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Svatma Thanjavur: A Homage to the Tamil Heritage

Thanjavur, the erstwhile capital of the mighty Chola empire, occupies a special spot in the rich tapestry of the age-old Tamil culture and heritage. With its silk weaving, outstanding bronze works, manufacture of musical instruments such as veena, mridangam, tambura, and thavil, making of the Bommai dancing dolls, development of Carnatic music, and evolution of Bharatanatyam dance, Thanjavur is indeed a cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. In addition, this ancient city’s charm has been heightened by the presence of the magnificent Brihadishvara Temple.

Svatma Thanjavur, a 150-year-old mansion now converted into a heritage boutique hotel at the heart of Thanjavur, is preserving the essence of Tamil culture and renovating the heritage of Thanjavur while providing a memorable stay to its guests.

Entrance of Svatma Thanjavur
Entrance of Svatma Thanjavur.

Where is Svatma Thanjavur located:

Svatma is located at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, which used to be the erstwhile capital of the Chola Empire. The address of this 5-star heritage property is No. 4/1116, Blake Higher Secondary School Road, Maharnonbu Chavadi, Thanjavur. The iconic Brihadishvara Temple is just a 10-minute car ride away from Svatma.

Meditation corner
A corner for meditation.

About Svatma Thanjavur:

The word ‘Svatma’ means “one’s own soul”. The entire experience at Svatma, therefore, entails an overall wellness of the self and the soul. Nestled in greenery, the original building of Svatma Thanjavur is 150 years old. It used to be a post office in the British era and was later turned into a home by a local Brahmin family. At present, Svatma Thanjavur is owned by the eminent dancer and architect, Krithika Subrahmaniam, who has mixed warmth and distinctiveness with a proud display of Tamil culture and heritage in her dream project.

Inside Svatma
Inside the garden of Svatma.

Svatma is a tribute to the rich artistic traditions of Thanjavur. This heritage property is characterized by elegant pillared verandahs, floral arrangements with Kolam at the entrance, a serene garden, and countless attractive nooks and crannies embellished with antique furniture, Tanjore paintings, Thanjavur Bommai dancing dolls, and other local flavours.

Tanjore paintings
A Tanjore painting on one of the walls.
Local art
Display of local srt forms.

Every corner of Svatma is a work of art, with carefully curated décor. While the vintage aesthetic of Svatma will take you back to the bygone era, little touches, such as drinking water and local snacks like thattai and uppu cheedai kept in the common areas for guests, will at once make you feel at home.

Snacks in the common area
Little joys found in every corner of Svatma.
Aesthetic of Svatma is on point.

Rooms in Svatma Thanjavur:

The hotel has 34 rooms, embellished elegantly with both vintage and modern aesthetics. The Heritage block, which (as already mentioned) is 150 years old, has 7 rooms furnished with antique pieces and art handpicked by the owner herself. The Millenium block has been recently developed. It comprises 27 rooms characterized by a stylish heritage look.

Interior of Svatma Thanjavur
Rooms are a blend of vintage and modern aesthetics.
Welcome note
A welcome note from Team Svatma Thanjavur.
Inside the room
Snacks and fruits provided inside the room.

When ushered in, we were bowled over by the simple yet suave elegance of our room. Our room was defined by a refined amalgamation of the past and present, with tokens of Tamil culture and heritage tastefully scattered. Embellished with vintage furniture and adornments, it was also equipped with modern amenities such as an air conditioner, television, and geysers.

Room in Svatma Thanjavur
We spent our moments at Svatma here.
Room decor
A corner for relaxing.

Food in Svatma Thanjavur:

Svatma Thanjavur has three restaurants – ‘Aharam’, the indoor restaurant for the buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, ‘Palaharam’ has an outdoor seating for enjoying tea or filter coffee with snacks, and ‘Nila’, the rooftop bar which provides a gorgeous view of the temple town of Thanjavur.

Restaurant of Svatma Thanjavur
Aharam Restaurant.

Food in Svatma Thanjavur is strictly vegetarian. Although the menu includes continental fare, Svatma specializes in serving the local cuisine of Thanjavur. We relished our dinner which included both Thanjavur South Indian and Thanjavur Maratha dishes.

The quirky menu card
The quirky menu card.
Dinner at Svatma Thanjavur
Lip-smacking dinner at Svatma Thanjavur.

The following morning we enjoyed a delectable spread of breakfast. The menu included varieties of bread, muffins, cakes, cookies, fruits and dry fruits as well as dosa, vada, idli, millet upma, and so on.

Breakfast at Svatma.

Experiences at Svatma Thanjavur:

Svatma offers a host of activities to rejuvenate your body and soul:

A corner
A relaxing corner with a swing.

1. They have a special kitchen where interested guests are trained to cook local Thanjavur dishes.

2. Hit their spa, ‘Soukyam’, which renders musical therapy and traditional massages with locally grown organic herbs.

3. Track your fitness goals at the gym, ‘Arokyam’.

4. Unwind yourself with yoga and meditation at the yoga class held almost every morning under a trainer.

5. You can also swim in the large pool. The poolside is also one of the best places to relax after a day’s exploration of Thanjavur.

Poolside spa
Poolside spa.

6. There is a small auditorium where sessions of Carnatic music, Bharatnatyam, and martial arts are often held.

7. Svatma also organizes sessions of Vedanta discourses by an Acharya in the morning.

8. You can also stroll in the beautiful garden of Svatma.

The pool of Svatma Thanjavur.

Important FAQs:

How can I book rooms in Svatma Thanjavur?

You can book rooms from the official website of Svatma.

What are the basic property rules at Svatma Thanjavur?

Check-in time is 2 PM and check-out time is noon.

Unmarried couples are not allowed.

Pets are not allowed.

Outside food is not allowed.

Little joys
Little joys.

Is a parking facility available?

Yes, a parking facility is available within the property premises. However, Svatma does not provide any lodging facility for drivers.

How can I reach Svatma Thanjavur?

By air: Thanjavur’s nearest airport is Tiruchirappalli. Though frequent flights to Tiruchirappalli from most of the major south Indian cities are available, connectivity from other parts of India may be an issue. Hence it would be wise to fly into Chennai, which is very well-connected with every part of India.

By train: Chennai is also well linked by railways with the rest of India. From Howrah, you can board 12839 Chennai Mail, from Shalimar 12841 Coromandel Express, from New Delhi 12622 Tamilnadu Express and 12616 Grand Trunk Express, from Mumbai 22179 Chennai Express, and Bengaluru 12028 Shatabdi Express and 20608 Vande Bharat Express.

From Chennai, you can easily reach Thanjavur by train, such as 22675 Chozhan Express and 16865 Uzhavan Express.

By bus: Daily TNSTC buses from Chennai, Tambaram, and Tiruchirappalli ply to Thanjavur.

Svatma Thanjavur
A stay to remember.

Which places in Thanjavur are worth visiting?

Thanjavur is famed for its Big Temple, the Brihadishvara Temple built by Rajaraja Chola the Great. You can also visit the Thanjavur Maratha Palace with its stunning Durbar Hall, ASI Museum, and Sri Bangaru Kamakshi Amman Temple.

While you are exploring Thanjavur, you can read our articles on Tamil Nadu here

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