On your trip to South India make sure you visit the Tamil University of Tanjavur whose buildings are shaped in the form of Tamil letters that together form the word “Tamil Nadu”. This university was established in 1992 for research and advanced study of the Tamil language and is the only center for Tamil research across the world.
Tamil University - Tanjore
The language Tamil has roots that date back to many thousands of years ago and the earliest attested use of the language is found in Tholkappiyam which goes back to the 1st century BC. The credit for developing and establishing the Tamil literary works goes to the Pandya kings for organizing Tamil Sangams. Some sources suggests that the etymology of Tamil comes from ‘Tam-mil’ meaning “Self –speech”.
Tanjore got its name from the demon ‘Tanjan’ who wished that the city be named after him after being killed in the city by Lord Neelamegha Perumal, one form of lord Vishnu.
As you roam the streets of the city you will notice that the pavements are lined with the colorful Tanjavur Thalaiyatti bommai, a doll made of terracotta and whose head when pushed keeps dancing for a long time. These dolls are handmade and are one of the regional specialties. You can get them as souvenirs for your dear ones back home.
You would certainly be awed by the majestic Brihadisvara temple which was built by king Raja Raja Chola I about a thousand years ago. This temple is also a world heritage site and if you are a history buff or interested in ancient architecture and culture then this temple is your heaven.
Plan a visit to Tanjavur to experience its culture, lifestyle and the ancient heritages because this is one place you wouldn’t want to miss.