Painting did by my grandfather gifted to me by Chennai based Numismatist

Chennai based numismatist, Venkataraman Prabhakar sir gifted me a portrait of my ancestor, King Serfoji III drawn and painted by my grandfather, Prince.Tulajendra Rajah Bhosle. He got this portrait ten years back from an antique retailer. My grandfather was a lover of Tanjore art and he himself worked on many royal portraits. He did portraits of all the Maratha rulers of Thanjavur and some are still displayed at Sadar Mahal Palace’s private museum.He signed all his completed portraits as T.R Bhosle (that means Tulajendra Rajah Bhosle).In this portrait he had mentioned the name of the King and the year of his reign, my grandfather’s signature is seen and in extreme right, the relationship of him with the king (stated as grandfather). This portrait is drawn after seeing the authentic Tanjore painting of King Serfoji III which is at our Palace museum.

(Note: the numerical number after the name in the portrait might be misplaced).

Thank you so much Venkataraman sir for gifting this beautiful portrait done by my grandfather 😊.

“I must thank God who used me as a tool for this great art to get back to its original place, where it belongs”- Venkataraman Prabhakar.

To know about King Serfoji III and my grandfather Prince Tulajendra Rajah Bhosle, click the below link πŸ‘‡
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Marathas were not only Warriors, but also polymaths

History has evidence to prove that Marathas were not only Warriors, but also Polymaths. We are proud of our great Indian kings who had contributed to our society and land. Their duties, achievements and sacrifaction will always be remembered though time or modern attitude of an individual towards our history or kings change.

Image copyrights reserved.

Do you Know?

It is said that King Serfoji II of Thanjavur had used a Kuravanji drama to teach geography.

King Serfoji II knew Marathi, Tamil, Sanskrit, Malayalam, in addition to Latin, Greek, French and English. He was a great scholar, who expanded his library (Sarasvati Mahal library) and brought 400 books of science and technology from England,Europe, France and Germany. He was an astronomer, a naturalist and an educationist and even performed cataract surgeries. He was very advanced for his time.

Article about my work in Maharashtra Times, Nagpur edition. Thank you for this article. #JaiBhavani #JaiShivray

Thanjavur Maratha kings were also the patrons of Dargah (Mosque)

Nagore Dargah. Periya Manara (fifth Minaret).

Periya Manara (fifth Minaret) of the Nagore Dargah was built by King Pratap Singh in Hijiri 1177 year (according to Islamic calender) and has been designed in Maharastrian Architecture. The height of the Minaret is 131 feet. It is taller than other four Minarets of the dargah. It is infront of Shrine’s main entrance.

King Pratap Singh (left) and his son Tulaja II. Courtesy: from my archives.

One of the tallest Minaret was built by King Pratap Singh (ruler of Thanjavur from 1740-1763 A.D). He built the tallest of the five minarets (called Periya Manara locally) with a height of 131 ft (40 m) once his wish was fulfilled.The Marathas of the later period were patrons to the dargah.

Nagore Dargah (also called as Hazrat Syed Shahul Hameed Dargah) is a dargah built over the tomb of the Sufi Saint Hazrath Nagore Shahul Hamid (1490–1579 CE). It is located in Nagore, a coastal town in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Shahul Hamid is believed to have performed many miracles in Nagore, and cured the physical affliction of king Achutappa Nayak, a 16th-century Hindu ruler of Thanjavur. He is locally referred as Nagore Andavar, meaning the “god of Nagore”. Nagore dargah as it stands now, is believed to be built by ardent devotees of Shahul Hamid, with major contribution from Hindus. There are five minarets in the dargah, with the Hindu Maratha ruler of Thanjavur Pratap Singh (1739–1763 CE), building the tallest minaret. The dargah is a major pilgrim centre in the region that attracts pilgrims from both Islam and Hinduism, symbolizing peaceful coexistence between the two religions.

Maharajah Pratap Singh (1739–1763 A.D.), the Hindu Maratha ruler of Thanjavur prayed for a son and built one of the five and the tallest minaret (called Periya Manara locally) with a height of 131 ft (40 m) once his wish was fulfilled. The Marathas of the later period were patrons to the dargah, with the Maratha king Tulaja ll, the son of Pratap Singh, donating 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of agricultural land to the dargah. Then the Maratha King of Thanjavur endowed the village called ‘Elakadambanoore’ as his Gift. Then Maharajah Tulaja ll presented 14 other villages to Dargah as his Gift. During the last quarter of 18th century, when there was conflict between European powers, the Nawab of Arcot, the Maratha kings and Tipu Sultan of Mysore over Thanjavur region, the dargah was considered strategically important by all of them.

