Thanjavur was once the capital of the Cholas, a dynasty of temple builders who ruled South India between the 10th and 12th centuries. The Pallavas, the Pandyas, the Nayaks, and the Marathas have their monuments of history here. But Thanjavur maintained the glorious Chola culture.
The district is famous for its exquisite ancient handicrafts making of bronze icons. Thanjavur art plates, bell metal casting, bowls, napkin and powder boxes and artistic in laying and engraving work of motifs well known as Thanjavur paintings. It is also a flourishing centre of handloom, silk and cotton saris.