The Tamil University was established at Thanjavur, by the Government of Tamil Nadu on 15th September 1981 under the provision of the Tamil University Act No.9 of 1982, for furthering the advancement of learning and research in Tamil language, literature and culture. The University Grants Commission, New Delhi recognized the University on 11th June 1985.

The idea of creating a separate University for Tamil language was mooted as early as 1925 by the learned scholars of Tamil society. This idea took a concrete shape only in 1981 under the leadership of the Hon’b1e Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr.M.G.Ramachandran. He announced at the Fifth World Tamil Conference held at Madurai, that a University, exclusively to promote the high level research in Tamilology would be set up at Thanjavur, as Thanjavur has been the epitome of art and culture for centuries together.

The university is enshrined with the motto “Ulluvathellam Uyarvullal,” which means “WHAT ALL YOU THINK,THINK HIGHLY OF….”

It is a unitary type of university meant for higher research, with no affiliated colleges. Initially, the university focused only on research. Later this University started spreading its wings for the cause of academic training of the youth. In 1992, the University started conducting academic research by offering M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes in various disciplines.

After a decade, the scope was further broadened. In 2002, Post Graduate courses in humanities were introduced, and subsequently in 2005, PG Courses in Sciences were included to meet the aspirations of Tamil society. Certificate and Diploma courses are also offered. Later through the Directorate of Distance Education, various certificates, diploma and degree courses were started. By this way, research and teaching have become the integral part of the University’s academic programmes.


  • To function as a high-level research centre in Tamil language, literature and culture; Promotion of high quality research and teaching.
  • To impart training to those residing within and beyond India who desire to study literature and to do research on Tamil language and culture.
  • To facilitate, regulate and promote research in the fields of arts, culture, music, stage-plays, painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, grammar, linguistics, history, archaeology, epigraphy, religion, philosophy, geography, earth science, ancient sciences, astronomy, navigation and shipping, astrology, Siddha medicine, engineering sciences and handicrafts based on the rich materials, available from the Tamil sources.
  • To focus on research related to environment management, pollution control, waste management, mineral resources, coastal management, groundwater exploration studies, Disaster Management and Remote Sensing and GIS application for Earth Sciences and society.
  • To develop Tamil Computing.
  • To initiate studies on Tamil language, literature and culture in relation to other Indian languages and cultures.
  • To organize advanced studies and research programmes based on a deep understanding of the trends in Tamil language and literature.
  • To prepare Encyclopedias of humanities and sciences in Tamil.
  • To prepare Lexicons of Literary cum Cultural terms and for scientific subjects.
  • The University seeks to serve as a cultural causeway between the people of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Diaspora living in other parts of India and abroad.
  • To translate books in other languages into Tamil according to the needs in consonance with the objectives of the University and also to translate Tamil books into other languages. Dissemination of knowledge related to Tamil language and culture.
  • To preserve and publish palm-leaf manuscripts and rare paper manuscripts.
  • To document and publish epigraphs relating to Tamil language, culture and history.
  • To compile and publish words, expressions, colloquial terms, words peculiar to different segments of the Tamil society.

Faculties, Departments and Centers

Faculty of Arts

  • Department of Sculpture
  • Department of Music
  • Department of Drama

Faculty of Manuscriptology

  • Department of Palm leaf Manuscripts
  • Department of Rare paper Manuscripts
  • Department of Epigraphy and Archaeology
  • Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology

Faculty of Tamil Development

  • Department of Tamil Studies in Foreign Countries
  • Department of Translation
  • Department of Lexicography
  • Department of Social Sciences
  • Department of Scientific Tamil and Tamil Development
  • Department of Education and Management

Faculty of Languages

  • Department of Literature
  • Department of Linguistics
  • School of Philosophy
  • Department of Tribal Research
  • Department of Folklore
  • School of Indian Languages

Faculty of Science

  • Department of Siddha Medicine
  • Department of Ancient Science
  • Department of Industries and Earth Sciences
  • Department of Architecture
  • Department of Computer Science
  • Department of Environment and Herbal Science


  • Encyclopedia Centre
  • Greater Tamil Lexicon
  • Pure Tamil Dictionary

Others Units

  • Museum
  • Publication Department
  • Library

Directorate of Distance Education

Academic Programmes

M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes

M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes are being offered in the Departments of Sculpture, Music, Drama, Palm leaf Manuscripts, Rare-paper Manuscripts, Epigraphy, Translation, Lexicography, Social Sciences, Scientific Tamil and Tamil Development, Tamil Studies in Foreign Countries, Literature, Linguistics, Philosophy, Folklore, School of Indian Languages, Tribal Research, Siddha Medicine, Ancient Science and Architecture with the aim of imparting the maximum potential of the academic capabilities of the departments. The facility for undertaking interdisciplinary research is also available in this University.

Post Graduate Programmes

M.A. (Full Time) courses are offered in the Departments of Literature, Linguistics, Sculpture, Philosophy, Epigraphy and Archaeology, Folklore, Music, Lexicography and Rare paper Manuscripts.

M.Sc. (Full Time) courses are also offered in the Departments of Social Sciences and Computer Sciences.

Diploma courses

Diploma courses (Full Time/Part-time) are available in the Departments of Drama, Translation and Lexicography, Rare paper Manuscripts, School of Indian Languages, Philosophy, Drama and Music.  Certificate courses (Part Time) are offered in the Departments of Music, School of Philosophy, Siddha Medicine, Computer Science and School of Indian Languages.

Guiding Principles

“The sweet nectar of Tamil has to be disseminated across the world”

Mahaakavi Bhaarathiyaar

Tamil language is considered to be the best among the ancient languages of the world.  The Tamil people have always treated that all the nations are theirs and all the people in the world are their kinsmen. The poetic expression, “yaathum uuree yaavarum keelir” i.e “All countries are ours, All are our kith and kin” (-G.U.Pope) reflects the noble quality of the fraternal feeling of the Tamils.Tamil university is a unique university which is doing yeoman service to the overall development of Tamil studies.

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