This ancient city of Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, enjoys the distinction of having been the capital of Cholas. The Cholas were one of the greatest dynasties of the south India, spreading their Hindu influence beyond Indian shores as far as Myanmar and Malaysia. Though the history of Thanjavur dates back to the ancient Sangam age, it was between the 10th and 14th centuries that the city reached its zenith, becoming the centre of Tamil learning and culture. The Cholas were great temple builders and Thanjavur bears witness to this, being dotted with no fewer than 74 temples — the most famous of which is the Brihadishwara temple.

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