Monuments of Memory: Megaliths to Temples in the Malaprabha Valley. Dr Srikumar Menon. Dec 2, 2023

In his Talk, "Monuments of Memory: From Megaliths to Temples in the Malaprabha Valley", Dr Srikumar Menon of the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, will look at monuments - both prehistoric and later ones - and examine the possibility that the temples of the Malaprabha Valley are carrying forward the commemorative tradition represented by the megaliths. About the Speaker: Dr Srikumar Menon is an architect with a keen interest in the history and archaeology of the Indian subcontinent. After an initial stint in architectural practice at Bangalore as well as research on the design of astronomical observatories at the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, he joined the faculty of Architecture at the Manipal Institute of Technology where he taught for fifteen years. At present he is an Associate Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. Dr Menon's academic interests focus on ancient architecture – prehistoric monuments, as well as later monuments, such as stupas and temples. He was awarded the Prof. D. S. Achyutha Rao Memorial History Research Fellowship for his PhD and the Homi Bhabha Fellowship for studying the “Ancient Landscapes of South India.” He has studied the sites of the Malaprabha Valley in northern Karnataka, leading to deep insights about the continuity of commemorative traditions from prehistoric to later times, and the influence of prehistoric architecture on later monuments. He is the author of two books – Ancient Stone Riddles: Megaliths of the Indian Subcontinent and Comets: Nomads of the Solar System. To join our mailing list:


The Harappan Civilization: Emerging Perspectives. By V N Prabhakar, PhD. Nov 4, 2023

The Harappan Civilization flourished in the Greater Indus Region (Indus-Sarasvati-Gujarat-Makran) from c. 2600-1900 BCE. It is characterised by its urban character achieved through a long-drawn cultural development in the region. The domestication of plants and animals settled human life. This, in turn, contributed to the production of surplus food, leading to multiple results, including a social hierarchy, differential access to raw materials and finished products, craft activities, and long-distance trade. In his Talk, "Harappan Civilization: Emergng Perspectives", Dr V N Prabhakar of IIT Gandhianagar, shows us how field research conducted in the last several decades has enabled a better understanding of Harappan culture, its terminology, chronology, technology, and trade relations. About the Speaker: Dr V N Prabhakar is Associate Professor (Archaeology) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, since September 2020. He specializes in the Protohistoric Archaeology of India, Field Archaeology, Heritage Management and the Application of Sciences in Archaeology. He is the Archaeological Sciences Centre Coordinator at IIT Gandhinagar, fostering the application of sciences in archaeology.


நரசிம்ம அவதாரம்: கலை, படிமவியல் மற்றும் இலக்கியத்தில் பரிணாம வளர்ச்சி, முனைவர் கோ. பாலாஜி, Oct 21, 2023, 6 pm!

"நரசிம்ம அவதாரம்: கலை, படிமவியல் மற்றும் இலக்கியத்தில் பரிணாம வளர்ச்சி" பேச்சாளர்: முனைவர் கோ. பாலாஜி விஷ்ணுவின் பிரபலமான பத்து அவதாரங்களும் படிமவியல் ஆராய்ச்சியில் பல அதிசயிக்கும் விஷயங்களை நமக்கு அளிக்கின்றன. அதில், சிங்கமுகம் மற்றும் மனித உடலுடன் விளங்கும் நரசிம்ம அவதாரம் பல வகையிலும் முக்கியத்துவம் வாய்ந்ததாக உள்ளது. முனைவர் கோ. பாலாஜி, C.P.R. Institute of Indological Research-ல் பதிவாளர் மற்றும் உதவிப் பேராசிரியராக உள்ளார். சென்னைப் பல்கலைக் கழகத்தில் பண்டைய வரலாறு மற்றும் தொல்லியல் துறையில் முனைவர் பட்டம் பெற்றார்.

"How to See A Temple" (HowSAT). A 1-day Workshop.  On Sunday, October 15, 2023.  

