The history of Thanjavur finds its evidences from the 9th to 12th century, when city was dominated by the Chola kingdom. Earlier known as ‘Tanjapuri’, it made considerable development in the fields of literature, art and architecture. Several wonderful temples and monuments were constructed by the Chola kings that still showcase the architectural legacy of the ancient city. Among many successful kings, Rajaraja I was one of the most brilliant ruler who erected the famous Rajarajeshwara Temple.


During the late 13th century, the Chola dynasty came to an extinct with the supremacy of the Pandyas but this reign was short lived as Ala-ud-din Khilji, the famous Muslim king accessed the rule of the city of Thanjavur. In the 14th century, the rulers of Vijaynagar took the reign of the city and the Nayak dynasty was established in Thanjavur. Later in the 17th century, the Marathas took hold of the ancient city for a short span of time. Finally the British captured the city in 1773 and annexed the fort of Thanjavur in 1841. It remained in the hands of the British till 1947 and after the Independence of India; Thanjavur established itself as an important city of Tamilnadu.

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