(1) Tanjore / Thanjavur
Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is an important center of religion, art, and architecture.
The city first rose to prominence during the reign of Medieval Cholas when it served as the capital of the Chola Empire. After the fall of Cholas, the city was ruled by various dynasties like Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Nayakas and Marathas.
Most of the Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these are the Brihadeeswara Temple. Built in the 11th century by the Chola king Raja Raja Chola I, the temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. An enormous Nandi (second largest in India), carved out of a single block of granite, guards the entrance of the sanctuary. The walls of the sanctum are covered with wall paintings from the Chola and Nayaka periods. It is replicated in the Gangaikonda Cholesvarar Temple constructed by Raja Raja’s son Rajendra Chola I.
Thanjavur is home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region. Thanjavur painting dates back to early 17th century, the period of Nayakas of Thanjavur, who encouraged art, classical dance, music, literature. The Saraswati Mahal Palace was started by the Nayakas of Madurai around 1500 AD, but was completed by the Maratha ruler of Thanjavur.
Many epigraphs, inscriptions, coins etc belonging to different kings have been discovered from here.
|2.One of the Gopuram 3.Shrine of Ganapathy 4.Main Gopuram 5.Mural painting 6.Shiva Lingam at the temple 7.Statue of Rajaraja Chola Chola I 8.Rajaraja mural 9.Painting on the roof of brihadeeswarar temple 10.One of the 108 dance postures|
|1. Brihadeeswara Temple Entrance Gopurams 2.Tamil writings and sculptures at right side of Thanjavur Brihadeeswara Temple Gopuram.|
- Talakad town on the left bank of the Kaveri river 45 km from Mysore. It once had over 30 temples, most of which now lay buried in sand.
- At the beginning of the 11th century, the Gangas succumbed to the Cholas, who captured Talkad and gave it the name of Rajarajapura. But about a hundred years later it was taken by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana, who drove the Cholas out of Mysore. After this time we find that Talkad was composed of seven towns and five mathas or monastic establishments. Down to the middle of the 14th century, it remained a possession of the Hoysalas, and then passed into the hands of a feudatory of the Vijayanagar sovereigns.
- Among the temples of Talakad, the Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanatheshwara and Mallikarjuna temples, the five Lingams believed to represent the five faces of Shiva. In honour of these five Shivatemples, a fair is held once every 12 years called Panchalinga Darshana.
- Ramanujacharya during his sojourn in Karnataka (also called Melnadu), established five Vishnu temples of Lord Narayana known as Pancha Narayana Kshetrams. Talakad is one of the Pancha Narayana Kshetrams where the Keerthi Narayana temple was established and the presiding Deity in this temple is Keerthi Narayana.
It is situated near Mysore in Karnataka acoss the river Krishna. It is famous for the Battle of Talikota (26 January 1565), which was a watershed battle fought between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Confederacy of the Deccan sultanates, resulted in a rout of Vijayanagara, and ended the great Vijayanagara Empire in South India.
(4) Tamralipti / Tamluk
It is identified with the modern Tamluk near the mouth of the Ganges in Midnapur district of West Bengal.
It was an important seaport and the emporium of trade in eastern India. It was connected to Taxila, rajagriha, Shwavasti, Pataliputra, Varanasi, Kaushambi, Champa by land on one hand and with south-east Asia by sea on the other.
Tamralipti was the exit point of the Mauryan trade route for the south and south-east.
Here, antiquities of Chalcolithic period have been found. It became important during NBPW phase. Discovery of Rouletted ware and red polished ware of Roman type indicates the trade contact with Roman world during first and second century AD.
Urban character is proved by discovery of teracotta figurines, coins, beads or semiprecious stones etc.
(5) Taradih (Location same as Bodhgaya in Part B)
- Taradih is the mound on which the Mahabodhi Temple stands.
It is located near Thaneshwar in Haryana. It is famous for the two battles of Tarain, which were fought in 1191 and 1192 between Mohammad Ghori and Prithviraj Chauhan. The first battle was won by Prithviraj Chauhan but he was defeated in the second battle. Ghurid’s win in the second battle was decisive which led the foundation of Delhi Sultanate in India.
