Culturescaping by Prof. Swaminathan, 4th April 2020, Video

Tamil Heritage Trust  

Culturescaping - கலாச்சாரவடிவுக்கலை 
Professor Swaminathan - பேராசிரியர் சுவாமிநாதன்

A Digital Lecture
4th April 2020, Saturday 5:30 PM.
Youtube link will be shared via Email, Facebook, WhatsApp and THT Website on the day of the digital lecture

About the Topic

Landscaping modifies the visible features of an area of land to make it appealing. Culturescaping, in addition, attempts to sensitise public towards our heritage, a bio-aesthetic, spiritual, religious, ecological approach to landscaping. This is but feeling our culture in every step. Covering space to uncover our past, Turning idle minutes into enchanting moments, Let us have yesterday, Ode to our multi-faceted culture, Rhythm, harmony and balance, … and peace, are some  interesting themes.
Culturescaping as Sanga-ch-cholai is an attempt to celebrate our 2000-year old heritage where nature around the people provided substance for literary metaphor. agath-th-thottam and purath-th-thottam celebrate the literary expressions synergising both nature and literature inspired by it, for a visual, emotional and literary treat two millenia later! Similarly yappu-th-thoppu would be an orchard consisting mango (sweet and sour), vila and vilva trees, for these trees form the basis for the mimetic mnemonics in Tamil prosody. Lastly, a flower garden with the 99 plants mentioned in the kurinji-p-pattu by kapilar.

About the Speaker

Professor Swaminathan had a thriving career as a faculty member in IIT Delhi, a premier engineering institution in India.  He sought voluntary retirement, first to work in the Integrated Rural Technology Centre in Kerala and then moved full time into Culture and Heritage. He first established Sudarsanam in Pudukkottai to document the heritage of Pudukkottai, his hometown.  Subsequently, he was instrumental in establishing the Tamil Heritage Trust in Chennai and remains it founder chairman.


நிலவடிவுக்கலை (Landscaping) ஓரிடத்தின் காட்சியமைப்பை மேம்படுத்துகிறது.     கலாச்சாரவடிவுக்கலை (Culturescaping) கூடுதலாக பாரம்பரியம்உயிர் அழகியல்ஆன்மீகம்மதம் மற்றும் சூழலியல் மூலம் நிலவடிவுக்கலையை அணுகுகிறது. இதன் ஒவ்வொரு அடியிலும் நம் கலாச்சாரத்தை உணரலாம். வெற்று இடங்களை மாற்றி நம் கடந்த காலம் பற்றிய நினைவுகளைசெயலற்ற கணங்களில் நேற்றைய சாதனைகளை,  ன்முகத் தன்மை கொண்ட நம் கலாச்சார பாடல்கள் மற்றும் அவற்றில் ஒத்திசைந்த தாளம்நல்லிணக்கம்சமநிலை மற்றும் சமாதானம் முதலியவற்றைகலாச்சாரவடிவுக்கலை வழியாக வெளிப்படுத்த முடியும்.

சங்கச்சோலை எனும் கலாச்சாரவடிவுக்கலைநம் இரண்டாயிர வருட பாரம்பரியத்தையும்அதில் இயற்கைச்சூழல் எவ்வாறு இலக்கிய உருவகங்களுக்கு வழிகோலியது என்பதையும் கொண்டாடுகிறது. அகத்தோட்டம் மற்றும் புறத்தோட்டம் போன்றவை இயற்கையும்அதனோடு  ஒருங்கிணைந்த இலக்கிய வெளிப்பாடும் நம் கண்கள்புலன்கள் மற்றும் ரசனைக்கு விருந்தாகமுடியும். இதைப்போல் யாப்புத் தோப்பு என்ற பழத்தோட்டம் தேமாவும்புளிமாவும்விளாமும்வில்வமும் உள்ளடக்கியிருக்கும். இம்மரங்கள்தானே தமிழின் சீர் மற்றும் யாப்பிலக்கணத்தின் அடிப்படையாக விளங்குகின்றன! கடைசியாக கபிலர் குறிஞ்சிப் பாட்டில் கூறிய தொன்னூற்று ஒன்பது தாவரங்களைக் கொண்ட பூந்தோட்டமும் இதில் ஒன்றே.


