The Heritage of Adayar River, R. Venkatesh, 5th Nov 2016

Tamil Heritage Trust
The Heritage of Adayar River
at 5.30 PM on Saturday, 5th November, 2016 
Arkay Convention Center, 
146/3 R.H.Road, OMS Lakshana (Above Shah Electronics), Mylapore, Chennai

About the Topic:

For a river that is only 42 km long and dry for most of its course, the Adyar has a lot of history. However, till she roars and overflows her banks with impunity this mighty river is never ever noticed. As one dig further there are details about Battles, temples, castles, churches, apostles, azhavars, studios, superstars and novels.

Post 2015 floods, a group of volunteers thought that mapping  her culture and history would be an interesting task. Testifying to the history were inscriptions in nearly a dozen languages including Armenian which are found along its banks. 

The Pallavaram axe discovered on Adyar’s banks is estimated to be 1.5 million years old and used by the Paleolithic population. The reported sites of Thomas the doubter, one of the 12 apostles of Christ, are all along the river. Thiruneermalai one of the 108 divyadesams also has a legend of a flood in a nearby river holding up Thirumangai Aazhar. The Pallavas were active along the river and fought the battle of Manimangalam near the river.

The Portuguese, French, English, and the Nawab of Arcot have all left their marks just like the Armenians. Forts were built in Santhome and the famous battle of Adyar fought on the quibble island near its mouth.

Madras was a culture by itself. It was where people could simply throw out their past and cast their new identities. The Adyar stood a mute witness to many such transformations. The banks were filled with fiercely ambitious people and their lives are the history of this town we call Chennai.

About the Speaker:

Venketesh hails from the zamindari family of Devakottai whose thirupanis at Rameshwaram and Kalayar koil over the last two centuries are well appreciated. Venketesh is a bilingual writer. He has three tamil novels to his credit. Two of them 'Kaviri Maindan' (காவிரி மைந்தன்) and 'Kanji Tharagai' (காஞ்சித் தாரகை) are sequels to Amarar Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan and Sivagamiyin Sabatham respectively. His highly acclaimed titled "Gods, Kings & Slaves: The Siege of Madurai" featuring Malik Kafur's invasion of Madurai, was one of the top selling historical fiction. 

Venketesh is one of the founder of 'Ponniyin Selvan Varalatru Peravai', a large body of Kalki enthusiasts. He started the cultural mapping project of the Cooum and with a band of volunteers and all buildings and events of historical value on the sides of the 72 km long Cooum river were mapped over several heritage walks and trips. Battles, exiles, personal achievements, scientific advances, cultural developments were all covered. 


S. Swaminathan -; 2467 1501
Badri Seshadri - Kizhakku-p-padippakam -; 98840-66566
A. Annamalai: Gandhi Study Centre -;
S. Kannan -; 98414-47974
R. Gopu -, 98417-24641
T. Sivasubramanian -, 98842-94494

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