To be concise and specific, this historic place is consecrated by the appearance of multitudinous towering personalities, who
enriched every field of human activity by their mighty contribution, like Rajaraja Chola I, Ranganath Naiek and Sarfoji II as
kings, Appar and Mangai Alwar as propounders of our Sanathana Dharma,
Thiagaraja, Sama Sastry and Dhikhitar as divine musicians, Sivananda Sekharan and Vijaya Raghava Naick as poets, Kunjara Malian and Nitha Vinothan as sculptors etc.
It is thus rich in history and famous in legends and so has been occupying a coveted place among the quartet of temple
towns - Madurai, Rameswaram, Tiruchirapalli and Tanjavur of great antiquity and spiritual sublimity.
There are several versions interpreting its derivation and origin. It was called Thanjai connoting a
place, surrounded by evergreen paddy fields and blooming orchards. It was deemed to be on
par with Ayodhya and Kancheepuram in sanctity and popularity.
It was also called
Alagaapuri, Kuberapuri, Thanjapuri and Vijayapuri on account of its beauty, wealth, prosperity and
success. Tanjore, if viewed in the right perspective, owes its greatness to the Rajarajeswaram
temple, but the temple in fact rises in splendour due to the predominant theistic instincts of the
mighty rulers. They are interdependent and inseparable. One compliments the other and
lives only to bring out the glory of its indispensably, inseparable constituent, So a comprehensive,
thorough study of both is a necessity at this stage.