The Government Arts College for Women was established in 1966 with the main objective of providing higher education for Women of Thanjavur. The College was renamed as 'Kunthavai Naacchiaar Govt.Arts College for Women' in memory of the illustrious Sister of Raja Raja Chola on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary celebration of the Coronation of the Great King of Thanjavur. The decision of the Govt. Of Tamil Nadu has helped the women of Thanjavur who are otherwise tradition bound and were hesitant to go even to nearby places in pursuit of Higher Education.
The College was housed in the Thanjavur Palace premises itself in the beginning and in 1970 it was shifted to its own two storeyed building in a sprawling campus of 17.5 acres. When more academic programmes were introduced in the College, there was increased demand for space and subsequently, more buildings were constructed with generous grants from the Government of Tamil Nadu. The infrastructure has been further strengthened with the Constituency Development Fund received through the Member of Parliament and Member of Legislative Assembly. In order to meet the increased demand for space, the Tamil Nadu Government has sanctioned Rs.31.9 Lakhs to the College for the construction of a building with 5 Classrooms in the year 2009. Recently Government has sanctioned Rs.1,92,00,000/- for the construction of 31 classrooms. It is under construction.