Unknown Facts of Thanjavur Maratha Kings!

Hey guys, today we have a prince from a royal
family. This is our prince, his Highness Pratap Singh
Serfoji Raja Bhosle of Tanjavur Maratha Royal Family. Glad to have you here. We want to hear lot of good things from you
about our ancestry and our history. Most interestingly I know he is an Engineer
but he has authored 3 books and he is also a blogger and posted about an 100 different
articles. You are a blogger, You are a philosopher and
of course, he is a prince. He is also a social media manager of their
private family museum named ‘Maharajah Serfoji II memorial hall’ at Sadhar Mahal palace. He has launched a website on his Royal family
and my stamps of Indian postal department to commemorate the 239th birth anniversary
of his ancestor, King Serfoji II. Of course, u know I have been a big fan of
Shivaji Maharaj and u know all the Maratha kings so I am amazed and so thankful to have
you here. So where do you wanna start? Hello Praveen, so first of all I have to congratulate
you, because you do a very fabulous job. I got through your blogs and I go through
your articles and all and they are just fantastic. I don’t have any words to appreciate it, but
I am just completing it in a very simple manner,it is awesome, it is fabulous. Thank you. Recently also, I have seen your article, on
Thanjavur, which you had published in your Phenomenal Place. And I am very much excited to say that also. And I have also posted one of your photos
in my second edition in my book ‘Contributions of Thanjavur Maratha’. Thank you, Thank you. So, now I will be starting from my home town
which has given me lots of fame. Thanjavur was ruled by Cholas, Nayakas, obviously
Pandyas also ruled for a short period of time. After Nayakas, Marathas ruled. And I am from the Thanjavur Maratha Royal
Family. I am the 14th descendant of the Thanjavur
Maratha Family. Obviously, in Tamil Nadu, everybody knows
about Chola Kings, and their architecture. And constructions. So, you all may know that. RajaRaja Chola was the great king and he has
built the Brihadeeswara temple. Actually, Brihadeeswara name came only after
the Marathas. It was originally known as Peruvudaiyar Kovil
or Rajarajeswaram. Even Nayakas also contributed a lot to that
temple. There is a Subramanian shrine inside the temple
which has been built by the Nayaka King. Then after that, Marathas also contributed
a lot to the temple. So after Nayaka Kings, Marathas and even Pandyas
ruled for a short period of time. And when Pandyas conquered Thanjavur, they
destroyed the Chola Palace. Yes. Which was in Srinivasapuram area. In that area, approximate, near to that area,
or may be that area. So, that was destroyed by them. And now, the current palace in Thanjavur was
built by the Nayakas. After Nayakas came the Marathas. So Marathas made changes according to their
needs to the palace. And, according to their palace, they made
some changes. Are we talking about the current Palace? Sadhar Mahal? Yes. I will come to that, but before Sadhar Mahal
wanted to portray certain things. So, main during Marathas period, many kings
contributed to the temple. One of the gopurams, the front gopuram was
built by the Maratha kings. Then, even Kumbabishekam was performed. Now recently, Kumbabishekam has been performed
in Brihadeeswara temple. So before that, it was performed on 1997. Before that, in 1980. After independence, it was the third Kumbabishekam. Before that, during King Serfoji I, Kumbabishekam
was performed, and after King Serfoji I, King Serfoji II performed the Kumbabishekam in
Brihadeeswara temple. Then actually king Serfoji I performed Kumbabishekam
after 800 years. Wow, Really? For 800 years there was no rituals in the
temple. Even 108 lingas which you can see in the..
