Thanjavur Library as a Realm of Knowledge

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  • Introduction: A visitor to the Indian city of Thanjavur finds two great cultural monuments. The first is the Temple of Brihadisvara, one of the most magnificent temples in India. The temple was founded almost one thousand years ago by King Rajrajesvara of the Chola dynasty (985-1016). The second is a library, called The Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Sarasvati Mahal Library. The library is four hundred and fifty years old, and has functioned as a repository for the literature, music and paintings of many generations of south Indian scholars and artists, and as a focus for the intellectual and social world that surrounded and supported this activity. The Brihadisvara temple - primarily, of course, a religious space - functioned in cooperation with the library as a performance space in which new devotional music could be sung, or newly composed plays be performed.

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    © 2006 D. Wujastyk et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Wujastyk, D. (2006). Thanjavur Library as a Realm of Knowledge. Kriti Rakshana: a bi-monthly publication of the National Mission for Manuscripts, February, 13–15.
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