Chenganma by Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan - THT-Prof. Swaminathan Award Lecture, October 3rd, 5:30 pm

 Tamil Heritage Trust

Invites you to

The Award Lecture


Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan

Winner of the first

THT-Prof S Swaminathan Heritage Award

at 5.30 pm, on Saturday, October 3, 2020

Topic:  "Chenganma: A Cultural Map" "செங்கண்மாஒரு பண்பாட்டு சித்திரம்"

(Open to all. No registration required)

The Award Lecture:

The Tamil Heritage Trust-Prof S. Swaminathan Heritage Award aims to recognize an individual who has made exceptional contributions towards the understanding, dissemination and preservation of Indian Heritage, thus encouraging interest and involvement of the general public and raising the awareness and appreciation of India's rich history, literature, arts and culture.  The Winner of the Award is invited to deliver an Award Lecture.

The Speaker:  

Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan is the Winner of the inaugural edition of the THT-Prof S Swaminathan Heritage Award.

A Graduate in Architecture and a gold medalist in his Post Graduation, Madhusudhanan specializes in conservation and architectural research. He has been an academic for a decade mentoring students of popular schools of architecture. He is well versed in fields of art, architecture, heritage, cultural studies and vernacular practices.  He is a popular speaker on a wide range of topics associated with heritage, religion and literature, with over two hundred hours of content on YouTube.  He is the founder of RATHAM, a non-profit organization that curates guided Heritage tours to heritage sites and structures of historic, architectural and archeological importance

Madhusudhanan serves on Government instituted panel for conservation of temples in Tamil Nadu.  In 2014-15, he worked as the Senior Consultant to document around 300 heritage structures in Kanchipuram for the prestigious HRIDAY project.  

Madhusudhanan was conferred the Vedhavalli Memorial award for outstanding contribution towards heritage promotion by a young achiever in 2018. He won the Best Lecture award in 2016 from the Madras Music Academy for his lec-dem on Araiyar Sevai. In 2019, he was conferred the title “Ilakkiya Chemmal”, recognizing his proficiency in Tamil literature. In 2020 Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore, recognized him as the Youth Icon of 2020.

Madhusudhanan is currently pursuing his doctoral research on “Temple Town Planning”.

The Topic:

Chengam, a constituency in Tiruvannamalai district with a meagre population has several layers of history embedded on it. Situated on the banks of Cheyyaru that jogs its way down the Javadi hills forms a natural boundary to the northern side of the village. It was on the banks of this river 2000 years back a not so rich poet wandered in search of the mighty gates of the fort of Nannan Sei Nannan, a king who ruled this part of south India. Indeed, this village with dusty streets and narrow lanes now once served as the capital city of an ancient kingdom.

On the southern side of the village runs an ancient highway that connects Karnataka through Hosur. For several centuries this has been an active trade route connecting the eastern shore further south. Several archaeological studies conducted in the recent past has helped us ascertain the antiquity of the place. Chola inscriptions, Vijayanagara temples, local legends, colonial vestiges and more have painted this village’s cultural fabric with a splash of colours.

Madhusudhanan has specially chosen this topic for the Award Lecture to honour Prof. Swaminathan’s cherished dream of collating what he calls a “Culture Atlas” - a manual that documents every settlement for its history, culture, arts, flora, fauna and more. In this lecture, Madhu will create this map for Chengam, drawing on its rich cultural, political and archaeological history.

The Talk will be in Tamil.