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Tanjavore : Land of Art and Architecture

Once upon a time some one told me , that he had a crappy mobile camera and was not able to take good pictures. Maybe you are thinking why am I saying that here in this post.

I travelled to Tanjore / Thanjavur 3 years ago and I didn’t have the so-called professional camera or DSLR with me at that time. All I had was a 3.2 MP mobile camera;  ‘Samsung Wave’. It is my favourite camera till today. I really miss the hassle free, quick clicking, I miss the ‘risky’ shots I used to take from trains and buses 😉 That phone had a dedicated button for camera function. Everything was pretty easy and quick.

So here I am sharing my early travel memories and travel pictures taken using a 3.2MP mobile camera and trying to prove a point that it is not necessary to have a great camera to create a good picture.


This place is the land of breath-taking art and even more breath-taking architecture. The most popular destination within Tanjore is the Brihadeeswarar Temple. It is one of the largest temples in India.  As a recognition to the  stunning Chola architecture, UNESCO has declared this place as World Heritage Site . So Brihadeeswarar Temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”.

tanjore, thanjavur, photography, architecture
First glimpse of Tanjore Architecture
Second Glimpse of Thanjavur ;)
Second Glimpse of Thanjavur 😉

As I reached very early in the morning, there wasn’t so many people. There are many advantages of reaching early at any popular  tourist destinations. Fewer people, Neat pictures, golden light of golden hours, good photographs, more peaceful atmosphere. These are some of the advantages to mention.

Lets go inside and get some better pictures.

Welcome to Thanjavur
Welcome to Thanjavur
The land of breath taking architecture
The land of breath taking architecture
And intricate designs..
And intricate designs..
..carved on Granite
..carved on Granite

Now you have some idea why it is one of the World heritage sites.  This temple was built in 1010 AD by Raja raja Chola, the Chola king of that time.

What makes it such an architectural marvel?

The vimanam (or temple tower) is 216 ft (66 m) high and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The Kumbam (Kalasha or Chikharam, the apex or the bulbous structure on the top) of the temple is carved out of a single rock and it weighs around 80 tons”

Sunlight kissed Thanjavur temple
Sunlight kissed Thanjavur temple

The temple is said to be made up of about 60,000 tons of sandstone and granite.

Another view
You can see how detailed the designs are!

The Kumbam itself, a 60 ton granite stone carved in one piece, on top of the main gopuram is believed to have been taken to the top by creating an inclined slope to the height of 66m to the top of the gopuram. Elephants might have been used to drag the stone up the slope.

You can see the pillars from this picture. One pillar is one piece of  granite block! Also you can see the shadows .There is something peculiar about this temple regarding shadows.

“Another widely held belief is that the shadow of the gopuram (pyramidal tower usually over the gateway of a temple) never falls on the ground. This is only part of the gopuram, which does not cast a shadow that fall on the ground, at least not within the temple premises which is an architectural amazement in the world of architecture.”



The prime deity of the Brihadeeswarar Temple is Shiva.

Also  there is a big statue of Nandi (sacred bull), carved out of a single rock, at the entrance measuring about 16 feet long and 13 feet high.

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Breath taking architecture, peaceful atmosphere and a different tone and ambience due to the granite structure. That is what Tanjore for me. Lets see some more random pictures from Tanjore.

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This place is well maintained. It looked nice and clean. The landscaping and beautification were going on when I visited the place. Anyway it looked great.

Beautiful Thanjavur
Beautiful Thanjavur

Thankfully it was a bright sunny day and it made the entire place more beautiful.

Standing tall
Standing tall

And before leaving we saw ‘the blessing elephant’

This elephant will bless you, if you pay the man standing next to it ;)
This elephant will bless you, if you pay the man standing next to it 😉

Before leaving, one last shot of this architectural marvel

Thanjavur : The architectural Marvel
Thanjavur : The architectural Marvel

Some more posts from this same travel series coming next. Hope you will like the Phonography.

All the quotes are from Wikipedia.

All pictures are taken by Trablogger using his  Mobile camera 😉 Please contact for approval, if you would like to use them for any purpose


Photographing the journeys to recreate the Travels to take you for a virtual Photo walk.