Nagore Dargah.

King Serfoji II (ruler of Thanjavur from 1798 A.D to 1832 A.D) continued the endowments to muslims initiated by his forefathers. He sent Chadra and fatiah materials to Nagore Dargah, which had traditionally received the munificence of his forefathers for prayers during the annual khandhoori festival. He was also the patron of the Thanjavur Bade Hussein Dargah.

King Serfoji II (left) and his son Shivaji II. Courtesy : Peabody Essex Museum.

Every year, even today we give offerings to the Nagore Dargah i.e saffron flag (saffron flag is given from the time of king Pratap Singh), shawl (that will be put on the tomb of the saint) and sweets. In return, we do receive the mosque honours on the first day of their festival.

Happy Ramzan in Advance. #MyPostForRamadan

Eid Mubarak in advance to all my friends. When crossing Kutchery road after work in hot noon, my eyes felt on Ajmal Biriyani centre and remembered the good reviews that it has got. Remembering the reviews made me to rush inside the shop. It was my second time visit there. Ajmal Biriyani in Mylapore has become more tastier than before. One plate chicken biriyani Rs.110 with extra rice.The biriyani was more tastier than before, which i tasted a year back. I guarantee you, that you can’t stop yourself from asking extra rice after your biriyani gets over πŸ˜‹.The Only problem there is, Parking. There is no place for your vehicle (4 wheeler) to get parked. You have to park somewhere 1 or 2 kms away and start walking to your destination in that area.

Ajmal’s Chicken Biriyani

Biriyani is a royal food. It is made to mark the celebration in olden days. Today biriyani is a kind of food/dish that after seeing it we get happiness and feel stress free.

Lets start #GuessThePlaceChallenge

After #IceBucketChallenge now its #FitnessChallenge. I got one idea from it. Why don’t we people post some good and rare picture from our surroundings and challenge to recognise that place. Let’s start #GuessThePlaceChallenge. That might atleast spread awareness of the places which is in our locality or surroundings. I will start the game 😊. But I am afraid to tag some people who may (or may no) be conservative or reserved because I knew they will not continue to take the challenge forward nor reply which will result to flop like them πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ˜†. Anyone interested can reply and forward the challenge by posting the picture and tagging someone whom you want to identify the place name.

I challenge my friends and my blog readers to guess the place in the below picture 😊😊. #GuessThePlaceChallenge

Guess the place

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) wins 2018 IPL Trophy

From my album, Pratap Sticker Collections (PSC).

Congratulations CSK for winning the 2018 IPL Trophy. As being a cricket fan from childhood, I had a hobby of collecting photographs of cricketers who played for my favourite team India and CSK. Not only that, I use to make album of tournaments held, like IPL T20 or ICC World Cup and include the whole coverage in it (as shown in the pics) . The source of the photos were newspapers and sports Magazine called ‘SportsStar’. I have five volume books under the name Pratap Sticker Collections (PSC). I started it when i was in 6th Standard (2005) with sticking kollywood actor’s pictures in my first volume book, then stickers of racing bikes and cars (1st and 2nd Volume) and on sports (3rd, 4th and 5th volume). The last image i sticked in my book was in the year 2011, after team India winning the 2011 ICC World Cup. I have still preserved and kept those five volume books. Anyone interested are anytime welcomed to see those books 😊.

Glimpse from my album, PSC.

#ChennaiSuperKings #WhistlePodu #CSK #LionRoars

For those who are hearing ‘Aamras Puri’ for first time. Here is it’s history πŸ‘‡.

Aamras puri is a Maharashtrian dish. Very famous in Maharashtra in the month of Mangoes I.e in MAY. You can find aamras puri in every hotels and houses across Maharashtra in this month.

Aamras and puri makes good combination like idly and chutney.

Aamras is a thick shake made from mangoes as seen in the below photograph. Aamras can be made from any types of Mangoes, but Alphonso type of mangoes are preferred to get delicious and yummy taste. In Maharashtra, Alphonso type of mangoes are always in demand and have huge export and import market for it’s taste.

In south, during mango season aamras puri are only made in houses by Maharashtrians settled there as it is not available at Restaurants, hotels etc. But today at least some youngsters are taking initiative measures to get available and to spread awareness on this dish in south. Aamras also tastes awesome when eaten with chapathi.

The word aamras is derived from Sanskrit word ‘aam’ means mango and ‘ras’ means juice. Juice of Mango.It is also known as ‘Amra’.

In the book ‘A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food’, KT Achaya, India’s most illustrious food historian,cites the fruit’s first mention as amra in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, written around 700 BC.

When Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru hosted President John F. Kennedy for a state dinner in Delhi in the 1960s, he served Alphonsos imported from Mumbai.

Only we have the talent of making Aamras puri into Amrish puri.Namma alu Pani Puri akame vitane, athu variko sandosham πŸ˜‚.

Homemade puris and Aamras at Jaipurya Restaurant,Chennai.

Finally πŸ˜‹. I would like to thank all my friends who suggested me places for Aamraspuri in Chennai.I had a huge thirst for it and finally it is satisfied πŸ˜‹. MAY month in the year is incomplete without mangoes and Aamras . I choosed Jaipurya- The desi Gourmet which is in Egmore for Aamras puri. This restaurant is known and famous for Lassi . They have various kinds of lassi some to be mention are Banana lassi, Dates lassi, Strawberry lassi, Oreo lassi, blueberry lassi, orange lassi, dryfruit lassi, Mango lassi etc. When I posted yesterday in a Chennai based foodie’s group in Facebook asking for the recommendations/suggestions for the places where aamraspuri is available in Madras. I got a reply from the restaurant owner and he told they have various recipes/dishes/products (whatever it’s called) made from Alphonso mangoes such as Lassi, Sandesh, Kheer, cream, aamras etc. They actually don’t serve Aamras puri. Seeing my desire to eat aamras puri the owner specially arranged Aamraspuri for me. That was so kind of him. I also tasted lassi (Malai Favour) for which they are famous . I would wish to rate 10/10 for aamras and malai lassi.But for Prices and Puris (that were homemade) I would like to rate 8/10.

Malai Lassi

Tipu Sultan’s 219th Death Anniversary

Courtesy: TMSSML.

Yesterday (4/5/2018) was Tipu Sultan’s 219th death anniversary. This is a rare authentic book associated with Tipu sultan which is in Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Sarasvati Mahal Library (TMSSML). The signature of my great great grandfather, King Serfoji ll is seen on the top with the year, which shows that he had read this book.

King serfoji ll after reading a book, had the habit of signing the book with the date and year (he read). He also use to comment (write) on left Margin (marginal notes) expressing his approval or disapproval of the contents of the paragraphs, which reversal his erudite scholarship and command over the foreign languages.

Tipu Sultan is remembered for many technological and administrative innovations.The 18th century ruler is popularly known as the Tiger of Mysore and Tipu Sahib. He introducted new coin denominations and new coin types. He also introduced a luni-solar calendar.Tipu Sultan is revered as a pioneer in the use of rocket artillery.He expanded the use of rockets, deploying as many as 5,000 rocketeers at a time. Rocket innovation during his time used iron tubes that could hold the propellant and enabled higher thrust and longer range of missiles.He deployed the rockets against advances of British forces and their allies during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. The rockets used during the Battle of Pollilur in 1780 and Siege of Seringapatam in 1799 were said to be more advanced than the British had previously seen.Tipu Sultan had great love for horticulture and gardening. His father and him have been credited for establishing the 40-acre Lalbagh Botanical Garden in Bengaluru.During his rule, he introduced a land revenue system which gave a boost to the Mysore silk industry and helped in establishing Mysore as a major economic power. My tribute to the great king.

Courtesy: NDTV

‘The real joy of life is to combat difficulties and miseries with firm determination’- Tipu Sultan.

The Hoally gateway at Seringapatnam fort where Tipu Sultan was killed. Picture by Henry Dixon, 1868.

Clarification:

History has Negatives as well as positives. But fortunately we do concentrate more only on Negative aspects. No one is born perfect in this world nor their circumstances might make them perfect. We do not think about our past which was under British domination and the rulers that had survived under them in various pressures. But we have mouth to criticize or blame the kings for such history written by their opponents,rumours spread by their haters on them. You might know about Britishers, they not only kill the king/People who went against them but also destroy their whole dynasty, Palace, treasures etc and also kill their heirs too. Being Practical and tactical was helping our Indians to survive against those powerful treacherous. Even their were Hindu Kings who had done good to the Muslims and even Muslim kings who had done good to the Hindus. But these days history has been used as a powerful tool to divide and rule. Our people only concentrate on bad or negative things than in good or positive things and that’s the fact. Their is a saying, we should take the good things in others and ignore the bad things which are in an individual and writing about a past person/king or any personality, do write good about him i.e about his smartness, talent, accomplishments, achievements,commendable work etc, so that today’s generation/ youths will come to know about how advanced they were in terms of knowledge, science and technology in those days.

