The oldest archaeological findings from the area date back to the 6th millennium B.C. At the end of the 12th century A.D., the Lehola hill fort of ancient Estonians was built at a location (now known as Lõhavere) approximately two kilometres north-east of the present town border. The hill fort was the centre of the northernmost district (Estonian: kihelkond) in the historical Estonian county of Sakala and also one of the centres of Estonians' fight against the conquest of German Sword Brethren in the 13th century. Not much except the hill remains of it but the place (known in Estonian also as Lembitu linnamägi) is still visited as a tourist attraction. 2/3 of the hill-fort have been excavated archaeologically.
Due to its small size, Suure-Jaani has no urban transport. The town has a small bus station for intercity lines. The nearest railway station is at Olustvere (5 km). The nearest towns are Võhma (12 km), Viljandi (25 km), Põltsamaa (28 km) and Vändra (32 km). The distance of Suure-Jaani from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is 143 km.
Places of interest
- Church of Great Saint John the Evangelist.
- Lehola hill fort of ancient Estonians (at Lõhavere).
- Home museum of the Kapp family of composers and musicians
- Home museum of composer Mart Saar at Hüpassaare.
- Home museum of painter Johann Köler at Lubjassaare farm.
- Monument of the Estonian War of Independence.
- Soomaa National Park.