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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Saraswati Mahal Library - Thanjavur

The Saraswathi Mahal library started as a Royal Library for the private pleasure of the Nayak Kings of Thanjavur who ruled 1535 - 1675 AD. The Maratha rulers who captured Thanjavur in 1675 patronised local culture and further developed the Royal Palace Library until 1855. Most notable among the Maratha Kings was Serfoji II (1798–1832), who was an eminent scholar in many branches of learning and the arts. In his early age Serfoji studied under the influence of the German Reverent Schwartz, and learned many languages including English, French, Italian and Latin. He enthusiastically took special interest in the enrichment of the Library, employing many Pandits to collect, buy and copy a vast number of works from all renowned Centres of Sanskrit learning. 
The Collection:
The bulk of the manuscripts are in Sanskrit.Other than this there are manuscripts in Tamil, Marathi, Telugu,Urdu and Persian covering subjects like literature, music,medicine.The manuscripts are mostly on paper but a few were written in on palm-leaf. The library also holds medical records of Ayurveda scholars, including patient case studies and interviews in the manuscripts classified under the Dhanvantari section.
 These records also furnish information on the political, cultural and social administration of the Maratha kings of Thanjavur.
Entry into the Library - Entrance is free but no cameras allowed inside
Paintings at the entrance foyer
The Maratha Bell Tower located in the same campus
Foundation Pillars of the Maratha Bell Tower

20 comments:

  1. I remember the time we visited this place..Wonderful photographs :-)

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  2. Some incredible buildings! That library puts the one in my neighbourhood to shame! How interesting that the manuscripts on the palm leaves have survived all these years...

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  3. Samo wejście i hol są przepiękne i cudownie kolorowe. Bell Tower to wspaniała budowla. Pozdrawiam.
    The entry and lobby are beautiful and wonderfully colorful. Bell Tower is a magnificent building. Yours.

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  4. Beautiful pictures! I remember visiting this place! I remember seeing many old manuscripts too!

    Your pictures are beautiful.

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  5. Interesting place. Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. the bell tower is fantastic.. and so is the painting, all that detail is beautiful

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  7. Wow, such an interesting place with unique style and colors. I wish camera could be allowed!

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  8. Gorgeous structure and thanks for sharing about the history.

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  9. Loves the colors on the library but that bell tower is so inviting because of its grandeur.

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  10. amazing painting. like the bell tower a lot!

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  11. Beautiful colors and patterns at the library entrance, looks like a great place to visit!

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  12. The interiors have lovely colors. Exteriorly, a dab of paint would make it eye catching. And I love those white pillars.

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  13. I had visited this place and am yet to blog on this. Great pics here.

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  14. This library is incredible place. The collection that they have is amazing.
    Thank you for reminding me of my visit.

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  15. I haven't been able to go to this place .. I don't regret it now as I did so visiting your post. Beautiful captures Ramakrishnan

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  16. Lovely building the colors and paintings are beautiful. Great photos!

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  17. Interesting account. I am sure that India is full of such treasures.

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