The Thanjavur Royal Palace, also called the Thanjavur Maratha Palace Complex or simply Aranmanai, is a sprawling heritage site that lies just north of the Brihadeeswarar Temple. It is part of the Vijayanagar Fort area, with a history dating back to the Thanjavur Nayaks that reigned over the region between the 16th and 17th centuries. Built by Vijaya Raghava Nayak, the palace fell into the hands of rival Chokkanatha Nayak after he defeated the last Nayak king. Shortly afterwards, however, his ally and Maratha general Venkoji took the kingdom of Thanjavur for himself, beginning Maratha rule in the region. From 1674 to 1855, the ruling Bhonsle family called this palace home.
In 1799, when most of the Thanjavur Maratha kingdom fell to the hands of the British, the Bhonsle royal family remained in the palace and controlled its premises and the Vijayanagar Fort. Even after the final Maratha king of Thanjavur, Shivaji, died in 1855, the family held on to the palace even though they had no more power. Today, the Thanjavur Royal Palace consists of a Royal Palace Museum and the Sadar Mahal Palace, along with a Durbar Hall, the queen’s courtyard and the Raja Serfoji Memorial Hall. There is also the Saraswati Mahal Library and a small bell tower. While some parts of the palace still retain their intricate colors and beauty, many parts are in ruins.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THANJAVUR
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Thanjavur is as given below. The best time to visit Thanjavur is also specified.