A History of India Through Coins by Dr Sanjay Garg on Saturday, January 1, 2022, 5:30 PM

The history of a nation is reconstructed through the cultural vestiges of its past. These include built heritage, archaeological excavations, archival records, oral traditions, epigraphic evidence and numismatic pieces, as well as other artefacts, paintings etc. Among these, coins provide an authentic and unbiased evidence of the past. Produced for mass consumption as the currency of their age, once these small metallic pieces become non-current, they provide corroborative or, at times, solitary evidence of an event of the past. The metal or alloy used in the manufacture of these coins also provides evidence of the scientific development during that particular period.
There are many aspects of our heritage, such as development of iconography, language and script; or religious beliefs as well as reign and extent of a particular ruler, that can be authoritatively gleaned from the study of rich repertoire Indian coins. The Talk would focus on some prominent landmarks of Indian history as revealed through contemporary coins. About The Speaker

Dr Sanjay Garg is a numismatist and economic historian of international repute. He completed his Ph.D. in History, at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; M.A. in History from the St. John’s College, Agra University, Agra; and Post-Graduate Diploma in Archival Studies at the National Archives of India, New Delhi. He is proficient in Hindi, E
nglish, Urdu, French and Persian. He has extensive research experience in history of South Asia, with specialization on economic and monetary history, currency and coinage, architecture and archival studies. His research findings have been widely published in print and multimedia. Dr. Garg has served the National Archives of India, New Delhi in various capacities including as Deputy Director of Archives. He has been in charge of Research at the SAARC Cultural Centre, in Colombo and was the Director of the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, at Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhastan. At present he is the Officer on Special Duty, Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Secretariat, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi.

Monolithic Pillars in India by Dr S Krishnamurthy on Dec 4, 2021

Dr Krishnamurthy will explore the origins and antiquity of the tradition of erecting monolithic pillars in India, based on pillars that were erected from circa 3rd century BCE. to 6th century CE. Monolithic pillars comprise two components - the shaft, made of a single block of stone, and the crowning capital part in the form of a deity or royal insignia or any other animal figure made of another block of stone. The earliest example of erecting a pillar-like structure is from the Vedic Age. There were many purposes behind the creation and erection of a free-standing monolithic pillar. Often the intended purpose of its erection can be more than one. The present talk examines the various causes for the installation of a pillar, analyses the inscriptional evidence and archaeological context with suitable examples. well as the importance of studying the archaeological context in collaboration with the inscriptions engraved on them to reveal their purpose. The Speaker: Dr. S. Krishnamurthy is an Assistant Epigraphist in the office of the The Director (Epigraphy) Archaeological Survey of India, Mysuru. He obtained a Masters degree in Ancient History and Archaeology from University of Madras in 2007 and completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. In 2019, he was awarded a Ph.D. by the University of Madras for his work on the “Social and Cultural History of Pallava Period as Gleaned through sculptural art (from selective temples)”. Dr Krishnamurthy, has undertaken epigraphical surveys in different states of India. He has published 28 research articles in the fields of epigraphy and art, co-authored one book entitled “Monolithic Pillars of the Gupta Period”. He has participated in numerous seminars and workshops. Currently, he is editing a North Indian Inscriptions volume, a departmental publication of the Epigraphy Branch, Archaeological Survey of India. He is the Secretary of The Place Names Society of India (Regd.), Mysuru and was the Assistant Editor of Studies in Indian Epigraphy, Vols. XLII - XLVI published by The Epigraphical Society of India (ESI), Mysuru.

Early Medieval Temples of Eastern India. Dr Sudipa Ray Bandyopadhyaya. November 6, 2021

In this month's THT Monthly Heritage Talk, we go to the eastern part of the country to appreciate the architecture and iconography of the temples there.
dian temple architecture has been broadly classified into three types: nagara, dravida and vesara. Although the temples of eastern India belong to the nagara type, there are a large number of regional variations, particularly in Odisha which produced three major variations - rekha deul, pidha or bhadra deul and khakhara deul.
nIn her Talk, Dr Sudipa Ray Bandyopadhyaya will discuss the architectural features of a few representative temples in Bihar, Odisha and Bengal. She will then introduce us to two temples in Odisha - the Varahi temple at Chaurashi, a fine specimen of the khakhara deul and the Chausat Yogini temple at Hirapur, one of the best examples of the hypaethral temples found in eastern India.
r Sudipa Ray Bandyopadhyay is Professor in the Department of Ancient Indian History and Culture at the University of Calcutta. She was awarded a gold medal for her Masters degree and completed her PhD as a Junior Research Fellow of Indian Council for Historical Research, New Delhi. Dr Ray Bandyopadhyay has authored a book Architectural Motifs in Early Medieval Art of Eastern India, and edited and co-edited several books including those on Nataraja Images of Bengal, Saiva Iconography and two volumes of Journal of Ancient Indian History among others. In 2015, the International Centre for Study of Bengal Art, Dhaka, Bangladesh awarded her an Honorary Fellowship for her research contributions on Bengal art. She is at present writing A Catalogue of Stone Sculptures of a District Museum of West Bengal and also preparing A Photographic Documentation of Early Medieval Temple Sculptures of Karnataka.