I am not aware of Tipu’s controversy in Karnataka. But I am inspired on his innovation and advanced technology i.e invention of rockets and techniques etc. He might be a negative person or not, I have nothing to do with it. An authentic book associated with him is well preserved in Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Saraswati Mahal Library (TMSSML) and that book has also been read and signatured by my ancestor, King Serfoji ll in the year 1827 A.D. So shared a nugget about it with a positive verified write-up about the great king Tipu Sultan.

Dynasties which ruled TamilnaduΒ 

Before 3rd century 

  • Cheran (Cheras) 
  • Cholan (Cholas)
  • Pandiyan (Pandiyas) 
  • Edeyer Vallargal
  • Nanjiyin Vallavan
  • Nannan
  • Thirayan.

From 3rd to 6th century

  • Kalappirargal
  • Sanskritpattaya Pallavargal (Pallavas).

From 6th to 9th Century 

  • Pallavargal (Pallavas) 
  • Pandiyan Kings
  • Tanjore Cholas. 

From 10 th to 13th century 

  • Cholas
  • Pandiyas
  • Kozhisavargal
  • Kadavarayar. 

From 14th to 16th century 

  • Pandiyas
  • Madurai Sultans
  • Samboovarayargal
  • Tenkasi Pandiyargal.

17th Century

  • Mughals
  • Naikargal (Nayakas) 
  • Maratha Kings. 

18th Century

  • Arcot Nawab
  • Palayakarargal.

From 1801 to 1858 

  • The British East India company. 


From 1858 to 1947

  • British Raj (Government).

Pandiyas 

      Pandiya Dynasty was an ancient Tamil dynasty that ruled parts of south India. They were famous for their pearl diving skills. The pandiya dynasty was enriched by many great scholars and writers. Manikavasagar composed Thiruvasagam and Andal composed Thirupavai. Nammalvar composed Thiruppalandu, Villiputhrar wrote the Mahabharata, Adhiveerarama Pandiya wrote Naidadham. The Pandiya period revived rock cut temples and architectures. The mural paintings of Srimaran Srivallabha Pandiya of first Pallava Kingdom are seen in the Sittannavasal cave temples.  

      Rock cut temple Sittannavasal., Courtesy: Indian Philatelics.
      Sittannavasal cave.,Photo Courtesy: Jayashankar.

      Mamallapuram is known for its temples and monuments built by the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries. The seafront Shore Temple comprises 3 ornate granite shrines. Krishna’s Butter Ball is a massive boulder balanced on a small hill near the Ganesha Ratha stone temple.

      Krishna’s Butterball (Vaan Irai Kal), Mamallapuram. Photo Courtesy: TamilNadu Tourism.  

      It is told that Kapaleeshwarar temple was built in 7th century CE by the Pallavas. The original Kapaleeshwarar Temple was built where Santhome Church is located currently in Chennai. This original temple was demolished by the Portuguese and the present temple was built in the 16th century by the Vijayanagar Kings.

      Mylapore Kapaleeshwarar Temple aerial view., Photo Courtesy: The Hindu.

      Cheras 

      The recorded history of the Chera dynasty is broadly divided into two phases, The Early Cheras and the Later Cheras also known as the KulasekharasMost of their history is reconstructed from a body of literature known as the Sangam literature written in old Tamil around the 3rd century. Uthiyan CheralathanNedum Cheralathan  and Senguttuvan are some of the rulers referred to in the Sangam poems. Senguttuvan, the most celebrated of the Chera kings, is famous for the legends surrounding Kannagi, the heroine of the epic Silapathikaram.The Chera kingdom owed its importance to trade with the Middle East, North Africa, Greece, Rome and China.

      In the early centuries BCE, the Chera region became known to the Greeks and Romans (who were called Yavana in early Indian literature) for its spices.

      Chera inscriptions of the 2nd century  make reference to the Irrumporai clan have been found near present-day Tiruchirappalli (on the Kaveri west of Thanjavur). 

      The Later Cheras (the Kulasekharas) ruled from Mahodayapuram (now Kodungallur) on the banks of River Periyar and fought numerous wars with their powerful neighbours such as the Cholas and Rashtrakutas. 

      Family tree of the kings of the Chera dynasty based on Sangam literature. 
      Chera Period inscription., Photo Courtesy:The Hindu.

