Conducted by IGNCA for the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi
11 February 2022 – 13 February 2022
Venue: South Zone Cultural Centre
Thanjavur, a millennium-old city in Tamilnadu, has been a cultural capital from the time of King VijayalayaChola (II half of 9th c), who shifted his capital from Uraiyur to this new political citadel. It was however Raja Raja Chola (985c – 1014c) who became an emperor with multifaceted interests, who made the city known beyond the shores. His building the Brhadishwara temple which is now recognized as a world monument by UNESCO, was a center for religion, philosophy, art, architecture, dance, music, drama with an unsurpassed cultural administration. The longest Tamil inscription is found in the temple giving amazing details regarding maintaining 400 dancers and about 250 musicians, with the financial commitment from the Government. Raja Raja’s acumen in administering his vast empire, through the political system of election of heads of villages, maintaining Trusts to run temples, provide an excellent irrigation system, maintain a valourous army and Navy encourage artists and artisans, provide an education system and a well-maintained tax collection are some of the factors which made the Chola rule incomparable.
Thanjavur, has the stamp of the Tamil Chola culture to this day, in spite of the rule of the Kannada vassals of the Vijayanagara dynasty followed by the independent Nayak rulers of Telugu tongue and finally the descendants of Chatrapati Sivaji taking the reins, bringing in Marathi rule. Thanjavur has become an amalgam of these linguistic streams, enriching the native Tamil language and the very design for living. The harmony was of course because of the common Hindu faith, which enabled a beautiful mingling of linguistic groups with identical cultures in thought, word, and action.
Thanjavur festival has the vision to bring to light the kaleidoscopic cultural facets of the region through a three-day festival, saluting the city and those who built and developed it through the millennia. Thanjavur is spoken as the granary of South India, rich in its agriculture, which was responsible for the arts, science, and philosophy to flourish. Mother Kaveri, also called Ponni, had endowed great fertility to the region, enabling intellectual, artistic, scientific, and metaphysical exercises in the region. The festival is organized by IGNCA, New Delhi. It is planned to be a corridor for scholars, artists, and the common people to take pride in this heritage.