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It was before we got TV at home, before DD started their Trivandrum station*. Things were going to be different for India,many said. It seemed like a big news, from Amma’s and aunt’s reactions. Amma tuned in to AIR that confirmed the news,bulletin after bulletin. The next day’s newspapers had more of black ink than usual, a lot lot more.A 17th century printed Ramayana was one of the exhibits I found worth mentioning.

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On the other side of the painting, an array of of Pallava and Chola statues throws light into the craftsmanship of the Pallava and Chola era. The Art Gallery has an impressive line up of granite (7th to 17th centuries| Pallava, Chola , Pandya) and bronze statues(10-18th centuries, Chola, Nayaks,also 7-8th century Natarajas).

With details of excavation and century of origin clearly displayed, the Gods, Goddesses and other statues take you to a different era.

Inside a walled fortress, this temple will take your breath away. A standing testimony of the Chola’s opulence and vision, their architectural excellence can be seen in this structure built during the 11th century by Rajaraja Chola-I.

The scale and the enormity of the deities reflect the staunch reverence of the king to lord Shiva.

The huge(8.7m height) Shiva Linga in the sanctum sanctorum and Nandi statue reflect the magnificent munificence of the Cholas.

The shrines of the goddess and Subrahmanya date back to 13th (Pandyas) and 15th century respectively.

) I tweet too Twitter I came home early from school. I was not sure why all of us were fetched in the school van much earlier than usual. Somewhere in P&T(or was it Do T then), our application for a connection was lying. The 16th century palace complex was built by the Nayaks and later renovated by the Marathas.

Nor did we have a phone to call up friends or relatives and break the news. I kept rocking till the ropes hit the ceiling fan blades. *Guess, Keltron was operating a DD-esque station then [Part 1 of the Tanjore/Thanjavur-Srirangam-Trichy travelogue] Part 2 can be read here Having overloaded myself with information on Tanjore/Thanjavur, I reached the Tanjore Palace in search of all the glory of the old Chola capital.

The grandeur that the Cholas, Pallavas and Tanjore were synonymous with, was missing here (at least from outside).

With very unimpressive looks, the ill maintained complex has parts that unfortunately look more like ruins.

Unlike in most other temples, here the towering Vimana(roof of the sanctum sanctorum) (58m tall) makes the Gopura( Pyramidal tower at the entrance of the temple) look diminutive. PS: I won’t rant about the school history text books that irreverently cut short the Chola kings.