Thursday, January 26, 2012

Serfoji Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur

Located in campus of the Royal Palace of Thanjavur, it is one of the oldest libraries in World. The library has exceptional collection of books, manuscripts, paintings and other valuable items. This library was started sometime between 1535 - 1675 AD by the Nayak Kings of Thanjavur. From 1875 the Maratha rulers further developed this library until 1855.

Most notable among the Maratha Kings was Serfoji II. He took special interest in the enrichment of the Library. He employed many learned people to collect vast number of works from all renowned Centers of learning. As a tribute to the Great Collector Serfoji, the Library has been named after him.


The library has a rare collection of palm leaf, and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. Over 80% of its manuscripts are in Sanskrit. The manuscripts on palm leaves are very unique. There are manuscripts covering a wide area of literature, music and medicine. Some of the manuscripts are from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

A Museum is located in the Library building and one can see some of these items on display. This Museum is small but organized into sections highlighting ancient manuscripts, printed copies of the original drawings, paintings.

51 comments:

Al said...

What an incredible place, our libraries are so new and uninspired, often in strip malls.

George said...

This sounds like a marvelous library with a very impressive collection. The building itself is very imposing.

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Marvelous pictures. Very striking.

DeeBee L. said...

This is marvelous to see that such an old library has remained intact after so long! Ours were confiscated during the french revolution and their precious collections dispersed throughout the world...and sometimes burnt!

Zuzana said...

Now this must e a place wroth visit. I am endlessly fascinated by manuscripts, and ancient ones will always entice me.
xoxo

Lowell said...

Wow! That is an incredible place! I'd love to see those palm leaf manuscripts! And the museum is a wonderful idea, too. It's all so huge!

P.N. Subramanian said...

Though I had been to Thanjavur, Saraswathi Mahal could not be visited. Thanks for giving details of the exhibits thereat.

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Been to Thanjavur but not visited this library. Must make a note to visit next time.

joo said...

I wish I could be there

LadyFi said...

Wow - that is the most magnificent library I've ever seen!

Sridharan said...

Very nice!

Liz said...

beautiful photos. Happy sky watching.

Skywatch

Pietro said...

So interesting, Rajesh. The old manuscripts must be astonishing.

Gary said...

Impressive building and the collection is fantastic!! Boom & gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sylvia K said...

What an incredible library, Rajesh! Great shots as always! Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend!

Sylvia

Riet said...

Such a beautiful country.

NixBlog said...

Now this ruler sounds like my kind of man! Anyone who was interested in literature and learning and established libraries should be remembered favourably by history! (I am a bibliophile ;-)
Lovely captures.

chubskulit said...

Beautiful sky view!

My Skywatch. Have a nice weekend!

alicesg said...

Interesting to visit the museum, we can learn so much about the past history. Have a nice weekend.

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Very interesting post and nice shots of this old library.

Regards and best wishes

thomas said...

wow!It's rare enough to find manuscript and here you have a library full of it,
any mention of Malaysia in those old scripts?

eileeninmd said...

Hi Rajesh, it sure is a cool looking library. Great photos. Happy Skywatching!

eden said...

Wow.. This is a very nice place to visit. Beautiful photos.

Leovi said...

Beautiful library, I would like to visit.

Magia da Inês said...

°º✿
✿✿

Sou encantada com a arquitetura do seu país... essa biblioteca é magnífica!!!
Bom fim de semana!
Beijinhos.
Brasil

º° ✿ ✿⊱╮

Rizalenio said...

My dream place. Oh I wish to be here. Happy weekend. :)

Shoshana said...

These are very good pictures. I like looking at them.

Akshay Kumar G said...

Hey Rajesh, I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award. Hope you would like it. :)
http://akkishaki.blogspot.com/2012/01/versatile-blogger-award.html

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Are the palm-leaf manuscripts shaped like leaves or have they been trimmed?


Shadowy Hummingbird Heaven

Kelly said...

What beautiful architecture! I find the idea of using palm leaves for manuscripts fascinating.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Such a stylish piece of architecture! Enjoyed the details of this post, especially the information about the use of palm leaves!

Joan said...

I would definitely love to spend hours in here!

forgetmenot said...

More beautiful buildings. The intricate work on all of them just amazes me. Mickie :)

Rajesh said...

Thank you all for appreciating the ancient library.

Jeevan said...

Impressive details and capture! Must check next time if visiting Thanjavur.

Doru said...

Beautifully composed shot!

LV said...

A very nice shadow shot tour of this great land.

jewaicious said...

What fantastic architectural shots, lovely study of texture and tones.

Costin said...

Great shot. I like first picture. Greetings

wifetoalineman02 said...

what a beautiful place, tall buildings too :-) Thank you for sharing. Visiting from MYM, hope that you can return the visit too.

http://www.mommies2ks.com/2012/01/pajama-day-at-school.html

Cassie said...

Quite amazing. Interesting that the writings on the palm leaves are still around. I'd think they would disintegrate with time.

Kim, USA said...

An awesome structure!

Yellow & Blue

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Oh my gosh, I would LOVE to have gone there with you to visit. One of the oldest libraries in the world...wow, that would just put me in awe!!!

My Monday Post if you'd like to stop by to visit...is:
THEY CALL ME MELLOW YELLOW

Marites said...

such an amazing place. I would love to visit that and see those ancient books.

Liz said...

Beautiful structures. Have a fabulous week.

Liz @ MLC

Leah H. said...

What a beautiful place..So interesting..

Visiting for MYM! Hope you can stop by:)

http://www.heavenly-dreams.com/green-mango-pickled/

sappy said...

Very great that many old South Indian libraries are the granaries of old Sanskrit literature.As usual,nice photos.

Ghazala Hossain said...

A library that looks like a temple :)

Arti said...

That is a treasure building, I would love to see that ancient manuscript in person someday.

vinishashah said...

beautiful and awesome :)

Rajesh said...

Thank you all for appreciating the ancient library.