premises of the Brihadeeswara temple, that was installed by King Serfoji II. The world’s lengthiest inscription is in Marathi,
which has been inscribed in the walls of the Brihadeeswara temple. Those inscriptions are called the Bhoslevamsa
Charitra, where the details of the Maratha history has been inscribed from the time of
Chakravarthy Shivaji Maharaj’s ancestry till .. at that time the current king was King
Serfoji II. Up to his time, the inscriptions have been
inscribed there, saying the history. And the way of life, what and all.. mostly
it was based on the history. And even the lightning rods were been installed
in the vimana of the Brihadeeswara temple, by King Serfoji II. Mostly, all the kings were very protective
towards the temple, and it was close to their hearts. So You have climbed the vimana of Tanjavur
Temple? Yeah, I have climbed twice, but not up to
the top level. I just went up to the place where those 81
Karanas are carved. That time I was very small and I didn’t have
much interest to that subject, but now I realized and been blessed that once upon a time I went
there and those sculptures, those carvings.. What esle have you seen besides the Karanas? The Karanas are the dance poses and movements
mentioned in classical dance called Bharathanatyam. Whatelse did you see besides the Karanas in
the vimana? Because most people don’t get a chance to
climb up the tower.yeah I can explain but I don’t know much technical, I can’t speak
much into the depth about the subject. About the Karanas, there are a total of 108
Karanas, out of that you can see only 81 Karanas in the Brihadeeswara temple. It is incomplete, the sculptures are incomplete. And why it was incomplete. So… I have heard.. I don’t know to mention it, but I have heard
because of so and so it is incomplete. And about the Karanas I have written very
technically in my book. Then obviously, one more thing, I have an
immense respect towards classical artistes. Because it is not so easy, performing in front
of a stage, from a very young age. And also performing for minimum one hour. Wow. Yeah classical arangetram, classical programs,
It is not like for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, continuously the artiste will be dancing for
more than 1 hour. The stamina they have. Even there are some.. medical benefits of
practicing Bharathanatyam. Wow I have mentioned everything in my book. So mostly those artistes, are good in multitasking. And they also.. I don’t want to talk much depth into technical
because .. I have mentioned in my book. So even performing Bharathanatyam has some
good medical benefits. ..medical benefits. Then.. Like, what is the difference between Today
we have a lot of great dancers. I have a lot of friends who are classical
dancers. We have mutual friends on Facebook
who are great classical dancers. Mostly Bharathanatyam, But some Kathak… If they are from the
North. But what is the difference between today’s
dancers and the dancers in the past? Did they completely dedicate themselves to
dancing before the Gods and Kings in those days? Or.. Were they like today’s ? If someone says… Can you perform here? Or Not? Actually, in those days.. kings.. especially
during Maratha period, artistes were given a lot of like.. kings used to patronize them. They were devoted to the art as well as to
the king or to the god. And obviously, there is a saying. Whatever you do it from your heart, don’t
expect anything in return. God will give you when the right time comes. Those days, if a king becomes happy on the
performance, they used to give lands.. they used to give more to the.. more gifts, jewels,
everything to the artist. Even the Thanjavur courtraits house in Westminster
street, was given by my great great grandfather. King Tulaja II . An entire street? No no.. the place, the home where they are
staying right now, in west main street. So that place, that home, that house was given
by Tulaja II . So these days most of the artists are very
passionate for dance, so they are dancing. And one more thing about classical artist
is like that, there are many things to learn from them. A common man can learn many things from an
artiste. How to manage? Time management. An artist who is a professional or a singer,
whether the artist is a professional or a student, how she manage time for both. For her dance performance as well for her
studies. That can be learnt from them. And they are more intelligent than us, because
their mind is very sharp. Because obviously, practicing classical art
is like an exercise. So, Tell us about How you got interested into
the family history… and the history of Tanjavur Martha Kingdom. Actually when I was in college, for every
vacation, I used to go to Thanjavur. So at that time, we used to look after our
museum. We have our small private museum, so I used
to look after it. So.. one thing I noticed.. Whenever tourists come to our palace, they
just wander here and there without knowing anything about it. Just like that they used to have a glimpse
and they would go back. So I noticed that. So that made me to bring out ..
our history in a very simple way. . in a very simple manner. So, I started a facebook page in the name
of our private museum. then that made me to start a blogger. Then after that a first edition book. It made me to write the first edition book. So while I was posting on my facebook page,
many people used to encourage me. Many people are giving me suggestions.. like..
you can do like this.. you can do like that. So I used to put banner in our museum like,
if you need any details about the museum, you can visit our facebook page, you can like
our facebook page. Like that. In a very simple manner, I started. So, those who were interested, they used to
check my facebook page, they used to put their reviews on it. And they used to suggest me, you can do like
this.. like this.. from that it started. And some of my articles on Thanjavur history
was very much interesting. And many viewers.. readers used to tell me
why don’t you start a blog and you can contribute those articles in the blog. So I started a blog, the name of the blog
is MaharajaSerforjiIImuseum.blogspot.in – it was a BlogSpot so I started in that. So I started writing in that. Then after that, I got an idea, we are writing
that much of information, we are bringing out that much of information, why can’t we
publish a book with those information? And.. when I got that idea, that time I was..