For details and registration:


"The Ramesvara Cave of Ellora" by Deepak Kannal, Sat 7 Oct 23, 5:30 pm

The rock-cut caves at Ellora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are recognised as 'a unique artistic creation and technological exploit'. Even among the several masterpieces, Cave 21 known as the Ramesvara Cave stands out for its unique sculptures and panels such as those depicting the marriage of Siva and Parvati, Kartikeya, Durga, Ravana shaking Kailasa, Siva and Parvati playing dice, Nataraja Siva, the Sapta Matrikas among others. In his Talk, "The Ramesvara Cave of Ellora: A Confluence of Regional Lineages" , Prof Deepak Kannal, Art Historian, Sculptor ad Playwright, attempts to identify the various styles of sculpture and trace their regional lineages discernible in this cave. He also focuses on the role of Sutradhara in designing and executing a monument, exploiting the available resources and expertise. The Speaker: Prof. Deepak Kannal is an Art Historian, a sculptor and a playwright. He taught at the Department of Art History and Aesthetics, Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU of Baroda, shouldering the responsibilities as the Head of the department and the Dean of the Faculty. His long list of publications includes four books and a monograph, five edited volumes- three of them co-edited with Prof. Ratan Parimoo, three edited journals, three full length plays, three dance dramas and more than seventy papers and articles on Art and Aesthetics to his credit. He has organized and participated in many National/Inter National seminars, has delivered series of lectures for coveted institutes in India, US and UK and was invited on prestigious chairs instituted by various Academies, Museums and Universities. He is a recipient of a number of awards, scholarships and distinctions in Sculpture, Theatre and Art History including the Charles Wallace fellowship at Cambridge, UK, National Lalit kala akademi’s honorable mention, Gujarat Lalit Kala awards, A.P. Council National award, The Gujarat Gaurav Puraskar, Raja Ravi Verma Samman and the Tagore National Fellowship under which, he completed his research on the correspondence between Indian Linguistic Theories and Indian sculpture. It has been published in a book form titled as “Drigambhrini”.

தான் வந்தன்றே தளி தரு தண் கார்-கு. வை. பாலசுப்பிரமணியன்

முனைவர் கு.வை. பாலசுப்பிரமணியன் இந்திய வானிலை ஆய்வுத்துறையில் 39 ஆண்டுக் காலம் பணிபுரிந்து ஒரு வானிலையாளராக ஓய்வு பெற்றவர். இயற்பியல், வரலாறு, தமிழ் துறைகளில் முதுகலை பட்டம் பெற்றவர். சங்க இலக்கியத்தில் வானிலைச் செய்திகள் உள்ளிட்ட ஏராளமான புத்தகங்களை எழுதியிருக்கிறார். தமிழ், ஆங்கிலம், ஹிந்தி மொழிபெயர்ப்பாளராகவும் ஊடகத்துறையில் தொடர்ந்து முத்திரை பதித்து வருகிறார்.

Tamil Heritage Trust - Prof S. Swaminathan Heritage Award 2023

Award Ceremony & Lecture on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023, 5.30 PM, Nahar Hall, Royapettah, Chennai


The Tamil Heritage Trust (THT) is delighted to announce Prof. P Devi of Madurai as the winner of the THT - Prof. S. Swaminathan Heritage Award 2023.


The award, now in its fourth year, consists of a citation and a cash prize of Rs 25,000 which will be presented to the awardee on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023 in a formal ceremony at 5.30 PM.  Prof. P. Devi will also deliver the award lecture on the same evening on the topic “Hero Stones of Madurai".


The winner was picked from over 25 nominations by an accomplished jury panel consisting of Dr. A. Srivathsan, Head, Centre for Architecture and Urbanism, CEPT Ahmedabad, Padma Shri awardee Prof. Sharada Srinivasan, Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, Smt. Sujatha Shankar,  Convener, INTACH Chennai and Shri. T.S. Subramanian, Author, “The Wonder that was the Harappan Civilization” and Journalist.


