Thanjavur Royal Palace and Art Gallery

Thanjavur Royal Palace and Art Gallery

Thanjavur Royal Palace and Art Gallery
3.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The former palace is a massive neglected compound with towers and courtyards. The Art Gallery houses an impressive collection of bronze and stone statues.
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  • AZCasualTraveler
    Mesa, Arizona2,438 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Royal Palace and Art Gallery combined
    The Thanjavur Royal Palace and Art Gallery is a must see place while traveling through Thanjavur India. This is where you can visit a "Royal Palace" that is beautiful to look at its architecture, and you can also visit the attached Art Gallery to see historic art and statues that once occupied the Royal Palace. The Thanjavur.info web-site has interesting, detailed information about the Royal Palace Museum. Here is an excerpt from the web-site with factual details about the Museum: "Thanjavur Art Gallery, located in the Thanjavur Palace has an exquisite collection of ancient sculptures and coins. It is officially called the “Raja Raja Chola Art Gallery” and locally known as “Thanjavur Kalaikoodam”. These bronze sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses range from 9th century A.D to 19th century A.D. Some very unique deities and saints can be seen. Early Indian lifestyle, their clothing, ornaments and even hairdo are carved in these statues. Another interesting feature is the collection of old coins. Coins from as early as 300 B.C are exhibited here, which is quite astonishing. Artifacts are placed in a hall which used to be the Kings’ royal court (Durbar Hall)." The Royal Palace/Art Gallery is definitely a place to visit while in Thanjavur.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 16, 2023
  • Shonil_B
    Pune, India367 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Average Place -No proper taken care by Authorities
    The Thanjavur Fort Complex is a big complex housing many attractions. The complex has a car parking available and has an entrance fee. here you can see the art gallery museum / library museum which is good but nothing great. the time spent here could be approximately 25 to 30 minutes. there is a audio video show of 30 minutes in the library which is in Tamil with English subtitles. this show gives a clarity of what to see in Tanjavur district in general. There is a maratha palace which is not maintained in a great shape but you can visit it to see the paintings on the walls and the throne. On the way to this palace on the left side there is another museum which has a separate entry ticket. the way to this museum is slightly spooky. There is one more palace museum which is again an average to see. Surprisingly, you will find people coming in the museum and writing on the walls and the officials do not take any action against them. I personally caught a guy writing on the wall and took him to the officials but the officials just warned him casually and let him go. There is one historic tower inside the premises but that tower in no way looks like a historic tower and looks like built few years back. The total time spent year could be approximately one hour 30 minutes. The premises has toilets (average clean) which are available near parking. Drinking water needs to be carried on your own. No Cloak Room. Souvenir shop available. In case you found my review helpful, kindly click on the helpful button and follow me for more reviews of attractions all over India
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written January 4, 2024
  • Kavitha Preetha
    Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), India80 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good museum but palace is poorly maintained,
    The museum is good with a great collection of artifacts from many centuries ago but the maratha palace is very poorly maintained. The pillars are scribbled on by visitors and the floors were dirty from the maintenance work going on. The whole place disappointed me due to poor maintenance.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 29, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Sarath Babu S
Chennai (Madras), India1,013 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Friends
One of the must visit place, if you’re visiting Thanjavur. Palace is an historic place which has countless artefacts and statues which are a sight to behold.

Let me tell you that this place cannot be covered in a single day, if you’re planning to visit all of them. This place houses few museums. One of them is controlled by the Govt of Tamilnadu & otter museums by the Royal Family.

There is a huge library as well.

You will be amazed by the magnitude of the construction and the way each and every portion is designed.

It is better to check the opening hours before you could make the visit. This place is in the centre of the city & is surrounded by various establishments. It has ample parking facility too.

I was amazed to see the beauty of Statues apart from the artefacts, old coins to name a few. Highly recommended.
Written January 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kiran N
Kochi (Cochin), India9 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Tanjore is a great place to visit and one of the main attraction here is the Tanjore Palace. The palace is built by the Marathas and it is a blend of both the Maratha and Tamil cultures. The main issue is the maintenance of the palace. The other thing is I visited the Brihadeeshwarar temple in the morning and expected a lot out of the Palace. I am not comparing both, but palace could have been improved more. The audio/visual show is worth it and you can learn more about Tanjore, its rich history and culture. There are two species that destroy the monuments in India. One by other rulers of other dynasties and the second is one who scribbles on the walls of these monuments. You can see a lot of scribbles
Written April 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AZCasualTraveler
Mesa, AZ2,438 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
The Thanjavur Royal Palace and Art Gallery is a must see place while traveling through Thanjavur India. This is where you can visit a "Royal Palace" that is beautiful to look at its architecture, and you can also visit the attached Art Gallery to see historic art and statues that once occupied the Royal Palace.

