This is the second part of my series on my visit to Tanjore in January 2012 – Part 1 is here.

On the first day of our visit to Tanjore after morning breakfast, we went to Thanjavur Palace.  It was good we had over half-a-day to spend in the palace visit, for you to appreciate the artefacts and history you need to go around without rush. And for us taking photographs took quite a bit of time as well.

After you enter the main courtyard of the palace which is now an Art Museum maintained by the Archaeological society of India you are welcomed by hundreds of statues and sculptures which were unearthed by researchers over the centuries in this part of Tamil Nadu. Most of them had names plates for you to understand but there was no guide or information to explain more about the palace and the displayed artefacts.

Art Musuem in Thanjavur Palace
Art Museum in Thanjavur Palace
The view of the tall tower inside Tanjore palace
The view of the tall tower inside Tanjore palace
Thanjavur Palace
Thanjavur Palace

Just like in Chennai’s Egmore Museum I saw many fine bronze statues of Nataraja and other gods in display at the museum here.

Nataraja Bronze Statues inside Tanjore palace
Nataraja Bronze Statues inside Tanjore palace

There were many winding steps you can take to climb the tower to the top (about six levels I think)

The many staircases leading to top of the tower in Tanjore palace
The many staircases leading to the top of the tower in Tanjore palace
Tower in Thanjavur Palace
Tower in Thanjavur Palace

And from the top you get a wonderful view of the surroundings and city, you can see the Big Temple as well:

View from top of tower in Thanjavur Palace
View from the top of the tower in Thanjavur Palace

There were many boards warning not to damage or write on walls of the tower insides, but few seem to care about it. I felt pain seeing many scribbling’s all across the walls of what is a national historic treasure. It is believed that growth in Literacy and Economy will make a population and culture respect and protect its history but that seems to be not true in India. We seem to have a blatant disregard for preserving.

Scribblings across walls in Thanjavur palace
Scribblings across walls in Thanjavur palace

See the sorry state of maintenance of the walls and structures (see in the right of the picture below) in many places around the palace.

Sorry state of maintenance of the walls and structures in Thanjavur Palace
The sorry state of maintenance of the walls and structures in Thanjavur Palace

At the first level, they have kept a display of skeleton of a 92 feet Whale that washed ashore near tranquebar in 1955. It is displayed in poor condition. Other than occupying an empty hall it doesn’t fit into the theme of the other displays and the place.

Whale skeleton in Thanjavur Palace Museum

Here is a blog post by Richard Clarke who has posted some fine photographs of Thanjavur Palace.

This is the second part of my series on my visit to Tanjore in January 2012 – Part 3 & Part 4 are here.