Accepting the award, Prof. P. Devi said, “I am delighted that my field work centred around the Madurai region has been recognised by Tamil Heritage Trust. It is my strong belief that when local communities and youth take pride and interest in their own heritage, it bodes well for the future of the many priceless monuments in our country. I am grateful that I have had an opportunity to play a small role in this movement”. 


Prof. S Swaminathan, co-founder and Trustee of THT, said, Prof. P. Devi is our first woman awardee and this gives me tremendous joy. I wish her the very best and am hopeful that this award will give her the impetus to continue her grassroots-level work in awareness creation and conservation of heritage in the Madurai district”.


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. 


For more information, please contact: 

Ashwin Prabhu – 98407 18533

Shyam Raman – 98400 98708


About the award winner - Prof. P. Devi:


Prof.  P Devi Arivu Selvam, M Pharm, PhD is the Head of Department of Phytopharmacognosy. She also holds a Diploma in Temple Architecture and is an instructor in sculpture to Temple Sivacharyas and Bhattacharyas.


Dr Devi has published 110 research papers in the field of herbal medicine in domestic and foreign research journals and more than 50 research papers on temple architecture and sculpture in daily, monthly, e-journals, seminars etc. She has uncovered inscriptions of ancient temples in and around Madurai, helped the locals understand their significance and arranged to protect them.  These include inscriptions from Maravapatti, Periya Oor cheri, Kovilur, Tiruparangunram Murugan Temple Thavai, Thorkamur inscription, among others.  


She has discovered 33 hero stones in 23 places in the Madurai area through field research and published their details in her book “மதுரை நடுகற்கள்” (“Hero Stones of Madurai”), published through the Madurai Archeological Society Facebook group. In addition, she has documented over 70 hero stones, inscriptions and archaeological artefacts through her field research.  


Dr Devi has also been involved in the restoration of and protection of heritage structures and artefacts. She was instrumental in reviving the worship of Jyeshta Devi in the Tiruparangunram temple and the “vishamurivu” inscription in Periya-ur cheri Kamakshi temple as Garudan. She has helped to identify the Perumal temple at Maravapatti as a later Pandyan temple and helped organise its renovation. She has taken steps to safeguard the Chola era inscription of 940 AD at the Yoga Narasimha Temple with wire fencing.  


She has been teaching archaeology and history to school and college students through an evidence and field research-led pedagogical approach and giving talks about historical monuments around Madurai through seminars, heritage tours and online for free. 


"சென்னைப் பட்டணத்து எல்லீசன்" - திரு ஆர் கோபு, 6 PM, Aug 19th, 2023

"சென்னை பட்டணத்து எல்லீசன்" என்ற தனது உரையில், திரு இரங்கரத்தினம் கோபு, எல்லிசுடைய கதை, அவரது சாதனைகள் மற்றும் நமது கலாச்சார சூழலில் இன்னும் எதிரொலிக்கும் அவரது பங்களிப்புகளை நினைவுகூர்வார்.

பிரான்சிஸ் வைட் எல்லிஸ், ஆங்கிலேயரின் கிழக்கிந்திய நிறுவனத்தில் (East India Company) ஒரு கீழ்நிலை ஊழியராக இந்தியாவுக்கு வந்தவர், அவரது தன் புலமை, விடாமுயற்சி மற்றும் திறமையின் காரணமாக, சென்னையின் கலெக்டராக பதவி உயர்வு பெற்றார். அவர் இந்திய அறிஞர்களின் குழு ஒன்றைக் கூட்டி, தமிழ் மற்றும் தெலுங்கு மொழிகளைக் கற்றுக் கொண்டார், மேலும் திராவிட மொழிகளின் குடும்பம் உட்பட சகாப்தத்தை உருவாக்கும் கண்டுபிடிப்புகளைச் செய்தார்.

