Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is an important center for South Indian religion, art and architecture. The Thanjavur District consists of Thanjavur itself along with Kumbakonam, Natchiarkoil and Swami Malai. The district is grouped into the Thanjavur craft cluster, and all crafts are sold in the city of Thanjavur. Thanjavur was ruled by the Chola Kings and was also the ancient capital of the Chola Kings.
The Big Temple, Brihadeeswara Temple and the other famous temples in this district are known all over the world. Big Temple is one of the architectural wonders of the world.
The district is also famous for a wide range of utility and decorative articles like Thanjavur bell-metal plates, bronze images, bowls, napkins and powder boxes etc., made of copper and bronze with inlaying and engraving work of motifs drawn from Hindu mythology done in silver etc., known as ‘Thanjavur Swamy works”. Chief centers of metalwork are in Kumbakonam, Natchiarkoil & Swami Malai.