Taxila is situated in Rawalpindi district in Pakistan. Ancient Taxila was situated at the pivotal junction of 3 major trade routes: first from West Asia, the second from northern India and the third from Central Asia. When ancient trade routes connecting these regions ceased to be important, the city sank into insignificance.
It developed as an important political, commercial and cultural centre during 500 BC – 500 AD.
Taxila was an important centre of artisanal production. This is attested by discovery of tools used by carpenters and metal workers.
Taxila was an important centre of education. Taxila University is considered to be amongst the earliest universities in the world. Others do not consider it a university in the modern sense, in that the teachers living there may not have had official membership of particular colleges, and there did not seem to have existed purpose-built lecture halls and residential quarters in Taxila, in contrast to the later Nalanda University in eastern India.
Charaka, Chanakya, Jivaka, Panini etc are related to Taxila University.
In 326 BCE, Alexander the Great received submission of ruler of Taxila, Ambhi. Greek historians accompanying Alexander described Taxila as wealthy, prosperous, and well governed. Taxila is mentioned as Taxiala in Ptolemy’s Geography.
During 321–317 BCE – Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Mauryan empire, makes himself master of northern and north-western India, including Taxila. Chandragupta Maurya’s advisor Kautilya (also known as Chanakya) was a teacher at Takshasila. Under Chandragupta, Taxila became a provincial capital of Mauryas.
During the reign of Chandragupta’s grandson Ashoka, Taksasila became a great Buddhist centre of learning. Ashoka encouraged trade by building roads, most notably a highway linking his capital Pataliputra with Taxila.
In 2nd century BCE, after Maurya rule, Taxila was annexed by the Indo-Greek kingdom of Bactria. Indo-Greeks build new capital, Sirkap, on the opposite bank of the river from Taksasila.
In 20 BCE, Gondophares, founder of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom, conquers Taksasila and makes it his capital. Then it came under Kushanas.
Buddhist Jataka literature mentions it as the capital of the kingdom of Gandhara and as a great centre of learning. The Chinese pilgrims Fa Hian (5th century) and Hieun Tsang (7th century) visited Taxila.
The city appears to have already overrun by the Huns during Huen Tsang and been in ruins by his time. Taxila, as the capital of Gandhara Satrapy, was under Achaemenian rule (under darius) for more than a century
(8) Tekkalakota / Tekkalakote
- Neolithic site in Bellary district, Karnataka.
- Tekkalakote is famous for the ancient square shaped fort and Tekkalakote hill is one of the pre-historic sites in India
- Circular huts, small cemetary and evidence of early cattle and plant domestication, dated 1500 BC.
- Ter, ancient Tagara, today in the Osmanbad district was an international marketing centre as early as the 1st century A.D. Of great value is the famous ivory figure of Shree Laxmi. It was important emporium of trade during Saka- Satvahana period and lay on the route which carrie commodities ffrom eastern Deccan to Broach via Paithan and Nasik. The urban charter of the place is indicated by the discovery of coin- moulds, coins of sakas and satvahanas, bangle of shells and glass etc. Ivory figurines of female is found. A large brick stupa and an apsidal brick structure with a stupa inside- both dated to the 2nd century AD.
- Tagara was both commercial and religious centre.
Thanesar is located near Kurukshetra in Haryana. Vardhanas had their capital at Thanesar in 7th century. Later Harshavardhana made Kannauj his capital. His biography ‘Harshcharita’ written by court poet Banabhatta, describes city of Thanesar and Harshavardhaa’s association with Thanesar. According to foreign accounts, the city was an important centre of education, music and trade. There were numerous mathas and temples here.
The Chinese pilgrim, Hsuan-Tsang has visited Thanesar, and has described it as a prosperous city. The tomb of Sheikh Chilhi Jalal, Chini Masjid, and Pathar Masjid are some important monuments of this place, which indicate that the place developed as a centre of Sufism.
The town was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1014 AD.
- Thatta may be the site of ancient Patala , the main port on the Indus in the time of Alexander the Great. The geographer Strabo (64 BC–24 AD) recorded it.
- The city, formerly commanding the delta of the Indus, was the capital of Lower Sindh from the 14th century onwards. The city was destroyed by Mirza Jani Beg in the 16th century.