பேராசிரியர் சுவாமிநாதன் இன்று இந்தியாவின் தலை சிறந்த பொறியியல் கல்லூரி நிறுவனங்களில் ஒன்றான புது தில்லி இந்திய தொழில்நுட்ப கல்லூரியில் சிறப்பாக ஆசிரிய பணிபுரிந்தவர். அதிலிருந்து தன்னார்வ ஓய்வு பெற்று பின்னர் கேரளாவில் உள்ள ஒருங்கிணைந்த கிராமப்புற தொழில்நுட்ப மையத்தில் பணி செய்து,  அதன் பின் முழுநேரமாக இந்திய கலாச்சாரம்  மற்றும் பாரம்பரியத்தை மக்களுக்கு கொண்டு செல்லும் செயல்களில் ஈடுபடலானார்.  அவருடையசொந்த ஊரான புதுக்கோட்டையின் பாரம்பரியத்தை ஆவணப்படுத்த சுதர்சனம் என்ற அமைப்பை உருவாக்கியிருக்கிறார்சென்னையில் தமிழ்ப் பாரம்பரிய அறக்கட்டளையைத் தொடங்கிஅதன் தலைவராகவும் இருக்கிறார். 

Entry for the event is FREE; No registration required. The event will also be available LIVE. For further details, please visit &

Tamil Heritage Trust
Contact: T Ravishankar 9500074247    

Story of Scripts - Professor Swaminathan -- Delivered at Badri Seshadri's Office (9 Videos)

Story of Scripts
Professor Swaminathan
(Mottai Maadi Koottam - Badri's Office, Eldams Road, 2011)

A series of nine video lectures on how writing has evolved around the world.  

PART - 1

PART - 2

PART - 3

PART - 4

PART - 5

PART - 6

PART - 7

PART - 8

PART - 9

Tamil Heritage Trust

Tamil Heritage Trust (THT) is a recognized trust (Reg.No. 379/2010) set up with a vision to promote, document and disseminate Indian heritage. The impetus for this came from Prof. S. Swaminathan, retired Professor of Mechanical Engineering, IIT-Delhi, and Dr. Badri Seshadri, a well-known publisher, entrepreneur and heritage enthusiast.

At THT, we are all volunteers with a common interest in Indian heritage. Our passion is to communicate its richness and beauty to everyone around us. Our Monthly Talks and Pechu Kacheri programs are free for all.  Site Seminars, Mamallapuram Study Tours and other workshops have a nominal charge to cover the costs.  We do not levy a membership or subscription fees. Aṣ a non-profit organization, we are supported by sponsorships and donations from heritage enthusiasts. 

Our mission is to get you interested in Indian heritage.  If you are already attracted to this subject, we provide you with an enthusiastic community for sharing your ideas and learning.

We have a range of activities: 
  • Monthly Talk on various aspects of heritage, conducted on the first Saturday of every month
  • Annual Pechu Kacheri, a lecture series on heritage-related themes in December
  • Periodic study tours to Mamallapuram
  • Regular workshops on “How to See a Temple” and “How to See a Museum”
  • Annual Site Seminars – weeklong tours to important heritage sites of India
  • Lectures at schools to sensitize children on our heritage
  • Support TN Government’s culture and tourism departments in their efforts towards promoting Indian heritage

Founder Prof. Swaminathan

(DD Interview of Professor Swaminathan by Gopu - Video)

The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings.
-   from The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll

Unlike the walrus, few people can talk of such a variety of things.  Prof Swaminathan can talk of shoes and socks in Ajanta paintings, ships that sailed between England and India, the Fibonacci patterns of leaves in cabbages, and many a king including Mahendra Varma Pallava, - the maverick who called himself Vichitra-Chitta, the innovative and exotic thinker who unleashed the era of sculptures and architecture in Tamil country. If you had studied mechanical engineering in IIT Delhi, I am sure you would have heard him speak about sealing wax, too.