into my final year. So I took 8 months to write that first edition
book. And apart from that.. my college.. semi.. I mean…work lectures, exams, this that was
going on, but it was a little tougher for me. At the same time, I completed the first edition
book as well as college final year. On the same time. The first edition got released in Pune, Maharashtra
in a private program. Tell us about Saraswathi Mahal. It is a very unique place, right? Saraswathi Mahal is a very unique place. Because I think most of my viewers would not
know about Saraswathi Mahal. This is a place in Tanjavur and it is very
unique. And he is going to tell us about this. Actually Saraswati Mahal was a very small
library when it was started during the Nayaka’s period. So after Nayakas, when Marathas were ruling,
King Serfoji II, he ruled from 1978 to 1832. During his time period, the library was developed
and now it has been named after him, all because of his contributions to the library. And he plays a very important role. And there are more than 80,000 plus manuscripts
in that library. 80,000? eight zero thousand plus books in
that library. And most of the books are from his private
collection. He has purchased 4000 books from abroad. He has contributed to that library and there
also certain manuscripts like.. when you read from left to right, it will narrate Mahabharata
, if you read it from right to left, it will narrate the story of Ramayana. In the same manuscript? From left to right, it will read one epic,
from right to left it will read another epic. It is amazing So these type of rare manuscripts
are there. And apart from that, we can find a lot of
French books, German books which were from his collection. And to tell about Serfoji II, he is a bibliophile,
he loved to read, he.. means.. he is a multifaceted personality. He has ..did .. a very amazing and fabulous
job. ..during his time. He was the first king in India .. he was the
only king in India to perform cataract operation. YES. ..in south India. So I heard King Serfoji used to help the poor
and do cataract for them. So he was the only one I can say. He helped the poor.. I also heard there are copper plates in Saraswathi
Mahal? The ancient Chola copper plates… with the
inscriptions. Very old, palm leaves… I think King Serfoji bought them from others… You know the villages and everything and he
put it there. Have they all been translated? Or decoded? No, Right?
which are very important, they are being translated and they are being published into books. But as mentioned earlier there are more than
80,000 plus manuscripts. Still certain manuscripts are not yet touched. Not even touched, right? Because 80,000 is so vast. But one good thing is, all are being well
preserved. All those manuscripts are being well preserved. A conservation team is there. And king Serfoji ii has encouraged artists,
scholars, many people to contribute books to the library. So through that, he had collected lots of
books. And also from foreign countries also, he has
got many books. It was brought from England..or.. mostly .. most
of the things were from England. Because he had good British friends. And they used to have that.. like.. they used
to have that.. they used to contribute books to the Saraswati Mahal after his request to
them. And during king Serfoji ii law and order was
awesome. Like.. he had a separate.. those.. during
king Serfoji ii half of our place was gone to the British, yeah they have been taking
away. But he had a separate cabinet, he had a separate
law and order forces. He had his own force. Because in those days, when people used to
do crime, in one region of britishers, they used to run to another region which is non-British,
and they can’t catch. These things used to happen. So he first abolished that. King Serfoji II abolished the problem of jurisdiction. Right? One person commits a crime in this jurisdiction
and he will run to the other jurisdiction. But it happens even today right? People commit a crime in one country and then
they will go to another country and then they live happily? We cannot catch them. Yeah but those days.. during King Serfoji
II these things was totally abolished. He helped the Britishers to find the accused
who were hiding in his region and used to hand it over to them. He used to give them permit, you can come
and you can take them. But now, there are lots of.. lots of.. paperworks
I guess. I am not sure about that. Yeah King Serfoji II was.. he had so many
talents… King Serfoji II overshadowed all the previous
kings.In my opinion.. even Venkoji. I would like to say that during his funeral,
90,000 people have attended his funeral after he died. 90,000? 90,000 people have attended his funeral. So that was really a.. that shows how famous
he was, how people loved him. And I would also like to say that, king serfoji
went to Varnasi, Kasi, he done a Yatra. So he was a devout hindu? Yeah he was very pious. And he has traveled upto Calcutta. He has gone to Calcutta. He has gone to that Kasi, Benarus. SO he visited all the holy places, he completed