திரு ஆர் கோபு, சென்னையில் பிறந்து வளர்ந்தவர். அவர் இந்தியாவில் கணினிப் பொறியியலில் BE பட்டமும், அமெரிக்காவில் கணினி அறிவியலில் MS பட்டமும் பெற்றவர். பின்னர் அமெரிக்காவில் மைக்ரோசாப்ட் நிறுவனத்தில் மென்பொருள் பொறியாளராக பணியாற்றினார். மென்பொருளால் சலிப்படைந்து இந்தியா திரும்பிய அவரது ஆர்வம் வரலாறு, பாரம்பரியம், அறிவியல் மற்றும் தொழில்நுட்ப வரலாறு என்று பிற திசைகளில் திரும்பியது. தற்போது பல்வேறு மேடைகளில் இந்த தலைப்புகளில் அவர் விரிவுரைகள் செய்கிறார். தி வீக், நியூ இந்தியன் எக்ஸ்பிரஸ் மற்றும் ஸ்வராஜ்யா போன்ற தேசிய இதழ்களில் பல தலைப்புகளில் அவரது கட்டுரைகள் வெளியிடப்பட்டுள்ளன. தமிழ் பாரம்பரிய அறக்கட்டளையின் ஒரு பகுதியாக அவர் பல தள கருத்தரங்குகளில் கலந்துகொண்டும், அவற்றை ஏற்பாடு செய்தும் வருகிறார்.

மாமல்லபுரம், காஞ்சிபுரம், ஒரிசா, அஜந்தா, எல்லோரா, தஞ்சாவூர், கும்பகோணம் மற்றும் மெட்ராஸ் எழும்பூர் அருங்காட்சியகம் ஆகியவற்றில் பள்ளிகள் மற்றும் கல்லூரிகள் உட்பட பல குழுக்களுக்கு சுற்றுப்பயணம் செய்துள்ளார். 2016 ஆம் ஆண்டில், ராமு எண்டோமென்ட் அவருக்கு, கலாச்சாரத்திற்கான சேவைகளுக்காக வேதவல்லி நினைவு பாரம்பரிய விருதை வழங்கியது. அவர் வராஹமிஹிர அறிவியல் மன்றத்தின் இணை நிறுவனர்களில் ஒருவர், இது பொதுமக்களுக்கு அறிவியல் குறித்த மாதாந்திர விரிவுரைகளை நடத்துகிறது.

திரு கோபு இந்திய வானியல் மற்றும் கணிதம், பல்லவ கிரந்தம் எழுத்து பற்றிய பாட வகுப்புகளை பொது மக்களுக்கு நடத்தி வருகிறார். மேலும்,  சவீதா பொறியியல் கல்லூரியில் ‘இந்திய வானியல் மற்றும் கணிதம்’‘புத்தாக்கப்புனைவுகளும் கண்டுபிடிப்புகளும்’ ஆகிய இரண்டு படிப்புகளை கற்பித்து வருகிறார்.

Ancient Games And What They Teach Us About Modern People. Raamesh Gowri Raghavan. July 1, 2023

In his Talk, "Ancient Games And What They Teach Us About Modern People", Raamesh Gowri Raghavan will use game boards and pieces unearthed in excavations, games etched on monument floors, heirlooms, depictions in literature, and ethnological reports, to present a a rich culture of games and the consequent opportunities to be had by historians, anthropologists, archaeologists and museologists in the study of games to complete the picture of historical societies.

About the Speaker:

Raamesh Gowri Raghavan is marketer by profession, scientist by training, epigraphist by choice and poet by night. He is a Director at Ioncure Tech Pvt Ltd, Editor of the literary e-journal Narrow Road; and a member of the editorial board of Café Haiku. His literary publications include poems, short stories, haiku and haibun in several magazines and anthologies; while his academic publications span the Ethnoarchaeology of the Bene Israel; Ancient Board Games, the Archaeology of Ballistic Weapons and Fortifications, Ancient Indian Trade and Shaiva Iconography. He has taught Buddhist archaeology, epigraphy, manuscriptology, linguistics, archaeozoology, palaeobotany, evolutionary biology and genetics, Dravidian linguistics and haikai at the University of Mumbai's Centre for Extra Mural Studies, KJ Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies, Sathaye College, Wilson College, INSTUCEN Trust, Mumbai Research Centre of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai, Shri. M. D. Shah Mahila College of Arts & Commerce, and Speaking Archaeologically. He organized "Distilled Images", a national conference on haikai literature in India. With the INSTUCEN Trust, he organized the first National Conference on Ancient and Medieval Indian Games "Playing with the Past", sponsored by the Indian Council of Historical Research. He co-wrote a column in the Marathi weekly Lokprabha on ancient games in 2018-19. He has also helped organize the Explorations in Maharashtra Workshops and Archaeology of Maharashtra Conferences from 2015 to 2019 at the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies, including publishing their Proceedings. Currently, he is coordinating the Diploma in Buddhist Studies at the India Study Centre (INSTUCEN) trust. Mail: Website: facebook:

Inviting nominations for the THT-Prof S Swaminathan Heritage Award 2023

As a lover of Indian heritage, you will have come across someone who is doing great work in this area. He or she may be contributing in one or more of the following ways:

a. Preserving our heritage - through conservation, documentation, etc.
b. Disseminating knowledge and information about our heritage - through writing books, articles, blog posts, giving lectures, conducting heritage walks, etc.
c. Deepening our understanding of our heritage through academic research, fieldwork, etc.
In 2020, Tamil Heritage Trust instituted the THT-Prof S Swaminathan Heritage Award to recognize the contributions of such "heritage heroes".
If you know someone who you believe should be considered for such recognition, we invite you to nominate them for the Award.
Please visit for details of the Award, who is eligible, and how to nominate.
The last date for receiving nominations is July 2, 2023.
Nominations that were not considered for the Award in previous years can be sent again this year.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
With regards,
THT-Prof S Swaminathan Heritage Award Committee
PS:  For any clarifications, please send a mail to or contact one of the following:

Ashwin Prabhu: +91 98407 18533
Kishore Mahadevan: +91 9940025869

Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea: Day 7 (Final day), 11th June 2023

Dr A S Gaur shares his experiences and the findings of marine archaeology expeditions along the coast of India in his Talk "Maritime Archaeology in India". 

Dr Lakshmi Subramanian shows us how one nation's sea-faring adventurer is another's pirate in her talk "The Politics of Piracy and Predation in the Indian Ocean".


Dr A S Gaur, obtained a Master's degree in Archaeology from Gwalior University and his Ph.D. on ‘Maritime Archaeology of Gujarat coast’ from Tamil University, Tanjavur. At present, he works for the Marine Archaeology Centre of the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa. He has carried out extensive research in the field of Maritime Archaeology; important projects include the underwater explorations along the Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamilnadu coasts. He has dived over 600 hours all along the Indian, Southern Sri Lankan and Thai coasts. He has authored a book on Harappan Maritime Legacies of Gujarat and co-authored three books Archaeology of Bet Dwarka Island, Underwater Archaeology of Dwarka and Somnath and Maritime Archaeology around Porbandar. He has also co-edited 3 books and published over 150 research papers in National and International reputed Scientific and Archaeological journals.

Dr Lakshmi Subramanian is currently visiting professor of history at BITS Pilani, Goa. She has had a long and distinguished research and teaching career. She has taught at various levels from undergraduate to post graduate and beyond in India and overseas. She has charted important sub-fields of research, namely maritime history and the social history of music. She has also curated an exhibition and has intervened in designing curriculum, developing methodology workshops and expanding international academic collaboration.


Her most important publications include "Singing Gandhi’s India: Music and Sonic Nationalism", "The Sovereign and the Pirate: Ordering Maritime Subjects in India’s Western Littoral", "Three Merchants of Bombay: Business Pioneers of the Nineteenth Century", "A History of India 1707-1857", "Veena Dhanammal: The Making of a Legend", "Ports, Towns and Cities: A Historical tour of the Indian Littoral", "New Mansions for Music: Performance, Pedagogy and Criticism", and "From the Tanjore Court to the Madras Music Academy: A Social History of Music in South India".

Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea: Day 6, 10th June 2023

Dr Y Subbarayalu, will distill his decades of research on South Indian and especially Chola history in his talk "Epigraphical Evidence for Maritime Relations of South India and Rajendra Chola's Expeditions".

Dr Gauri Parimoo Krishnan then takes us on a voyage across the Indian Ocean with her talk "The Story of India's Textile Trade from Cairo to Malacca".

Dr Y Subbarayalu is an authority on South Indian Archaeology and Epigraphy, Historical geography, Social and Economic History of medieval South India.  He has an MA in Ancient History and Archaeology, an M.Litt and a Ph.D for his thesis on “State in Medieval South India” .

He has taught History, Epigraphy and Archaeology at the Madurai Kamaraj University and the Tamil University, Thanjavur. He was a Visiting Professor for South Indian History, Dept of Oriental History, University of Tokyo and at EPHE, Paris. He has been associated with French Institute of Pondicherry over two decades as Researcher and as Head of the Department of Indology. 

He directed Archaeological Excavations at Vallam, Kodumanal and Periyapattinam and was a distinguished member of the Indo-Japanese project for Archaeological Exploration in Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Kampuchea and Sri Lanka to study South India – Southeast Asia trade and cultural contacts

Notable among his books are A Concordance of the Names in the Chola Inscriptions (with Noboru Karashima and Toru Matsui),  Palm-leaf Documents of Tiruchirappalli District, A Glossary of Tamil Inscriptions, and South India under the Cholas.  Dr. Y Subbarayalu was awarded the Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri Birth Centenary Gold Medal for the year 2014 by The Asiatic Society, Kolkata.  He is also the recipient of the first V Venkayya Award for Epigraphy.

Dr Gauri Parimoo Krishnan, is an art historian, independent curator and museum consultant who has dedicated 30 years to the arts and heritage sectors. She has conceptualised and developed the Indian Heritage Centre and South Asia galleries of the Asian Civilisations Museum from their inception to fruition in Singapore. She has curated major international exhibitions of Asian and Indian art. She has taught museum studies and curatorship at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She was the inaugural chief curator of the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya, New Delhi. Dr Krishnan’s research and publications include the Arts of India, the Asian Ramayana, the Buddhist Art of Asia, the Indian Diaspora, and Indian Trade Textiles to Southeast Asia. Gauri is a recipient of the Commendation Medal and Public Administration Medal (Bronze) for her contribution to the arts and heritage sectors in Singapore. 

Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea: Day 5, 9th June 2023

Dr Andrea Acri, in his talk "Spread of Sanskritic Buddhism by Sea" will discuss the the spread, in two 'waves', of Sanskritic, especially Tantric, Buddhism across maritime Asia during the medieval period. He will show how the sponsorship by royal elites of itinerant Buddhist monks led to the adoption of forms of Mahāyāna Buddhist Tantra in the region.


Dr Rila Mukherjee in her talk "The Maritime World(s) of East Coast India" will focus the disparate nature of maritime circulations from the coastlines of Bengal, Odisha and Andhra, examining the lesser-known networks that were operating in these regions.

Dr Andrea Acri (PhD Leiden University) is Assistant Professor/Senior Lecturer in Tantric Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, PSL University), and Adjunct Researcher at the École française d’extrême-Orient (EFEO) in Paris. Prior to joining the EPHE in 2016 he has held various research and teaching positions in India, Singapore, Australia, and the Netherlands. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Journal of Yoga Studies. His main research and teaching interests are Śaiva and Buddhist Tantric traditions in South and Southeast Asia, Yoga studies, Sanskrit and Old Javanese philology, and Balinese Hinduism. His publications include the monographs Dharma Pātañjala and Dari Siwaisme Jawa ke Agama Hindu Bali, as well as various edited volumes and peer-reviewed articles in international academic journals.


