Writer/Admin/Blogger/Engineer/Photographer/Author/Sadar Mahal Palace,Thanjavur/14th progeny of King Venkoji alias Ekoji (brother of Chhatrapati Shivaji the great)/6th descendent of King Serfoji ll/Indian Classical art rasika/Explorer/Adventurous/foodie/Instagrammer/ Philosopher/Heritage Lover/Thanjavur Maratha Royal Family/ Chennai/ Instagram and twitter: @Pratap_rpb ; facebook: PratapSinhRajeBhosle; website: Serfojimemorialhall.com; email: email@example.com
The first Printing press for Devanagari script was started in South India by King Serfoji II.
In the picture, the logo of the press established by King Serfoji ll called the “Navavidya Kalasala Varnayantra”.
King Serfoji ll started the first printing press in 1805 A.D in Thanjavur with Devanagari script called ‘Navavidya Kalasala Varnayantra’ for producing copies of all great works in languages for wider use and circulation among public.
The journal entitled ‘Indian Antiquary’ volume-1, published in 1872 mentions that King Serfoji’s printing press was the earliest printing press, which was started for Devanagari script printing in whole south India. The Types and blocks were prepared using soft stone and hard wood. Even today the Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Sarasvati Mahal Library (TMSSML) preserves some of the books printed in press.
The Maratha kings started chatrams for catering and other physical needs of the pilgrims. Raja Serfoji II started school attached to the most of the chatrams under his control and imparted free education to village children. For the use of little children,King Serfoji ordered that the English book like Aesop’s fables to Translate into simple Indian languages in his printing press.
The below image of my great great grandfather, King Serfoji II is displayed inside Chennai International Airport along with the other Tanjore paintings near to the waiting lounge. I was very excited to see this portrait that was very attractive. I was on the way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the launch of my book “Contributions of Thanjavur Maratha kings-2nd edition” last year.
I was very happy, surprised and over whelmed with joy to see my ancestor’s portrait and for taking his darshan before boarding a flight to Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.
I am happy to announce the release of the second edition of my book titled “Contributions of Thanjavur Maratha Kings” with a brief history of Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj, Dharmaveer Sambhaji Maharaj, Swami Samartha Ramdas, Cholas, Nayakas and Indian Classical art-Bharatanatyam. The first of its kind which includes a brief history of the eminent kings of Maharashtra and Tamilnadu apart from Thanjavur Maratha Scholar Kings. Rare unknown facts and photographs which were not brought out and unseen has been included with prior permissions. Literary activities, Dance (Bharatanatyam) and music (Carnatic) during the Thanjavur Maratha reign with the history of Tanjore Maratha Royal family and rare photographs from their collections and their accomplishments till date has been included. Apart from these, King Serfoji ll’s travelogue to the North (Kasi Yatra, Calcutta), Arcot Nawab’s visit to Thanjavur Palace during King Serfoji II’s reign and King Serfoji ll’s accomplishments in various fields including Administration, Judiciary, Arm force, Trade, Ship building etc has been included. Rare photographs of Kanchi Mahaperiyava associated with Thanjavur Palace and Kanchi Mutt’s history with Thanjavur has also been included. There are 200+ rare photographs included in my book with unique history written. The book will be released on December 2017 and will be available worldwide (online sales of hardcopies and e-book).
With the blessings of Goddess Bhavani and my ancestors, I was able to finish the book successfully (A historian may know how much efforts it takes and he undergoes while writing the book on historical subject😊). And I also thank my people for their support, encouraging and motivating words.
King Serfoji ll renovated Brihadeshwara temple.He installed lightning rods on the vimanam (tower) of the Brihadeshwara temple. He also commissioned artists to paint murals and frescoes on the temple walls and ceiling. As a patron of inscriptions, he had the history of the Bhosle dynasty inscribed on the south western wall of the Brahadeshwara Temple. It is considered to be the lengthiest inscription in the world. He renovated and nurtured many temples built by kings of other dynasties. #Nugget
Acknowledge from Mysore Palace. I am touched beyond words. I am so happy to be informed that His Highness of Mysore, YKC Wadiyar ji was pleased to read my article that was published in U.S.A based Maharashtrian Magazine. Thank you for your kind words and wishes.I am overwhelmed with joy, gratefulness and happiness for your generosity 😊🙏.
He was a great writer of many fine works, author of many Kathas and Natakas as well.He was master in the science and art of music and dance.He had himself composed special dance compositions in Marathi for being utilised in the bharatanatyam program.
Himself an author of many sabda, varna, pada, svarajati, abinaya pada, tillana, gita, prabandha, kavuttuvam, alaru, jatis and korvais, he patronised the famous exponents of dance (nattuvanars) during his life time namely Gangaimuttu, Sabhapati, Subbayan, Ponnayya, Vadivelu,Cinnayya and Sundari. During his time, music and dance were also viewed as regular careers. He started a school for imparting oriental learning and this was the ‘Nava Vidya Kalanidhi’. The Sangeet Mahal was used for holding the music concerts, dance performances and for artistic purposes. Sangeet Mahal was been alloted with Rs.5208 in the state budget for its maintenance.
One of his favorite court dancer named Sundari had a privilege to perform on Vijaya Dasami and was honoured with Rs. 20 (those days it was a huge amount). She had also the unique honour of performing on special occasions like Navaratri, Diwali and so on. Lavani was flourished during his reign. He was also the composer and writer of many Lavani songs. His Devendra Kuravanji and Tristalli Tirthayatra Lavani are interesting compositions. His interest in western music, both in its theoretical and practical aspects, is also evident.
Kelvan* arranged by Her Highness Vijayamala Rani Saheb for my father’s wedding at her Palace (now known as Bhavani Mandap,Old Palace) in the year 1979.
In the picture, from left to right, Her Highness Maharani Vijaymala Saheb, my grandfather H.H Prince Tulajendra Rajah Bhosle, my father H.H Prince Serfoji Raja Bhosle, My grandmother H.H Jayamala Rani Saheb.
* Kelvan ceremony is one of the important marriage tradition followed in Marathi wedding. In this ceremony the parents or close relatives of the groom invite his family for the feast and gift are given as a token of love.Same follows at the bride place too before marriage.
This is one of the important traditions that shows love, respect and bond between the families.This tradition is being followed in Marathi wedding from years.
Today navaratri golu is incomplete without keeping Tanjore dolls in display. Tanjore dolls were brought to Thanjavur by Maratha King Serfoji II in the early 19th century. The kolu tradition was popular among the royal families of Thanjavur and Pudukottai.
Page no: 199 of my book ‘Contributions Of Thanjavur Maratha Kings- 2nd Edition’.