121 thoughts on “Tanjavore : Land of Art and Architecture

  1. WOW! I am having a lovely time browsing through your travelogues from South India.

    I used to listen in awe tales from the truck drivers, who carried our business products to Thanjavur. I must set out for a long road trip one of these days 🙂

  2. Am glad indeed that i can make you happy 🙂
    Definitely you have a way too in sending smiles back to me and at this moment, being inspiring me in capturing some maiden-shots too 🙂
    Thanks for being so nice Captain <3

  3. Can I say I liked it? I loved it completely. Waah!! How you bring out the hidden beauty? Its amazing and so perfect and that too using just your “mobile-phone”. Brilliant effort and indeed a perfect one. Am falling for your eyes i guess 😛
    Your inspiration has sparked me to try some on my way too 🙂
    Best wishes ahead Captain, wish you all the luck and happiness 🙂 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for being so generous 🙂 You have a way with the words and to make others happy. Thank you for doing that.
      I would be super glad if I could inspire someone to take more pictures because of me.
      And thanks again for the wishes 🙂

          1. All the sincere gifts as words, time etc are appreciated. But you do have the luxury of gifting words hiding behind a name, that isn’t really well appreciated!

  4. How the sunshine shined through, the shadow and the sophisticated details of the temple were totally well captured by you talented photographer! <3 Its beauty gave me a breathless feeling…can hardly believe how beautiful it was 🙂

  5. It’s a miracle to see the entire temple and nearby buildings are standing intact after 1000 years !!! It gives the feeling of elegance,strength,faith and tranquility 😀 I loved the photo tour,feels like walking around and about 😀

    1. Indeed it is a miracle. The construction, and the art work on the rocks itself is a miracle.
      Well this photo tour is for you 😉 This is shot entirely on phone camera, before my dslr times 😉

      1. Yes, but you know what sometimes I doubt if the initial camera phones were actually good even in 2MP,not like he one these days 🙁
        I must say, the photos are fabulous 😀

          1. yes I think so. NOKIA N series had a great camera. But I never had them.
            And I still have that phone, still working in condition!

    1. Thank you Madhu 🙂 Go really early whenever you are visiting. The golden hours makes it even more beautiful and of course less people at that time. 🙂

  6. Wow! So many beautiful pictures and what an amazing architecture! I cant believe you took the photos with an phone camera. You are good!

    Love the comment to the picture with the elephant! It will bless you if you pay the man next to it! Hahaha. Once in Hong Kong a monk was going to bless me if I gave him 20 USD. Hahaha… They know how to earn money…

  7. Lovely photographs…how did you manage it with 3.2 MP ?
    Do you read the background of every place before visiting or from someone during the travel…I’m feeling to do the same seeing the knowledge one can get during the travels..

    1. That was a great camera. I am going to post some more pictures from that camera soon.
      Well this is one thing I want to do as a post. One wrong thing you can do while visiting a place is going without knowing the place at all! Well I do that mistake anyway 😉
      So I come back and read. Then I will realise how much I have missed out. So its always good to research before you travel.

      1. 🙂 Now I am tempted to visit this was a good read and pics to..all of them are thumbs up.. 😀
        I’m going to try this from the next time and see how it changes my outlook..

    1. Thanks doc. thank you very much. Well yes, its is basically your observation, what you find interesting. But at times better equipment does help in a better expression. But mainly its all about the one behind the equipment. Glad you agreed 🙂

  8. Curious if it was an older “Smart Phone” you used? Still not adept at all that technology…lol!! Actually I do have a camera on my old LG, not sure of the M.P. but it is less than your mobile phone camera. Don’t know how to use that either1 lol 🙂
    But Trablogger, the photos were really great, and what a fascinating narrative. Still can’t get over how massive this temple is in weight, and to build something that tall in 1010 AD is incredible.
    Thank you so much for sharing this!! 🙂

    1. Thanks Carl, Thank you very much for reading and for all your kind words and continued encouragement. Well it was a bit of smart phone, but not the android phone. It makes it less smart 😉
      Yep, its an amazing construction. We somehow lost our ancient wisdom!

    1. Thank you Julia. Thanks for reading. And glad to know that you are also agreeing to the fact that its all about what we see, not the equipment. 🙂

  9. OMG! I used to travel for a long time with a 3.2 MP mobile camera too, but it was a Nokia. I also agree we can take nice pictures with a mobile camera, all depends our eyes and creativity!
    Nice blog, congrats! 🙂

    1. Cool! Well Nokia camera’s are great. I have seen really super pictures taken using Nokia cameras. Glad that you are agreeing to the point of view. Yes, its all about how we find out a photograph! Thank you for taking time to leave a comment.
      Btw is your blog private?

  10. Amazing photos. It’s been great to know new places in India through your eyes. This temple is incredibly beautiful. And I agree with you that we can make great photos with a mobile camera. It’s the eye of the photographer who sees and captures beauty.

    1. Thank you very much for your continued support and kind words. 🙂
      Do visit India sometime 🙂
      Glad to know that you are agreeing with my point of view. But I wish I had a better camera with me that time. I was drooling over the bigger cameras people were carrying at that time 😀

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