To talk about such a variety of things, one must first have an abundant curiosity and the intellectual discipline to understand what they have to offer. In short he must be an Atyanta-Kaama and a Tattva-Vedi.

Our Vichitra-Chittha Swaminathan can not only talk about them, but talk about them in interesting ways, and provoke the listener’s curiosity and instigate a sense of wonder. 

Most Indians, unlike Isaac Newton, stand not on the shoulders of giants, but are surrounded by the wonders wrought upon this many splendored land by innumerable generations of intellectual, artistic and indefatigable. Sadly most of us see this treasure trove not with eyes always appreciative but sometimes ignorant, often apathetic, even blasé. Even the curious and the restless among us, often need a spark, a shaft of light, a steady lamp to look long and deep and absorb the essence of such wonders, waiting to be discovered. Such a spark, a lighthouse is Swaminathan.

Professor Swaminathan had a thriving career as a faculty member in IIT Delhi, a premier engineering institution in India.  He sought voluntary retirement, first to work in the Integrated Rural Technology Centre in Kerala and then moved full time into Culture and Heritage.  He first established Sudarsanam in Pudukkottai to document the heritage of Pudukkottai, his hometown.  Subsequently, he was instrumental in establishing the Tamil Heritage Trust in Chennai and remains its chairman.

How to See a Museum (HowSAM)

Our heritage is important not because it is old, but its intrinsic quality is significant, and it is ‘ours’. But it is always a puzzle why the general public is not taking serious interest in what exists before us, many of them extraordinary by any standards. Suppose when one goes to London, the visit would definitely include the British museum. In New York, the visit would not be considered complete without spending time in the Museum of National History and the Statue of Liberty, to name only a few. Can we ask ourselves why we in Chennai do not visit our own museums, art galleries and heritage sites regularly?

Prof. Swaminathan, founder of Tamil Heritage Trust (THT) attributes this to the absence of intellectual stimulation as one of the reasons. He says that 'An interesting, but truthful presentation of our masterpieces bringing out its artistic and other aspects has not been the strong feature'

It is with such an objective that THT created this program 'How to See A Museum'. The 2-day program is a serious attempt to sensitize the public towards appreciating some of our outstanding galleries in Madras Museum in Egmore. Day 1 of the workshop consists of detailed lectures on the Amaravati gallery, the Bronze gallery, the Stone Sculpture gallery, the Coins gallery, and the section on copper plates.  Each of these lectures dwells on select masterpieces from these galleries, and an appreciation of their art/history. Day 2 of the workshop is a full-day field visit at the Madras Museum. Participants are taken through all the galleries described in the lectures, and are given an opportunity to witness first-hand the treasures that are housed in the museum.

Background and History

After four score and ten years, Prof. Swaminathan decided to start a new chapter in not only his life, but that of this city, Madras, which we proudly call the cultural capital of India. At the end of a lecture by Vilayanur S Ramachandran in Thyagaraya Nagar in 2008, Swaminathan proposed that like minded people come together and create a forum, to host lectures and exchange ideas about Indian heritage.
S Kannan, Annamalai, Siva Thiagarajan, and Badri Seshadri agreed, and they founded the Tamil Heritage Trust, whose first few set of programs were monthly lectures, initially hosted at the Vinobha Hall of Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T. Nagar.

Badri Seshadri made it a point to video record all the lectures initially with his hand held Flip camera.  He also created the blog for THT activities and posted the videos.  It was during this time we started organizing Summer Camps for Children, Site Seminars and Pechu Kacheris.  Raga Sudha Hall, PS High School and Tattvaloka in Mylapore were also used for Pechu Kacheris and Summer Camps.

