4 March 2013

Trinomalee c. 1780

“In 1767, near Trinomalee (Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, south west of Madras), Colonel Joseph Smith defeated the combined forces of Hyder Ali, ruler of Mysore, and the Nizam of Hyderbad, who had formed a temporary alliance.” 

The below is an old photograph in black and white, of a unique copper engraving by J. Cheevers which was prepared for inclusion in a book by Richard Orme entitled “A History of Military Transactions of the British Nation in Indostan,” published in four editions during the years 1763-1799. 

Arunachala, Tiruvannamalai with Temple 1780

On examining the above photograph of Tiruvannamalai c 1780, one can see the girivalam path follows almost the same route as today, and the map shows two routes to the summit joining together, one branch possibly coming from Pavalakundru peak. The other summit path appears to be in the same location as nowadays i.e., from the south western lower corner of Arunachala temple. 

There is only one main shrine shown within the three walls of the Arunachala temple as the shrine to Unnamulai was not built until much later. See below photograph for an earlier photograph of the Siva Sannidhi. 

Siva Sannidhi before development

Vellore road is discernible in the north side of the map. It appears that a girivalam path went directly adjacent to Adi Annamalai, which is shown as being opposite Arunachaleswarar Temple, a small grouping of buildings, with open agricultural fields behind. The extent of Tiruvannamalai's streets were even more undeveloped than at the time of the below vintage photographs of the Big Temple in 1890’s and 1949. 

Photograph of Temple in 1890s

I will be posting a much fuller report of the historical context of this map and Book by Robert Orme shortly in the History section of Arunachala Samudra

Arunachaleswarar Temple 1949


Anonymous said...

Very interesting.. thank you!

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Yes, I found it very interesting. Hope to find additional photographs and information as I do further research.

JohnM said...

The beautiful original map has the date 1755, in Roman numerals; the map was rediscovered by Dr Perumal of the Tanjore Saraswati Mahal Library in their original copy of the book. After obtaining this we then found a better scan from abroad, (as you have published here),and e-mailed it around.
Several history books mention 'Trinomalee' and the military action here. Bhagavan records that there was a cannon lying near the maintemple in his early days here.

John Maynard
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