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Rock Art of Central India. By Dr Meenakshi Dubey-Pathak - October 2, 2021

Bhimbetka, near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, is world renowned for its extensive rock art sites. And it happens to be just one of several such spectacular rock art sites across central India - in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Some of these sites are as old as ten thousand years. The paintings depict a range of scenes - hunting, fighting, dancing - as well as several types of animals. Uniquely, many forms of tribal art in the area still bear striking similarities to this ancient art in their imagery and function.

In THT's Monthly Heritage Talk on "Rock Art of Central India", Dr Meenakshi Dubey-Pathak, who has studied rock art for nearly three decades, will take us on a fascinating journey to some of these sites and introduce us to the art and their archaeological and cultural significance.

About The Speaker:

Dr Meenakshi Dubey-Pathak has devoted nearly thirty years to the discovery, study, publication, exhibition, and protection of Indian rock art. She has discovered dozens of new painted sites, mostly in Madhya Pradesh, but also in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Ladakh. Her PhD was based on her discoveries of rock art in the Pachmarhi area of MP. She was awarded the ‘Chevalier des Arts et Lettres’ - Knight in the National Order of Arts and Letters by Ministry of Culture and Communication of France in 2014.

Dr Dubey Pathak has published four books and over 70 papers. She is an International Expert member for rock art with ICOMOS and UNESCO, and is a member of the Bradshaw Foundation Advisory Board (England) and Rock Art Network, Getty Foundation (USA). She is a Wakankar Senior Research Fellow. She has given many lectures on Indian Rock Art and tribal Art in various National and International Universities and Museums. A Film based on her research work on “Central Indian Rock Art and tribal art” was screened and awarded in the International Archaeology Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland in March 2019.

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THT Prof S Swaminathan Award Lecture. Dr G Sankaranarayanan "வரலாற்றுப் போக்கில் சைவம்" Sep 4, 2021

Dr G Sankaranarayanan is the Winner of the THT-Prof S Swaminathan Heritage Award for 2021. In his Award Lecture he will take stock of the origins and development of Saivism as well as its different cults over the centuries. About the Speaker Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan is a Professor of Sahitya at the National Sanskrit University in Tirupati. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate education in Sanskrit, with Gold Medals in both levels. A multilingual scholar, Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan has published a 1200-page compilation of Chola copper plate inscriptions for the Thanjavur Tamil University. One of the editors of 'Bharata Vani', a collection of moral sayings from the Mahabharata, he has also translated it into English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. Besides having edited a multilingual dictionary in Sanskrit and 12 Indian languages, he is also the editor of the Sanskrit journal 'Samskritasri'. He has helped read and publish several rare palm leaf manuscripts besides discovering and publishing ten new lithic inscriptions. A prolific speaker on Sanskrit Literature, Temple Architecture, Epigraphy, Iconography and Manuscriptology, he has also composed several slokas in Sanskrit. Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan is also an exponent of Bharatanatyam, having learnt the dance form from Padmashri Dr. Chitra Visweswaran. Please subscribe to this channel and click on the Bell Icon to receive notifications on future events.

The Tamil Heritage Trust - Prof. S. Swaminathan Heritage Award 2021 awarded to Dr. G Sankaranarayanan

Press Release 


“The Tamil Heritage Trust - Prof. S. Swaminathan Heritage Award 2021 awarded to Dr. G Sankaranarayanan” 


Monday, August 9th, 2021.



The city-based Tamil Heritage Trust (THT) has announced Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan as the recipient of the second, annual THT - Prof. S. Swaminathan Heritage Award. 


The Award was instituted by THT in 2020 to honour the work of individuals under the age of fifty 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. Just in its second year, the award has garnered the interest of several noteworthy individuals in the field of history and heritage studies. The winner this year was chosen from a pool of more than twenty nominations drawn from across the country by a distinguished 6-member jury comprising historians, scholars and public intellectuals. 