The Thanjavur.info web-site has interesting, detailed information about the Royal Palace Museum. Here is an excerpt from the web-site with factual details about the Museum: "Thanjavur Art Gallery, located in the Thanjavur Palace has an exquisite collection of ancient sculptures and coins. It is officially called the “Raja Raja Chola Art Gallery” and locally known as “Thanjavur Kalaikoodam”. These bronze sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses range from 9th century A.D to 19th century A.D. Some very unique deities and saints can be seen. Early Indian lifestyle, their clothing, ornaments and even hairdo are carved in these statues. Another interesting feature is the collection of old coins. Coins from as early as 300 B.C are exhibited here, which is quite astonishing. Artifacts are placed in a hall which used to be the Kings’ royal court (Durbar Hall)."

The Royal Palace/Art Gallery is definitely a place to visit while in Thanjavur.
Written September 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kavitha Preetha
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), India80 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
The museum is good with a great collection of artifacts from many centuries ago but the maratha palace is very poorly maintained. The pillars are scribbled on by visitors and the floors were dirty from the maintenance work going on. The whole place disappointed me due to poor maintenance.
Written January 29, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hari
Bengaluru, India1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Couples
Very very badly maintained. Everything is just falling apart. Spending too much time here may make you sick because of the bats, rats and other rodent refuse. Be careful.

It could be a great place. If completely redone
Written November 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BharathiMani
Bengaluru, India4,452 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Couples
This place makes me sad as the Darbar hall is gorgeous and is barely maintained. The ticket office closes for lunch @ 12:30 pm for an hour even on weekends.
There is no effort to maintain this place.
If you are in this area do visit.
Written December 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

njan45
Kochi (Cochin), India598 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
This monument is in pretty bad shape. There is vandalism going on without any control. It is a shame on Tamil Nadu Government. There are a large number of exhibits without any protection from vandals. We couldn't see the art gallery as it was closed for lunch by the time we finished the palace.
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ace A
Washington DC, DC36 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Solo
It is with a truly heavy heart that a single point rating has been ascribed to my experience at the Thanjavur Royal Palace; and it is to no contempt of the monument, its contents, or its place in history. On the contrary, it encapsulates an intense feeling of despairing resentment towards individuals and bodies responsible for its preservation. Such has been their abject neglect that there remains precious little to conserve of what once was surely a modestly sized yet elegant palace complex of the Maratha regents for close to 200 years.

You know something is amiss when the entrance arch, facing an arterial thoroughfare, is wantonly plastered with posters of movie stars, political outfits, and snake-oil remedies. It only gets bleaker as one drives in to reach the parking area within the inner gate. The wretchedness seen all around slaps you hard, especially so after one has visited the three ASI-managed Great Living Chola Temples. You can almost hear the walls wailing at the dishonor of being witnessed in such a state of dereliction.

The Durbar Hall is to be avoided by the true art cognoscente for fear of haunting agony they will carry for long if not forever. Exquisite specimens of Dravidian-influenced Maratha fine and structural arts in the form of frescoes, friezes, pilasters, and ornate columns are mostly lost. An open hall of stout pillars and beautiful cusped arches currently houses few stone sculptures dating back to the very early years of the first millennia. Crudely cemented on a plinth, these remarkable sculptures are national treasures crying to be housed in a museum of suitable standing. Instead they stand mute spectators to a trickle of unappreciative, accidental visitors from the rural heartland or college students playing truant.

One wonders if it is wilful neglect aimed at passive destruction of non-aboriginal (read Dravidian) history. Another classic example being the fired-brick port just outside of Fort Dansborg in Tranquebar, the remaining fragments of which will be claimed from posterity by the sea in few years.

