Thanjavur was the ancient capital of the Chola Kings whose origins, like those of the Pallavas, Pandyas and Cheras with whom they shared the tips of the Indian Peninsula, go back to the beginning of the Christian era. Power struggles between these groups were a constant feature of their early history, with one or other gaining the ascendancy at various times.Tanjore – Once the capital of the Chola Empire from the 10th to the 14th centuries built the greatest of the empire’s 74 temples, the Brihadeshwara temple is an outstanding example of the Chola architecture. Guarding the inner shrine of the temple is the gigantic statue of Nandi, the Bull. The courtyard walls of the sanctum are covered with wall paintings from the Chola and Nayak periods, comparable to the famous Ajanta cave frescoes. The Art gallery in Thanjavur has a superb collection of bronze statues from the 9th to 12th centuries..  A Chola king, Raja Chola, who held the throne from 985 to 1016,