, known for their bold and bright designs and excellent quality of cotton.
  • Designer Handloom Sarees – For something more contemporary, look for designer handloom sarees that blend traditional weaving techniques with modern aesthetics.

Educational Experiences in Thanjavur

Enhance your understanding of Tamil culture and history with educational experiences offered in Thanjavur. From visiting Tamil University to exploring agricultural tours, each activity provides deeper insights into the local lifestyle and traditions.

21. Explore Tamil Culture and History at Tamil University in Thanjavur


Tamil University in Thanjavur is a special place where you can learn a lot about Tamil culture and history, making it one of the best things to do in Thanjavur for anyone interested in education and heritage. This university is dedicated to the growth and preservation of the Tamil language, literature, and culture.

At Tamil University, you can explore various departments that focus on topics such as Tamil literature, history, music, and arts. The campus is home to a rich library with a vast collection of books and manuscripts that provide deep insights into Tamil Nadu’s rich traditions and past.

Visiting Tamil University offers a unique opportunity to see academic activities centred around Tamil studies and to interact with students and scholars who are passionate about their culture. Whether you’re interested in traditional Tamil music, ancient literature, or the history of this vibrant region, Tamil University provides a comprehensive and enlightening experience, ranking it among the top educational and cultural activities in Thanjavur.

Things to Learn at Tamil University in Thanjavur

  • Tamil Language – Gain insights into the structure, history, and nuances of the Tamil language through specialised courses.
  • Classical Literature – Explore the rich corpus of Tamil literature, spanning ancient texts to contemporary works.
  • Tamil History – Delve into the historical journey of Tamil Nadu, learning about its dynasties, cultural evolution, and significant historical events.
  • Traditional Music and Dance – Study the traditional forms of Tamil music and classical dance styles such as Bharatanatyam.
  • Archaeology – Engage with the archaeological studies department to understand the methodologies and discoveries related to Tamil heritage.

22. Discover Farming Traditions: Agricultural Tours in Thanjavur


Agricultural tours in Thanjavur are an excellent way to learn about local farming techniques and the variety of crops grown in the region. Thanjavur, often called the “Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu,” is famous for its fertile lands and the extensive rice fields that stretch across the countryside. These tours provide a hands-on experience where you can see how farmers plant, care for, and harvest their crops using both traditional methods and modern technology.

During these tours, you can walk through the lush green paddy fields, interact with local farmers, and understand the importance of agriculture in the local economy. You’ll learn about different stages of rice cultivation, as well as other crops like sugarcane, pulses, and coconut that are also commonly grown in the area.

Participating in an agricultural tour is not only educational but also provides a closer look at the rural lifestyle of Thanjavur. It’s one of the things to do in Thanjavur that allows visitors to connect with the land and its people, gaining insight into the region’s agricultural practices and traditions.

Things to Learn on Agricultural Tours in Thanjavur

  • Rice Cultivation Techniques – Discover how rice is planted, tended, and harvested in one of India’s most fertile regions.
  • Crop Rotation Practices – Learn about the methods used to maintain soil health and maximise yield through the rotation of different crops.
  • Traditional vs. Modern Farming – Understand the balance between traditional farming techniques and modern agricultural practices.
  • Water Management – Explore how water is managed in the fields, including traditional irrigation systems like the canal networks derived from the Kaveri River.
  • Organic Farming – Gain insights into organic farming practices that are being adopted to promote sustainable agriculture.
  • Local Crop Varieties – Identify various local crops grown in the area besides rice, such as sugarcane, bananas, and coconuts.


In conclusion, Thanjavur offers a rich blend of cultural, historical, and artistic experiences that make it a must-visit destination in 2024. From the majestic temples to the vibrant arts and crafts workshops, every corner of this city tells a story steeped in tradition. Whether you are exploring ancient architecture, indulging in local crafts, or participating in colourful festivals, the things to do in Thanjavur in 2024 promise a deeply enriching and memorable journey.

 So, plan your visit and immerse yourself in the unique charm and heritage of Thanjavur.

What unique experiences does Thanjavur offer?

Thanjavur is known for its rich culture and history. Unique experiences include exploring the grand temples like Brihadeeswarar, participating in traditional arts and crafts workshops like Thanjavur painting and bronze casting, and immersing oneself in the vibrant local festivals.

What are the top attractions to visit in Thanjavur?

Top attractions in Thanjavur include the Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur Royal Palace, and the Airavatesvara Temple. The city is also famous for its art galleries and Saraswathi Mahal Library.

What is the famous thing in Thanjavur?

Thanjavur is most famous for its magnificent temples, especially the Brihadeeswarar Temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Thanjavur paintings, a classical South Indian painting style, are also renowned worldwide.

How do I spend a day in Thanjavur?

Start with a visit to the Brihadeeswarar Temple in the morning, followed by a tour of the Thanjavur Royal Palace and its art gallery. Enjoy a traditional Tamil lunch, then spend the afternoon exploring local craft shops or participating in a workshop. End your day with a relaxing walk by the Kaveri River or through one of the city’s peaceful parks.

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