- During the ruling period of the Samma dynasty, Thatta was the capital of Sindh for 95 years. Between 1592–1739, it was governed in the name of the Mughal emperors of Delhi. In 1739 however, following the Battle of Karnal, the province was ceded to Nadir Shah of Persia, after which Thatta fell into neglect as the Indus river started to silt up.
(12) Thikse Gompa
- Thiksay Gompa or Thiksay Monastery is a gompa (monastery) affiliated with the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located on top of a hill approximately 19 kilometres east of Leh in Ladakh.
- It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh, notably containing a separate set of buildings for female renunciates.
- The monastery is a twelve-storey complex and houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords.
- Thiruvananthapuram is an ancient region with trading traditions dating back to 1000 BCE. It is believed that the ships of King Solomon landed in a port called Ophir (now Poovar) in Thiruvananthapuram in 1036 BCE. The city was the trading post of spices, sandalwood and ivory. However, the ancient political and cultural history of the city was almost entirely independent from that of the rest of Kerala. In the 10th century, the city was taken over by the rulers of Venad.
- The rise of modern Thiruvananthapuram began with accession of Marthanda Varma in 1729 as the founding ruler of the princely state of Travancore (Thiruvithamkoor in the local vernacular). Thiruvananthapuram was made the capital of Travancore in 1745 after shifting the capital from Padmanabhapuram in Kanyakumari district. The city developed into a major intellectual and artistic centre during this period. The golden age in the city’s history was during the mid 19th century under the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal.
- Thiruvarur was one of the five traditional capitals of the Chola empire and the history of town revolves around the Thygarajaswamy temple.
- Thiruvarur is mentioned in the saiva canonical work, Tevaram by Thirugnana Sambanthar, Tirunavukkarasar and Sundarar, the foremost Saivite saints of 7th–8th century CE and classified as Padal petra stalam. (275 temples that are revered in the verses of Saiva Nayanars in the 6th-9th century CE and are amongst the greatest Shiva temples of the continent).
- The granite structure of the temple was first constructed by Aditya Chola I (871–907 CE) in the 9th century CE and revamped during the reign of Rajaraja Chola I (985–1014 CE). The temple has inscriptions from both the emperors, later Cholas and Pandyas. The temple is believed to be an inspiration for Rajaraja Chola to build the Brihadeeswarar Temple.
- After the fall of Cholas during the reign of Rajendra Chola II in the 13th century CE, the town was caught under a power struggle between Pandyas and Hoysalas. The royal patronage continued and the town flourished as a cultural centre during the rule of the Nayaks, Vijayanagar kings and Marathas.
- During the period of Marathas, the town became a temporary home to the Nataraja of Chidambaram temple.The town was briefly captured by French troops lead by Lally in 1759 CE.
- The city is located on the west bank of the Thamirabarani River; its twin city, Palayamkottai, is on the east bank.
- Tirunelveli has been ruled by the Early Pandyas, the Medieval and Later Cholas, the later Pandyas, the Mabar and Tirunelveli sultanates, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Madurai Nayaks, Chanda Sahib, the Carnatic kingdom and the British.
- The Polygar War, involving Palaiyakkarars led by Veerapandiya Kattabomman and forces of the British East India Company, was waged on the city’s outskirts from 1797 to 1801.
- Tirunelveli has a number of historical monuments, the Nellaiappar Temple of Shiva being the most prominent.
- Tirupati is a major pilgrimage and cultural city in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Tirupati is famous for Tirumala Venkateswara Swamy temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, located about 20 kilometres north west of Tirupati in the Tirumala hills.
- The temple of Lord Venkateshwara was maintained and upgraded by various kingdoms like Pallava around 9th Century AD, Chola around 10th century AD and the latest one being Vijayanagara Empire around 14th to 15th century AD. It was during the rule of Vijayanagara Empire that the temple received increased contributions.
- The site was an established center of Vaishnavism around 5th century A.D. during which it was praised by Alvars (Vaishnava saints). The temple rites were formalized by the Vaishnavite saint Ramanujacharya himself, in the 11th century AD.
- It is a Mesolithic site located in Rajasthan.
