Thanjavur- 613 005
Tamil Nadu, India
: : + 91 - 4362 - 226 720
Knowledge and intelligence are the essential qualities that distinguish a human being from other living creatures. While intelligence is innate, and in-born, knowledge is acquired. But both these noble qualities are motivated, nourished and cultured in academic bodies. These institutions of higher learning are widely known as Universities. Ancient India with its hoary tradition and glorious past has a claim to have had a Sanskrit college during the reign of Pallavas in the sixth century A.D. and much earlier a University at Nalanda in the north India. Much later in the 19th century, there arose the reputed Madras, Bombay and Calcutta Universities during the British paramountcy in India. So, the concept of organised academic learning through the Universities is neither strange nor new to India.
Even before the second millennium A.D., there had been Senatus Academicus known as First, Second and Third Cankams for the growth and development of Tamil, the oldest of the Dravidian languages in India.
The Tamil language, in the south of India is known for its antiquity, its richness of vocabulary and its great classical literature. For a long time, its depth, uniqueness and glory were not known to the world outside. Great orientalists such as Max Mueller, Keith and even Edwin Arnold identified the literature of India with Sanskrit only. It is this woeful neglect of Tamil in the British period that motivated a confluence of veteran Tamil scholars at Thanjavur to think in terms of starting an exclusive university for the development and growth Tamil as early as 23rd of August, 1925. These scholarly samaritans opened an account also in the Imperial Bank at Trichinopoly in the name of the proposed Tamil University. But perhaps due to the lack of official patronage of the government, this glorious plan did not materialise.
The credit of again reviving that noble aspiration in post-independent India and giving it concrete shape goes to then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Mr.M.G.Ramachandran in September, 1981. The Location of the Tamil University was chosen to be in the outskirts of Thanjavur. This ancient capital of the later Chola dynasty and the granary of the South as it is known from time immemorial, was happily accepted as the site of the University. The Tamil Nadu State Assembly unanimously passed the Tamil University Act in the second week of September 1981 and the first Vice-Chancellor took office a week later, The University Grants Commission accorded a statutory recognition to the university in 1983.
The aims and objectives of this unitary type of university comprise a higher research in Tamilology and advanced study in various other allied branches such as Linguistics, Translation, Lexicography, Music, Drama and Manuscriptology. But this pure research-oriented University introduced academic research by offering M.Phil and Ph.D programmes in 1992 for a few disciplines such as Language, Literature, Translation, Sculpture, History and Architecture. Due to the public demand, even Post graduate programmes had to be included in June 2003.