My trip to Tanjore-Part 3
This is the sequel to my visit to Thanjavur Palace.
Inside the Tanjore palace apart from the main Art Museum, you can see a few other places of interest. There is Saraswathi Mahal Library, Serfoji’s Memorial Hall Museum, Mahratta Dharbar Hall & Royal Museum. Each of these is maintained by different parties – ASI / Tamil Nadu Government, The Descendants of Serfoji and so you need to buy half-a-dozen tickets. Each of these tickets costs between Re.1 to Re.20, if they combine it and make it a single entry it will make it easy for tourists.
Saraswathi Mahal Library is one of the main attractions here. The Library contains books collected from the period of Nayaks in 1535 A.D. and enhanced during King Serfoji II during 1798 A.D. The books collection exceeds over 60,000 and many rare European language books are present here. I found it interesting to find on display pages from a book titled Chinese prisoner tortures – unbelievable and inhuman.
The next stop was the Royal Museum which houses some utensils, elephant bells, turbans (headgear) and weapons used in the olden days.
The next was Serfoji’s Memorial Hall Museum. The path to the place is poorly maintained, vegetation’s grown all around threatening the survival of the palace.
Inside the museum, there is not much of interest in the display, other than old furniture’s, coins and daily use items.
There was a sign saying the path to secret passage subway, we walked down few steps and found the place to be not lit at all with all kinds of sounds coming from beneath. Not wishing to go further and encounter bats or rats we retraced our path back.
The last stop was the Mahratta Dharbar Hall (assembly hall). I couldn’t help comparing with the Dharbar Hall I have seen in Mysore Palace or Jaipur palace – both being maintained in fine condition compared to this.
The trip to Tanjore palace was interesting and useful to get a feel of history in this part of my India.
This is the third part of my series on my visit to Tanjore in January 2012 – Part 1, Part 2 & Part 4 are here. In 2016, I visited Tanjore again and wrote about that trip here.