In 2016 ARKAY Ramakrishnan offered his hall in Royapetta High Road in Mylapore for monthly lectures.  It is a lovely hall with a seating capacity of about 100, air-conditioned and most importantly, we could stream videos of the lectures live on youtube.  This has been our monthly meeting place for over 4 years now.

Most of the programs are run by our volunteers.  The site seminars, pechu kacheris and other workshops are fully managed by them.  It is their extraordinary commitment, and also, generous support from public that keeps our activities going.

Monthly Talk

Monthly Talk is the most important event around which all our other activities revolve.  It is usually delivered either by an amateur enthusiast or a dedicated professional.  The topics can range from various arts to culture.

Initially, when we started this 2008, among the speakers and topics were Dr Nagaswamy, renowned archaeologist on Hindu art in Southeast Asia, VP Dhananjayan, Bharatanatyam dancer on the Classical Arts and Human Heritage, Prof Baluswamy, Tamil professor on the Great Penance Sculpture of Mamallapuram, PS Sriraman, an archaeologist on the Tanjvaur Chola paintings,  Dr Vilayanur S Ramachandran, neurologist on Neurology and the Arts, VR Devika, educationist about Traditional Performing Arts in Education, Bhushavali fashion designer on Textiles in Ajanta paintings, Prof Swaminathan himself, first on Indian Music, then on Ajanta, historian KRA Narasiah on Researching for Alavai, and many others on a variety of topics. This series of monthly lectures has recently completed eleven years and is going strong in the Twelfth year.

The Monthly Talk is free for every one to attend.  Please fill out the contact form on the web page, and you will receive emails about our programs.

Site Seminar

A site seminar for art enthusiasts, that is a structured visit to a set of historical monuments, is something like a factory visit for engineering students. It comprises an introduction to the history, preparatory lectures by experts, guided visits, artistic performances, sessions for feedback and free exchange of opinions. 
As an experiment, a two day Mahendra Pallava tour was organized in 2009, a tour of the several cave temples of the original Vichitrachitta. In June that year, Prof. Swaminathan decided we could do an proper Site Seminar in Mamallapuram, and invited a few people – Badri Seshadri, R Chandrasekar, and V Chandrasekar - to help organize it. The preparatory programs were then launched in September, with his two hour detailed lecture. He also arranged for a few other speakers to talk about related aspects – a documentary screening by Balakailasam on idol making, an in-depth presentation by Prof Sivaramakrishnan on the the language of sculptures using the miniature sculptures at Pullamangai and Nagesvaram. Swaminathan himself also gave an indepth illustrated lecture on the four major narrative panels. For the actual Site Seminar, Prof Baluswamy who had written a book on the Great penance, Prof Sivaramakrishnan, and Umapathy and Veezhinathan Acharyas, hereditary sthapathis were also invited. With a few additional preparatory lectures, about Pallava history, iconography, the Grantha script etc we went to Mamallapuram quite prepared. A subset of the participants also prepared a street play, partly based on a one-act Sanskrit play called Trivikrama, suspected to be written by Mahendra Pallava himself.
The first site seminar was quite a success, but it did not have the after effect that Swaminathan hoped for. Individually, the participants were quite thrilled and several visited Mallai in the subsequent months, but a larger movement to create greater awareness didn’t materialize in the short term. As with all things Indian, it needed the slow churn of time. The Site Seminar experiment almost ended with Mamallapuram, but he was persuaded by an eager Narayanaswamy to organize a second site seminar at Ajanta. This time, the groundworks began with a sweeping historical and artistic overview of Ajanta art and an in depth look at Mahajanaka Jataka. In the subsequent weeks, each individual participant chose or was assinged some painting or feature of Ajanta to study and present. The presentations varied in quality, duration coverage and confidence, but nevertheless they were covered. 
That set the tone for all future site seminars, and Eleven Site Seminars have been completed, including: Pudukottai, Srirangam, Gujarat, ThenPandi Naadu, Badami-Pattadakkal, Orissa, Kanchipuram, Madhya Pradesh, and Kumbakonam (Chola Heritage). Like a snowball, the series has collected talented, dedicated, scholarly and cooperative people, full of ideas, energy and enthusiasm, which have made THT a richer, effective organization.

