Sunday, 10 July 2011

Puducherry/Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu

Puducherry/Pondicherry is a Union Territory of India. It is a former French colony, consisting of four non-contiguous enclaves, or districts, and named for the largest, Pondicherry.

In September 2006, the territory changed its official name from Pondicherry to the vernacular original, Puducherry, which means "New village" in the Tamil language. The territory is called "Pondichéry" in French. It is also known as The French Riviera of the East.

The History of Puducherry can be traced back to the 2nd century. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, of the early 2nd century, mentions a marketplace named Poduke (ch. 60), which G.W.B. Huntingford identified as possibly being Arikamedu (now part of Ariyankuppam), about 2 miles from the modern Pondicherry. Huntingford further notes that Roman pottery was found at Arikamedu in 1937, and archeological excavations between 1944 and 1949 showed that it was "a trading station to which goods of Roman manufacture were imported during the first half of the 1st century AD".
Places to See:

Anglo-French textile mills 

Aurobindo Ashram 


Bharathi Park 

Botanical Garden 

Chunnambar boat house 

Manakula Vinayagar Temple 


Pondicherry Serenity Beach 

Romain Rolland Library


Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is a municipality and the headquarters of the Thanjavur district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The name Thanjavur is derived from "Tanjan", a legendary asura in Hindu mythology. Thanjavur is one of the ancient cities in India and has a long and varied history dating back to the Sangam period. The town was founded by Mutharayar king Swaran Maran and rose to prominence during the rule of the Later Cholas when it served as the capital of the Chola empire. After the fall of the Cholas, the city was ruled by various dynasties like Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks,Thanjavur Nayaks, Thanjavur Marathas and British. It has been a part of independent India since 1947.

Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian art and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples which are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among the Great Living Chola temples, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the center of the city. Thanjavur is also the home of the Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region.

Places to See:

Sri Bragadeeswarar Temple

Built by the great Chola King, Rajaraja.1 in the 10th century AD is an outstanding example of Chola architecture.

The Palace

The Palace near the temple is a vast building of masonry built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas.

Art Gallery

In the Palace there are a number of granite and bronze statues of the Chola period. Timings 9 am to 1 pm, to 6 pm.

Saraswathi Mahal Library

In another section of the palace is a library where over 30,000 palm leaves and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages are preserved Timings 10 am to 1 pmand 1.30pm to 5.30pm.

Hall of Music

Also in the Palace is the acoustically perfect ancient music hall.

Royal Museum

Located in the palace complex, this museum has mixed collections like manuscripts, weapon dresses, Utensils, Musical instruments used by the Royal Family of Thanjavur.

Schwartz Church

Built in 1779 AD by Rajah Serfoji in token of his affection for the Rev. C.V.Schwartz of the Danish Mission.

Sivaganga Tank

Near the Palace is this tank known for its sweet water.

Rajagopala Beerangi

A very big Beerangi is there in Thanjavur East Kothalam (ramport)of the Fort. The place is called 'Beerangi Medu'. It has been remarked as "Dasmedu". Once upon a time that place was used as a Bell announcement stage.

Sharja Madi

It is located in the Palace complex. It is opened for Tourists. One can have panaromic view of Thanjavur city. The wooden Sculptures are inside the Sharja Madi.

Rajarajan Mani Mandapam

During the 8th World Tamil Conference this is Mandapam was built. It is having a small garden with Children's-play materials.

Rajarajan Museum

Raja Rajan Museum is functioning for the benefit of the Tourists. Located in the Main mandapam ground floor, it is under the control of the State Archaeological Department.

Tholkappiyar Sadukkam

During the 8th World Tamil Conference, this Sadukkam(Square) was built. One can have a panaromic view of Thanjavur Town from the Tower.

Mariamman Temple (Punnai Nallur)

This Temple located 6 kms. away from Thanjavur is dedicated to Goddess Mariamman. It is one of the local temples in Thanjavur which attracts Domestic Tourists.

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