      Cholas 

      Sangam literature states that Karikalan Cholan was the founder of this dynasty. Kallanai dam was built by him. Cholas secured a firm hold on many areas in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Vijayalaya Cholan made Thanjavur as his capital. King Raja Raja I built a strong naval force and captured Sri Lanka and began overseas trade. He was an able administrator. He expanded his kingdom and strengthen its foundation. Brihadeshwarar Temple at Thanjavur was built by him. He greatly influenced the politics, economy and culture of Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. Rajendra Cholan’s territory extended upto North India.He was known as GangaiKonda Cholan. The Gangaikonda Cholapuram  was founded by Rajendra Cholan I to commemorate his victory over the Pala Dynasty.It is told that It served as the Chola capital for around 250 years. The Shiva temple built there by him in imitation of the Brihadeshwarar temple is told to be the only second in beauty and artistic excellence to that of the original. 

      The Cholas built the Aprameya temple near Channapatna, Panchalingeshwara temple in Begur near Bangalore and the Mukthi Nateshwara temple near Binnamangala in Karnataka. 

      Aprameya temple (main Entrance).This temple was built in the 11th century by Chola emperor Rajendra Simha. The temple is named after the invading Chola general Aprameya.,Photo Courtesy: Think Bangalore. 
      9th century Naganatheshwara temple also known as Panchalingeshwara Temple at Begur (pic taken in c.1868), by Henry Dixon, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections.
      Mukthi Natheshwara temple is just 30 km away from Bangalore near Binnamangala at Nelamangala. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was constructed by King Kulothunga Cholan in the 10th century. There are inscriptions on the walls that describe the temple and its significance. Photo courtesy: SriKri Photography. 
      Dhenupureeswarar Temple (Madambakkam, Chennai) was built during the reign of the Chola king, Parantaka II, also known as Sundara Chola (956-973 A.D.), father of Rajaraja Chola I., Photo Courtesy:TNHRCE.
      Sri Kodandarama Swamy Temple in Kadapa District of Andhra Pradesh was commenced by Chola kings and was completed around 16th Century by the Vijayanagara kings. 

      The cholas constructed many lakes like the Veeranam lake. They build a huge pond in GangaiKonda Cholapuram and paid special attention to irrigation.

      Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district.It was created in 10th century by Rajaditya Cholan.Photo Courtesy: TamilNadu Tourism. 

      Cholas built many Shiva temples. The temples also functioned as economic and cultural centres. Agraharams were established  by Cholas to encourage education. Among these Uttarameruragrahara is famous. The temples were centres of education and religious activities. Tamil literature found an all round development during this period. Periya puranam composed by Sekkilar, Kambaramayana written by Kamban and Thirukkadeva’s Jeevika Chintamani are some of the noteworthy works of this period. 

      Brihadeshwarar temple photographed by Samuel Bourne (year unknown).

      The Thanjavur Peruvudaiyar Kovil or the Brihadeshwara Temple of Tanjore  dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Dravidian style temple built by Chola ruler Raja Raja I is one of the most magnificent architectural geniuses on the surface of earth.The temple tower is believed to be the tallest in the world and the temple complex consists of other beautiful structures that glorify the incredible craftsmanship of the architects of that era. Besides the huge Shiva Linga, which is located in the sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha), the huge Nandi draws crowds from world over. And interestingly, the temple tower or the Gopuram or the Vimana is constructed in such a manner that its shadow disappears at noon. This happens because the base of the Vimana is bigger than its pinnacle. Hence at noon, the shadow of the temple tower gets merged on itself and not on the ground. Kudos to the architects of the era for building something as beautiful as the Brihadeshwara Templeβ€”a heritage structure that dates back to ancient India.

      ‘Brihadeshwara’ is a Sanskrit name kept to the temple during the Maratha period in Thanjavur. In Sanskrit,  ‘Braha’ means very big and ‘Eshwara’ means lord Shiva. The temple is generally named as Peruvudaiyar kovil or Periya Kovil or Big temple.

      The Maratha rule in Thanjavur was founded in 1676 A.D by King Venkoji alias Ekoji, half brother of King Shivaji the great born to Shahaji and Tuka Bai. 

      King Venkoji alias Ekoji.

      Happy World Book Day (23/4/18)

      Happy #WorldBookDay2018. 

      With my two precious books ‘Contributions of Thanjavur Maratha Kings’ 1st edition (released in Pune,Maharashtra in 2015) and 2nd edition (released in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia and Chennai,Tamilnadu in 2017).

      You gain knowledge from books. Spreading Knowledge, learning  and teaching plays an important role in one’s life for his/her career and future. Share your knowledge rather than keeping it within yourself.

      Congratulations to the winner.

      Check my book’s official facebook page πŸ‘‰ Contributions of Thanjavur Maratha Kings-2nd Edition 

      #worldbookday  #contributionsofThanjavurMarathaKings #Thanjavur #Tanjore #history #book