For more details on Site Seminars, please visit:

Pechu Kacheri

In the Tamil month Maargazhi, the second half of December, various sabhas in the city reverberate with the sound of carnatic music and several classical dance performances. It is Kacheri season, a hundred year old practice, that developed a large following, as people from all parts of the state and southern India gravitated to the growing capital city, and wanted the taste of traditional classical arts, albiet in secular settings. 
Why only celebrate music and dance, was Swaminathan’s question. Why not have a celebration of other plastics arts as well, sculptures, painting, epigraphy, literature, other performing arts… in general, why not celebrate the other aspects of heritage too, for an audience teeming with leisure and hopefully curious for diversity?! Thus was born in December 2011, the Pechu Kacheri, a five day series, of lectures, lecture demonstrations, and performances, to highlight these other aspects. The inaugaral lecture by writer Jayamohan, on the nuances and relevance of Sangam literature, drew a houseful crowd, as did the subsequent talks that took a line through the various historical periods of the state. 
From the second year, each Pechu Kacheri was based on a single theme. In 2012, the theme was the Paintings of India from prehistoric cave art, to Ajanta, Pallava and Pandya and Chola and Nayak arts. In 2013, the theme was Srirangam, a Town within a Temple. In 2014, we celebrated the various Contributions of Dr Nagaswamy, the doyen of Tamil archaeologists,and the first director of the TN Archaeology departmentHis first batch of students in the TN department delivered the lectures, with a grand finale on Sundaramoorthy Nayanar painting series in Tanjavur Brihadeshvara by the honoree himself. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the themes were respectively, Mamallapuram, Kanchipuram and Chola art. In 2016, the format switched from five lectures over five days to eight or more lectures in two days, and this effectively tripled, even quadrupled the attendance. Live webcasts added considerably to the viewing audience, and there is now great awareness and appreciation of this heritage and THT’s efforts, among a significant section of the intellegentsia and connoisseurs of culture. Our 2020 Pechu Kacheri was on the Art and history of the Pandyas.

For more details on the above Pechu Kacheris, please visit:

How to see a Temple (HOWSAT)

Why do we go to temples ? 
To worship - yes. 
To celebrate festivals and commemorate special days - yes. 
To devour the mouth watering prasadams - yes !

But what do we know of the multitude of sculptures, paintings, inscriptions and history behind them ?

How To See A Temple (HOWSAT) is a 1-day workshop organized by Tamil Heritage Trust, that attempts to help people see temples through the eyes of a connoisseur. 

The workshop consists of 3 introductory lectures and a field visit. The first lecture is on South Indian Temple Architecture, where we help you learn to identify architectural elements of a typical South Indian temple. The second lecture is on Hindu Iconography, where you are taught to identify various elements - such as posture, ayudhas, ornamentation, mudhras etc that we associate with temple sculptures. The third lecture is an introduction to inscriptions, where you get to see the breadth of inscriptions found in our temples, and the myriad stories they convey. Following these lectures, participants are taken to a field visit nearby (typically Kapaleeswarar temple, Mylapore) and apply concepts that they learnt from the lectures.

So far, Tamil Heritage has conducted 5 such workshops, and over 120 participants. The workshops were all held in Chennai on the following dates.

1) 9-Sep-2018
2) 20-Oct-2018
3) 30-Mar-2019
4) 2-Jun-2019
5) 16-Feb-2020

This is a paid workshop with a nominal fee that includes lunch. We plan to conduct these workshops on a regular basis (2 or 3 times every year). If you are looking to register for these workshops, please follow our Facebook page. You may also contact Kishore Mahadevan ( or Siva Thiagarajan ( from the organizing team. 

THT-Prof S Swaminathan Heritage Award

The Tamil Heritage Trust - Prof. S. Swaminathan Heritage Award 2020 awarded to Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan”

Saturday, September 5th, 2020.