Dr Rila Mukherjee (PhD, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 1985), author of India in the Indian Ocean World, retired from the University of Hyderabad as Professor in History in October 2022. Apart from English and French, she is fluent in Bengali, Hindi, Portuguese and Spanish. Since 2015 she has been Chief Editor of the Brill journal Asian Review of World Histories. Visiting Professor in Paris, Aix en Provence, Shanghai, Kolkata, Santiniketan and Uppsala, Visiting Scholar in Tokyo, Berlin, and Madrid, and project reviewer for the European Science Foundation, the Slovenian Research Agency and the Danish Humanities Research Council, Mukherjee partnered the European Science Foundation project on Dynamic Cooperative Networks [DynCoopNet]; the ANR project L’Ocean Indien et la Mediterranee: Deux Mondes en Miroir (2009-13); the Murdoch University project on History and Natural Hazards (2016-2019).

Mukherjee’s recent edited publications include Order/Disorder in Asia, Indian Ocean Histories: The Many Worlds of Michael Naylor Pearson, From Mountain Fastness to Coastal Kingdoms: Hard Money and ‘Cashless’ Economies in the Medieval Bay of Bengal World, and Cross-Cultural Networking in the eastern Indian Ocean Realm. She is currently under contract with Springer Global Publishing to work on a book on global history, provisionally titled Europe in the World 1350 to 1650. 

Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea: Day 4, 8th June 2023

Swati Chemburkar, an Architectural Historian, traces the spread of "Saiva Networks Across Maritime Asia" with a focus on Pasupata Saivism and the sect's involvement in the Khmer temple building in Cambodia.

Dr Anirudh Deshpande, in his talk "Forgotten Naval Histories of Early Modern India" explores the nature, scope and influence of Indian naval prowess in the early modern period and explains its local context in the Indian Ocean World. 

Swati Chemburkar is an architectural historian whose work focuses on Southeast Asia, especially Cambodia. She has been part of the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme (SAAAP) at SOAS, London University since 2016. She directed a postgraduate diploma course on Southeast Asian Art and Architecture at Jnanapravaha, Mumbai for ten years.

She is the editor of Art of Cambodia: Interactions with Cambodia, MARG, 2016. Some of her recent publications include, 'Khmer Empire and Southeast Asia (8th to 14th centuries); 'Prañāpāramitā and Khmer Esoteric Buddhism in the 10th to 13th centuries',  'Dancers, Musicians, Ascetics, and Priests: Performance- based Śaiva worship and its development in the Temple Cults of Angkor' and 'Libraries or Fire Shrines? Reinterpreting the Function of “Annex Buildings” in Khmer Śaiva Temples from Prism of Early Śaivism' with Shivani Kapoor, Andrea Acri and Olivier Cunin.

Anirudh Deshpande is Professor of Modern History, Department of History, Delhi University. He has been a Teen Murti Fellow, ICCR Guest Professor at the Vienna University, Austria, Visiting Professor at the NBU Siliguri and History Department AMU.

He has authored several books, including:  The British Raj and its Indian Armed Forces, British Military Policy in India 1900-1945: Colonial Constraints and Declining Power, Class, power and consciousness in Indian cinema and television, The First Line of Defence-Glorious 50 Years of the Border Security Force, The Rise and Fall of a Brown Water Navy: Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre and Maratha Seapower on the Arabian Sea in the 17th and 18th Centuries and an edited volume of sixteen essays Social Science Perspectives and Indian Cinema.

Since 1992 he has published regularly in the EPW, IESHR, Studies in History, Social Scientist and The-Inclusive-Online and the Gordon Martel (ed.) Encyclopaedia of War  and David Ludden (ed.) Oxford Online Research Encyclopaedia (2019). He has also published short stories in English and Hindi. Most of his fiction can be read on the multilingual online journal MatruBharati.

Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea: Day 3, 7th June 2023

Dr V Selvakumar gives us a rare glimpse of the "Ships and Watercraft of Ancient and Medieval India".

Dr Pius Malekandathil, who literally wrote the book on this subject, speaks on 'The Maritime History of Malabar', a region that has had a long and infuential maritime presence in Indian and world history.