On visits to natural and man-made wonders of history, one is expected to capture and take along a piece of its soul. Here, at the Thanjavur Royal Complex, I want to leave the piece just there fearing it to be the one that brings it all crumbling down.
Written August 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dilip S
Vadodara, India1,111 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Couples
After entering the palace , we first visited Rajraja Museum and Art Gallery established in 1951 at Nayaka Darbar displayinf impressive collection of bronze and stone idols made from 7th to 20th centuries .

The birth of the Art Gallery was by accident. When an archaeologist from Calcutta spotted a neglected idol by the riverside and wished to take it back to Calcutta Museum, locals demanded that it should stay within the district. The idol was brought and placed in the empty corridor of the palace building. The Collector decreed that all such derelict sculptures should be stored here and thus, the Art Gallery came into existence in 1951.
The high domed hall at the entrance called Pooja Mahal showcased stone sculptures, notably a Muruga idol from Sirkazhi and 12C sculptures from Darasuram Gajasamhara Siva and Bhikshatanar. On the western side of the quadrangle was Rama Chowdham, the private audience hall of the Nayaks. Built in 1600, its massive pillars are capped with stucco figures and a white statue of Maharaja Serfoji with folded arms greets every visitor.

The upper walls were so richly decorated with black and white floral designs, imperial crests, lions and angels; one might miss the exquisite Chola bronzes.

It was very rare depiction of Lord Shiva as a demon. In this form, he had eight shoulders (enthol) and he had opened his third eye (Mukkan) with two sharp teeth coming out of his mouth. He was shown without any clothes, except 2 serpents around his waist. It was said that this is the only statue ever found with a diabolical representation of Shiva.

Kalyansundarmuti of Shiv wedding Parvati was a beautiful example of Chola art . It shows Shiv standing regal and tall , tenderly holding his bashful bride Parvati’s hand witnessed by Vishnu , Parvati’s brother .

Another sculpture - the Bhikshatanamoorthi - was of Shiva in a different mood. Bhikshu means 'mendicant' .in this sculpture Shiva was shown standing wearing little else but wooden sandals, jewellery and a snake wrapped around his waist. Beside him was a dancing deer, which stood on its hind legs to reach up to Shiva's outstretched arm. In the other hand Shiva carried a skull which was the cause of his predicament. Brahma, the old god of creation, was said to have lusted after his own daughter. In anger, Shiva struck him, cutting off one of his five heads, and this skull of Brahma's head got attached to Shiva's palm, like a begging bowl. Shiva became a mendicant, going from place to place, like Lady Macbeth trying to get rid of the stain of murder, it is only when he bathed in the Ganga at Banaras that he was absolved of the 'sin' of murdering a Brahmin and a God. In this sculpture, Shiva's face was austere and serious, and his hair were wild and filled with symbols of his power - the crescent moon, the skull, the dhatura flower and the snake.

Rishabhavahana Devar or Lord Shiva as a peasant with Parvati, Subramanya holding bow and arrow, several Natarajas were other outstanding bronzes .

A statue in the art gallery showed the hairdo of a common Tamil man during Raja Raja Chola's time. He had long hair with beautiful curls at the end. At the top it looks like he was wearing a turban, but it was how he had styled his hair - like a modern day Rastafarian.

The art gallery also had some interesting coins .

Pudukottai Amman Coins are examples of brilliant political and theological propaganda, which saved King Martanda Bhairava Tondaiman's throne. In 1889, King Thondaiman was barely 14 years old and faced a rebellion from his close relatives. Fearing a Coup d'état, his minister Seshayya Sastri came up with an ingenious idea to save the kingdom. According to the plan, Tondaiman announced that the princely state of Pudukottai would be ruled by Goddess Brahadambal.
Tondaiman would only act as her "humble servant" and implement her plans. Furthermore, anybody acting against Goddess Brahadambal's rule would not only be facing charges of rebellion, but also blasphemy. These copper coins were issued in 1889 and distributed all around the state, to spread the message. Needless to say, the trick worked and his enemies were too afraid to overthrow him fearing public backlash.

Timings : 0900 – 1300 and 1500 - 1800
Written April 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PNRao
Cedar Falls, IA1,253 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Family
Though there are many attractions in this temple complex, I will talk about the Maratha Durbar Hall. It looks very simple from outside, but inside you can see many excellent sculptures and paintings representing Hindu mythology. This quality of the paintings in the Durbar Hall some of which are probably 300 to 400 year old, are still in good shape. Must visit location in the Palace complex.
Written April 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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