- It is rich in microliths.
- It has two phases. First phase is Mesolithic. The second phase has yielded wheel-made pottery and pieces or iron with microliths.
Tigawa (or Tigwa) is situated in Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh. The well known Gupta period Kankali Devi temple or Tigawa temple is situated here, which represents the earliest phase of the structural temples characterized by flat roof, square sanctum and a shallow verandah. The sanctum and an open portico are supported on four pillars. An image of Narasimha is placed inside the sanctum. The portico has an image of the Sheshashai Vishnu (Narayana) and another one of Chamunda (Kankali Devi).
(20) Topra (See Yamunanagar in Part Y)
(21) Tosali / Dhauli (Near Bhubaneswar)
Tosali is situated near Bhubaneshwar in Orissa. It is mentioned in the Ashokan edict at Dhauli. It was mentioned by ancient geographer Ptolemy as a metropolis.
Major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock. The Rock Edicts found here include Nos. I-X, XIV and two separate Kalinga Edicts. In Kalinga Edict VI, Ashoka expresses his concern for the welfare of the whole world. The rock-cut elephant above the Edicts is the earliest Buddhist sculpture of Odisha.
It seems to have been the capital of Kalinga. It has generally been identified with Sisupalgarh situated in north-east of Dhauli and many identify Dhauli as Tosali.
The discovery of antiquities include glass bangles, clay bullae Roman coins, coins of Satvahana, terracotta ear ornaments etc.
- Tharangambadi (formerly Tranquebar) is in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, 15 km north of Karaikal, near the mouth of a distributary of the Kaveri River.
- Masilamani nathar (Shiva) temple was built in 1306. As of now, this temple is the oldest monument. Until 1620, when Danish people came, the place was under Thanjavur Nayak kingdom.
- It was a Danish colony from 1620 to 1845. Tranquebar came under the control of the British in February 1808, during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, but was restored to Denmark following the Treaty of Kiel in 1814. Along with the other Danish settlements in India (Serampore and the Nicobars), it was sold to the British in 1845.Tranquebar was then still a busy port, but it later lost its importance after a railway was opened to Nagapattinam.
(23) Trichinopoly / Tiruchirapalli /Trichy / Tiruchi
- Tiruchirappalli’s recorded history begins in the 3rd century BC, when it was under the rule of the Cholas. The city has also been ruled by the Pandyas, Pallavas, Vijayanagar Empire, Nayak Dynasty, the Carnatic state and the British.
- The most prominent historical monuments in Tiruchirappalli include the Rockfort, the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam and the Jambukeswarar temple at Thiruvanaikaval.
- The city played a critical role in the Carnatic Wars (1746–1763) between the British and the French East India companies.
- Uraiyur, capital of the Early Cholas, is now a suburb of Tiruchirappalli.
- Jambukeshwar Temple or Thiruvanaikaval (also Thiruvanaikal, Jambekeswaram) is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli. The temple was built by Kochenga Chola, one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is located in the Srirangam island, which has the famous Ranganathaswamy temple. Thiruvanaikal is one of the five major Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu (Panchabhoota Sthalams) representing the Mahabhuta or five great elements; this temple represents the element of water, or neer in Tamil. The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream and in spite of pumping water out, it is always filled with water. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where all the four most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung glories of the deity in this temple. The temple has inscriptions from the Chola period.
- The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple or Thiruvarangam is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Hindu deity, Vishnu located in Srirangam. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, this temple is glorified in the Thiviya Pirabandham, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries AD.
(24) Tuticorin / Thoothukudi / Thiru mandira Nagar
- Tuticorin is “Sea Gateway of Tamil Nadu” and known for its pearl fishing and shipbuilding industries.
- It is one of the oldest seaports in the world and was the seaport of the Pandyan kingdom after Korkai. It was later taken over by the Portuguese in 1548, captured by the Dutch in 1658, and ceded to the British in 1825. The lighthouse built in 1842 marked the beginning of the history of harbour development in the city. Being a port town, the town received attention from the rulers for improving their trade, and so it was brought to Municipal status in 1866.
- The minor port of the Thoothukudi anchorage port with lighter age facilities has had flourished traffic for over a century.