The Chennai based Tamil Heritage Trust (THT) today announced the name of Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan as the winner of the inaugural THT - Prof. S. Swaminathan Heritage Award.

The Award was instituted by THT to honour the work of individuals under the age of 50 who have made significant contributions to deepening the general public’s knowledge of Indian heritage, widening the audience for heritage appreciation, and in the process strengthening our existing knowledge base of heritage assets and resources.

The award is named for Prof S. Swaminathan, retired Professor from IIT-Delhi and co- founder of the Tamil Heritage Trust, whose books, monographs and talks on many facets of India’s heritage continue to be a source of inspiration for heritage enthusiasts. The winner was chosen from a short-list of nominations by a distinguished 6-member jury comprising historians, scholars and public intellectuals.

Accepting the Award, Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan said, "Tamil Heritage Trust has been doing yeoman service in creating interest and awareness in the areas of history, heritage and culture amongst the common public. Instituting an award in the name of its founder, Prof. Swaminathan to recognize an individual's contribution in these fields is a way to encourage more active participation by youngsters. It gives me immense pleasure to be chosen as the first recipient of this prestigious award and makes me realize my responsibility."

“The institution of this award is an important milestone in the history of THT”, said Prof S Swaminathan“Our vision is to inspire in our audience a life-long interest in India’s heritage with clear and exciting communication which is based on deep knowledge and scholarship. Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan’s work reflects the essence of our vision. I hope this Award and its first winner will inspire many in the coming years to make this their life’s work”, he added.

THT was founded as a non-profit Trust in the year 2010 with a vision to put the common man in touch with the beauty, grandeur, and the rich storehouse of knowledge that is Indian heritage. The Trust which is entirely volunteer-driven attempts to deliver this through several initiatives - monthly public talks, annual thematic conferences, site seminars and study tours to places of historical interest, workshops on temple architecture and museum collections and an outreach effort through schools to sensitize young students to Indian heritage.

The award which carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs 25,000 will be presented to Madhusudhanan at a ceremony to be held in October. The winner will deliver the Award Lecture on a topic of his choice at the function.


For more information, please contact: Badri Seshadri – 98840 66566
Siva Thiagarajan 
– 98842 94494

THT-Prof S Swaminathan Heritage Award

Last Date for Nominations – March 31, 2020

The Tamil Heritage Trust-Prof S. Swaminathan Heritage Award (THT-SS Award) aims to recognize exceptional individual contributions towards the understanding, dissemination and preservation of Indian Heritage. By rewarding outstanding work in this area, the Award aspires to encourage interest and involvement of the general public in Indian Heritage, thereby raising the awareness and appreciation of history, literature, arts and culture which deserve our attention and care.
The award aims to recognize and reward the efforts and achievements of individuals. Thus, collective enterprises like societies, trusts and Section 8 companies and other interest groups will not be eligible for the award.
The Award is based on a nomination and selection process.
The Award will consist of a citation and a prize of Rs.25000/-

Nomination Process

  1. Any individual can nominate any other individual whom they believe has done noteworthy work in the area of Indian heritage.
  2. Individuals can also nominate themselves.
  3. Nominee's age should be between 20 and 50 years.
  4. The individual must be a citizen of India and ordinarily resident in India.
  5. Nominations must be sent by email to to reach us before March 31, 2020.
  6. Please click to download the nomination form from here
  7. Nominations and accompanying details may be in English or Tamil only.

Selection of Winner

A jury comprising members of the THT Award Committee as well as experts from the field of Heritage will select the winner.
As a part of the selection process, the Judges may choose to have an interaction with the nominee in person or over phone.

Award Ceremony & Award Lecture

The THT-Prof. S Swaminathan Heritage Award will be presented at a formal ceremony during May or June 2020 at the Tamil Virtual Academy, Kottupuram, Chennai.
The Winner will be invited to present the Award Lecture at the Ceremony. The Winner may choose a topic of her/his choice. The Award Lecture may be in Tamil or English.