Accepting the Award, Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan, an Assistant Professor of Sanskrit at the National Sanskrit University, Tirupati, said, “I am greatly humbled by this recognition bestowed on me by the Tamil Heritage Trust. I believe that the pursuit of knowledge and scholarship in any field enriches society when it is shared as widely and freely as possible. THT has been a dedicated and trustworthy bridge between academia and the general public in the field of history and heritage. It is my pleasure to accept this award and along with it the responsibility of continuing my work as a heritage researcher and communicator." 


Prof. S Swaminathan, Co-founder and Trustee of THT, said, “Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan is a young and committed educator with an abiding passion to speak to audiences, large and small, and illuminate their minds on the beauty, sophistication and grandeur of Indian temples, literature, art and culture. A scholar in multiple Indian languages, he is emerging as an important and respected voice in the field. It is the responsibility of organizations such as ours to connect individuals like Sankaranarayanan to global platforms and intellectuals, and facilitate mutually rewarding collaborations and research projects.”


THT was founded as a non-profit Trust in the year 2010 with a vision to put the common man in touch with 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 Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan at a ceremony to be held later this month. The winner is scheduled to deliver the Award Lecture on a topic of his choice on the 4th of September, 2021.  


For more information, please contact: 

Badri Seshadri – 98840 66566 

Siva Thiagarajan – 98842 94494

Evolution of Iconography in Maharashtra. Dr Kumud Kanitkar. THT Monthly Heritage Talk. Aug 7, 2021

"Evolution of Iconography in Maharashtra, 5th to 12th century” In her illustrated talk, Dr Kanitkar will take us through the history of religious thought in different eras and regions of Maharashtra. She will showcase sculptures which are not commonly seen - beginning with fifth century Vakatakas in Ramtek (Vidarbha region), loose sculptures from Elephanta, Sopara, Coastal Konkan, and a few chosen images from structural temples like Markandi, Ambarnath, Aundha, Anwa and Bhuleshvara. Along with social history, she will provide the audience an opportunity to appreciate the art, the different styles and outstanding skills of the unknown artists who created these masterpieces. Dr Kumud Kanitkar is an independent researcher in Indology. Her research focuses on medieval temples in Maharashtra. Her work looks beyond the aesthetic quality of sculptural art, trying to understand the meaning conveyed through the sculptural scheme in an individual temple. Her 2013 book, “Ambarnath Shivalaya : A monograph on the temple of Siva at Ambarnath”, was awarded “Ikuo Hirayama” prize-2013 by The Institut de France, Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris. This was followed by a book in Marathi in 2014, ‘अंबरनाथ शिवालय: प्रबंधिका, अंबरनाथ येथील शिवमंदिर. Her latest, a bilingual book on the Bhuleshvar Temple near Yavat in Maharashtra “Bhuleshvara Shivalaya”, was released in Octber 2020.
She has published numerous articles in research journals, presented papers at seminars and delivered lectures on subjects such as: “Temples in Maharashtra”, “Temple art as a means of non-verbal mass communication”, “Medieval Temple Sculptures as Markers of Social History”. Dr Kanitkar holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Illinois, at Chicago. She retired as Professor of Chemistry in 2004. She has a wide range of interests – she is a numismatist and a prize-winning philatelist as well.

Nominations extended till July 17th – THT Prof S. Swaminathan Heritage Award 2021

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.


Last Date for receiving nominations has been extended till July 10, 2021


The award was instituted in 2020. You can find details of 2020 Award winner at : http://tamilheritage.in/2020/02/tht-prof-s-swaminathan-heritage-award_92.html

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.

6.     Please click to download the nomination form from here

7.     Nominations must be sent by email along with the nomination form to admin@tamilheritage.in to reach us before July 17, 2021.

      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 award ceremony in September 2021

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 July 17th, 2021.


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 September 2021. Details of the ceremony will be announced later. 


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 Mamallapuram

·      Periodic Workshops on “How to See a Temple” and “How to See a Museum”

·      Annual Site Seminars – weeklong tours to heritage sites of importance in and outside Tamil Nadu

·      Presentations at schools to sensitize youngsters to our heritage

·      Heritage courses for teachers

·      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 : admin@tamilheritage.in

 Phone : Kishore Mahadevan 99400 25869; Siva Thiagarajan: 98842 94494