Tanjore, the most important temple town during the rule of the Cholas, has a very chequred history. This important town of the Cholas reached the zenith of its fame during the reign of the Great king Raja Raja Chola who built the most famous and beautiful temple of Lord Shiva known as the Brihadeswarar Temple situated in the heart of Tanjore Town.

This place was always in the midst of several wars and soon after the weakening of the Chola empire it went under the control of the Vijayanagar King of the great Vijayanagar empire. Subsequently, after the collapse of the Vijayanagar Empire, the Mughals from the north invaded Tanjore and its surrounding territories and captured it. Thereafter, the Marattas drove away the Mughals and took Tanjore from them.

Though the rule of the Marattas was short and lasted only 180 years, they revived the arts and crafts of Tanjore and brought to the outside world this unique Tanjore style of painting.

Many arts and crafts of Tanjore was revived by Sarabhoji II and many ancient texts were recopied by him which if not for him would have been lost forever. He also built the Saraswathi Mahal Library to house his famous manuscripts and books. He was solely responsible for popularising the Tanjore style of painting and it was believed that he maintained a picture gallery with walls covered with painting and pictures of every possible kind.

How coffee drinking became popular in this small town and the surrounding villages of Mayavaram and Kumbakonam is not known. This coffee is named after this temple town which made coffee a popular beverage in the whole of India.

More than 75 to 100 years back people used to roast coffee in an iron vessel or Kadai as it is known here, and hand pounded it to the required size. Thereafter using a very soft cloth they filtered the brew and to enhance the taste added milk and sugar to it. Some made coffee in a different way here.

Coffee grind was put in a container and boiling water was added to it. A few minutes later, after the residue was allowed to settle down, the decotion or the brew was transfered to another container. Now boiling cows milk was added to enhance the taste of coffee.

The flavour and aroma that emanated from the coffee was so exhilarating that is started creating coffee addicts there. Soon it spread to the entire parts of Tamil Nadu and the neighbouring states and soon it became a ritual and a way of life here in Southern India.

Even today for most of the people here the day without a good cup of coffee is not a good day. The degree coffee, as they call it, is still the most popular coffee in south India.

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