Am I eligible to enter?

We welcome Nominations from any individual who is a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident in India. Organisations and institutions – like Societies, Trusts, Interest Groups etc – are not eligible.

What are the criteria for selection?

The work done must relate to the previous 5 years. The judges will look for, among other qualities and parameters:
  • New discoveries or insights
  • Thoroughness of knowledge in the chosen area
  • Scholarly rigour in the individual’s output
  • Demonstrable eagerness to share with the public and involve them in a dialog
  • Consistency and persistence of the effort

In what language should the Nomination be submitted?

Nominations can be sent in English or Tamil only.

Is it necessary for the Winner to deliver the Award Lecture?

Yes, the Winner will be expected to deliver the Award Lecture at the Ceremony, either in Tamil or English, on a topic of her/his choice.

What is the Last Date for Nomination?

The last date for entries to reach THT is March 31st, 2020.

When will the winner be announced?

The winner will be announced shortly before the Award Ceremony and the Award Lecture.

When and Where is the Awards Ceremony?

The Ceremony will take place during May or June 2020 at Tamil Virtual Academy, Kotturpuram, Chennai. The time will be announced soon.

Is there an Entry Fee?

No, there is no fee involved.

Terms + Conditions of entry

The Award will be made solely at the discretion of the Jury. No feedback or correspondence will be entered into about the results and the Jury’s decision is final.

About Tamil Heritage Trust (THT)

Tamil Heritage Trust (THT) is a recognized trust (Reg.No. 379/2010) set up with a vision to promote, document and disseminate Indian heritage. The impetus for this came from Prof. S. Swaminathan, who retired as Professor of Mechanical Engineering, IIT-Delhi and Badri Seshadri, a well-known publisher, entrepreneur and heritage enthusiast.
THT’s events are conducted by volunteers with a common interest in Indian heritage and a passion to communicate its richness and beauty to as many people as possible. Aṣ a non-profit organization, the Trust is supported by sponsors and donations by heritage enthusiasts. There is no membership or subscription fees. THT’s Monthly Talks and Pechu Kacheri programs are free for all. The Site Seminars, Mamallapuram Study Tours and How to See a Temple sessions are run on an at-cost basis.
Our mission is to get everyone interested in Indian heritage and, if they are already attracted to this subject, provide them a community they can enjoy learning along with.
Towards this end, we conduct a range of events:
  • Monthly Talks on various aspects of heritage, conducted on the first Saturday of every month
  • Annual Pechu Kacheri (a lecture series) on heritage-related themes in December
  • Periodic Study Tours to Mamallapram
  • Periodic Workshops on “How to See a Temple”
  • Annual Site Seminars – weeklong tours to heritage sites of importance in and outside Tamil Nadu
  • Presentations at schools to sensitize youngsters to our heritage
  • Coordination with the TN Government’s culture/tourism agencies to support and supplement their efforts
You can follow THT on Facebook (/TamilHeritageTrust) and Twitter (@TamilHeritageTN)

About Prof. S Swaminathan

Prof. S Swaminathan is the inspiration behind the Tamil Heritage Trust. As a co-founder, he continues to guide the initiatives and activities of THT.
His interest in India’s rich heritage goes back to his days at IIT-Delhi where he engaged generations of his students in projects and conversations on India’s traditions in art, architecture, music, mathematics and science. After his retirement he made it his life’s mission to educate, inform and inspire interested audiences to discover more about their heritage.
A Professor in Mechanical Engineering in Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi for more than 30 years, Prof Swaminathan also worked in the Centre for Rural Development in IIT Madras, Bharath Gyan Vigyan Samithy, Delhi as the National Coordinator for watershed development and Integrated Rural Technology Centre, Palakkad, Kerala.
Fuelled by an infinite curiosity, his interests range far and wide. He has written a book on the Pallava art of Mamallapuram. His lectures on the paintings of Ajanta are legendary. His talks on an array of topics – 5000 years of Indian Art, The Story of Scripts, the Mathematics of Kolams, the Trees of India and so on - have served as wonderful introductions to awestruck audiences for many years. His erudition makes him equally at home with the fine nuances of Carnatic music, the complexities of Gandhian thought and the refined ideas of Nehru’s scientific temper.
His passion for education, especially of young minds, has led him to work pro-bono with schools and colleges – helping to redesign curriculum at one institution, assisting teachers to bring practical science to the class rooms at another, planting a Sangam-age orchard of tress in a third, and readily sharing his wisdom for the benefit of teachers and students everywhere.
He is the author Mamallapuram: Unfinished Poetry in Stone and monographs on the Paintings of Ajanta, and the Monuments of Pudukottai District.