his.. Yeah so..in Varnasi, there is one ghat called
Manikarnika Ghat, that was built by King Serfoji II. And there is one more ghat called as bhosle
ghat. The Bhosle ghat was built by the Nagpur Maratha
king. He is also a Bhosle. So we have gone till there. What about the monuments built by Marathas
in Tanjavur area? Like, what are the monuments that have been
built by your family? Manora was built by King Serfoji II. To commemorate the victory of Britishers when
they defeated Napolean. Oh really, So he wanted to remember the victory
of the English over the French? Yeah
Yeah for that, that monument was built. The Sarja Mahal was built by him. Sarja Mahal – What is it? Actually, many people say that it was the
main entrance for entering the palace. It was built around 1824. Then Sadhar Mahal, where I am residing. It was built by King Serfoji. So these three monuments were built by King
Serfoji II. And Darbar hall. Darbar hall is in that palace. Yes, in palace complex. Just near to our palace. There is a Maratha Darbar. That is told to be renovated. Many people say.. it was before Nayakas and
it was being renovated. Some say it was built by King Shahji II. So King Shahji II built the Maratha Darbar
Hall. And there are certain things to say about
King Shahji II. He was a great scholar, so he has done lots
of compositions on Tiruvarur Thyagesha. So he was the ardent devotee of Tiruvarur
Thyagesha. A sequence of bells used to be connected fgrom
Tiruvarur Thyagesha temple to Tanjavur Palace. After the pooja, the bells will be rung, and
he will come to know Pooja is completed. After that only, he will have his mid-day
meal. He has composed lots of songs on Brihadeeswara,
Tiruvarur Thyagesha. During his time.. his area was extended upto
Ramanthapuram. Mostly Maratha Kings had the practice of building
Chathrams. Chatrams are rest houses for travelers. Mostly people come for Rameshwaram, for those
pilgrims, they used to build Resthouses. And in that rest house, everything was given
for free. Education was given, medical treatment. Food, lodging and boarding. Everything was free. One of the biggest chatrams was known as the
Orthanadu Chatram. Which is named after Mukthamba. Mukthamba was one of the concubines of King
Serfoji II. And during King Pratap Singh, a work was written
by his concubine named Mudhu Palani. The name of that text is Radhika Santhanam. It is the name of the work. Yes the name of the work is Radhika Santhanam. You
are passionate about writing… 3 BOOKS.. What unique things… photos never seen before. law and order during Serfoji II. About Maharastra Kings. history of cholas
nayakas and bharathanatyam. You show some unique paintings. antique painting of king serfoji in pune.
portrait is at london, procession of king serfoji ii. painting in british library. painting of Rathi Devi. you mention about
certain unique books. this is one of them, the name is Sabdhthartha
chinthamani. that is in sanskrit. from left to right..stammers.. when you read
from left to right, it will tell the story of mahabharatha. from right to left Ramayana., Another Kathathreya. Ramayana mahabharata and Bhagavatakatha. If you guys wanna buy this book, it is Contributions
of Tanjavur Maratha Kings by Prince Pratap Singh Raja Bhosle. This is not the information you can get outside. usually you can’t get this information. So Kamakshi Bhai, she was the wife of Shivaji
II she fought against British. Fought means not weapon or physical, She fought
a legal battle. she fought a legal battle, in Madras court
she lost. in Bengal court also she lost. then she went to London. she won the legal battle with the help of
the public support. And after that only, most of the treasures
which are in Saraswathi Mahal is still in India because of her. Or else, Britishers might had taken away everything
to London. So Shivaji II was the last King of Tanjavur
Marathas and then.. Shivaji II and his wife did not have a child..
so they enforced the doctrine of lapse. After King Shivaji II died, most of the private
property were seized by them. Eventhough she won, they did not give back. When asked for the reason, they told that
it has been gifted to the queen. And we can’t ask back. After that she adopted a child, his name is serfoji III. He was also a scholar, a patron of arts, . So
many of the movable properties, you know the… all these priceless statues.. and all these
ancient stuff… are actually in London? some of them are.. because thanjavur dynasty
was very rich. People used to say that there was one diamond
with Tanjavur king which was equal to that kohinoor diamond. Wow, really, so they had another huge diamond. But it was before Tulaja II, may be before
tulaja II, even thanjavur was a wealthy land because of agriculture , and you know Tanjavur
is the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. So it had a very wealthy revenue in those times.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *