Whether the asura or demon Tanjan bestowed his name by way of his decapitation in the city of Thanjavur or not, this very distinguished city remains an important centre of Hindu scholarship, culture, art, culture and religion.. Tanjore, (an anglicised version of the name) is a sort of sacred circle, defined by major Chola Temples, located in and around the city. Many of these have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. The magnificent and primary temple, the Brihadeeswara Temple, stands in the centre of the city – as if the township grew around it. Music and dance reverberated through the centuries under the patronage of many rulers such as the Nayaks of the 16th century and it is here that Carnatic music was codified. Many styles of Bharathanatyam, the classical temple dance form of the South were developed in Thanjavur. Flamboyant, gold leaf paintings of the gods and similar sacred subjects, set with real gems called Tanjore or Thanjavur paintings are prized by collectors and unique to the region.