Contact Us

For any clarifications, please contact us at:
 Mail :
 Phone : Siva Thiagarajan: 9884294494; Sivasankar Babu 9840068123

Heritage Sites of Cambodia by Arvind Venkatraman, 7th March 2020, Video

Tamil Heritage Trust  
Heritage Sites of Cambodia - கம்போடியாவின் கலைச் சின்னங்கள் 
Arvind Venkatraman - அர்விந்த் வெங்கட்ராமன்

7th March 2020, Saturday 5:30 PM at Arkay Convention Center,
146/3 R.H.Road, OMS Lakshana (Above Shah Electronics), Mylapore, Chennai

About the Topic

Between the 7th and 13th centuries, the Khymer Empire went through many raise and fall.. The kings moved their capitals from one city to another in the areas surrounding the modern-day Siem Reap. They have left behind the monumental temple, both Hindu and Buddhists. They were influenced by India, especially southern India. Their relationship with Cholas enabled them to overcome their traditional enemies the Chams. In this talk, I wish to introduce some of the key temples, their layout, their progression over the years. 

About the Speaker

An IT professional, who dabbles with history, photography, and travel.  Arvind has delivered lectures on topics like Indian Paintings, Idol Theft Story, Chalukyas of Badami and a website on Mahabharatha.
தலைப்பு :
கம்போடியாவின் கெமர் பேரரசு ஏழாம் நூற்றாண்டிலிருந்து பதிமூன்றாம் நூற்றாண்டுக்கிடைப்பட்ட காலத்தில் பல எழுச்சிகளையும்வீழ்ச்சிகளையும் சந்தித்தது. அதன் அரசர்கள் இப்போதிய சியாம் ரீப் சுற்றியுள்ள பகுதிகளில் தங்கள் தலைநகரங்களை பல இடங்களுக்கு மாற்றினர். பல இந்துபௌத்த கோயில்கள் மற்றும் நினைவுச் சின்னங்களை எழுப்பினர். அவர்களின் கலை பாரம்பரியத்தில் இந்தியாவின் குறிப்பாக தென்னிந்தியாவின் தாக்கம் அதிகமாக இருப்பதை காணலாம்.  அவர்களின் பரம்பரை எதிரியான சம்பர்களை சோழ அரசர்களின் உதவியோடு முறியடித்தனர். என்னுடைய இந்த உரையில் அவர்களெழுப்பிய சில முக்கிய கோயில்கள்அவைகளின் அமைப்புகாலப்போக்கில் அவற்றின் முன்னேற்றம் பற்றி பேசப் போகிறேன்.


அர்விந்த் ஒரு தகவல் தொழில்நுட்ப வல்லுனர். மேலும், வரலாறுபுகைப்படத் துறைபயணம் போன்றவற்றில் ஆர்வமிக்கவர். இந்திய ஓவியங்கள்சிலைத்  திருட்டுவாதாபி சாளுக்கியர்கள், ஒரு மஹாபாரத இணையதளம் போன்ற பல தலைப்புகளில் அவர் உரையாற்றியிருக்கிறார்.

Entry for the event is FREE; No registration required. The event will also be available LIVE on the Internet. For further details, please visit &

Tamil Heritage Trust
Contact: T Ravishankar 9500074247