Dr V Selvakumar is a faculty member in the Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology, Tamil University, Thanjavur. Earlier he was a faculty member in the Department of Epigraphy and Archaeology. He completed his doctoral research and post-doctoral research from Deccan College, Pune. He was a faculty member at Centre for Heritage Studies, Tripunithura, Kerala and a Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, Southampton University. His research interests include archaeology of India, prehistory, heritage management, maritime history and archaeology, archaeological theory, heritage management, history of science and technology, Indian Ocean Cultural interactions, and ecocriticism.

Dr Pius Malekandanthil is a former Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He completed his research in Lisbon and post-doctoral research at South Asian Institute of Heidelberg University, Germany. He has taught at St.Thomas College, Pala, Goa University and Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit at Kalady-Kerala. He was the Sectional President of Maritime History and Historiography of South Indian History Congress, Anantpur. He was also the President of Economic History Section of Kerala History Conference. He has also been a Member of Academia de Marinha of Lisbon, Portugal and a former Syndicate Member of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit at Kalady, Kerala. He is also an editor of Studies in History. He has won the prestigious KCBC Media Commission’s Vaijnanika Award (2021) for his philosophical and intellectual contributions.

He has several major publications to his credit, inluding The Germans, the Portuguese and India, Portuguese Cochin and the Maritime Trade of India, 1500-1663, Maritime India: Trade, Religion and Polity in the Indian Ocean and Maritime Malabar: Trade, Religion and Culture. 

Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea: Day 2, 6th June 2023

The geographic locus of today's program is Gujarat.

Mr Yadubir Singh Rawat who has done extensive research on Harappan sites in Gujarat speaks on 'Harappan Coastal Settlements in Gujarat and Their Maritime Connections'. taking Indian maritime history way back in time.

Dr Chhaya Goswami then fast-forwards us a couple of millennia as she extols the entrepreneurial spirit of the "Merchants of Khachch in Arabia and East Africa" as they thrive on global trade well before the word globalisation was even invented.

Sri Yadubir Singh Rawat is the former Director, Gujarat State Archaeology & Museum, Government of Gujarat (2001-15), Competent Authority Gujarat, Under National Monument Authority, Govt. of India and the Director In Charge, Gujarat State Archives Government of Gujarat. He has also served as the CEO of the Vadnagar Heritage Society. He has participated in archaeological excavations in over a dozen sites, including Dholavira and Vadnagar. He has carried out the conservation of a large number of State Protected Monuments in Gujarat and published several papers and articles in reputed journals.

Dr Chhaya Goswami specializes in the maritime history of the west coast of India and the western Indian Ocean, with a focus on trans-regional and trans-oceanic commodity exchange, maritime trading networks, diaspora and community studies, business history, oral history and violence at sea. She is the author of The Call of the Sea, Kachchhi Traders in Muscat and Zanzibar c.1800-1880 and Globalization Before its Time: Gujarati Merchants from Kachchh. She has co-edited a volume with professor Edward Alpers- titled Transregional Trade and Traders: Situating Gujarat in the Indian Ocean (Oxford University Press- 2018). She has won awards from the Indian History Congress for her book and also for two research papers. She was an honorary University Fellow at Exeter University and a post-doctoral fellow with Warwick University. Currently, she is the head and assistant professor at the Department of History, S K Somaiya college, University of Mumbai.

Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea: Day 1, 5th June 2023

Dr Himanshu Prabha Ray delivers the Keynote Address on "Commemorating India's Maritime Heritage" in which she will focus on India's coastal monuments and their interconnections across the seas, as also on the conceptualization of the waters in Indian literature.


Sri K R A Narasiah's talk on "World Maritime History With Special Reference To India" explores India's role in world maritime hsitory going all the way back to Greco Roman times.


Dr Himanshu Prabha Ray is Honorary Professor, Distant Worlds, Munich Graduate School of Ancient Studies, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich and Member, Board of Governors, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Oxford.

She is also the former Chairperson of the National Monuments Authority, Ministry of Culture, and former Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. As a recipient of the Anneliese Maier research award of the Humboldt Foundation in 2013, she is affiliated to Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich. She is also editor of Archaeology and Religion in South Asia in the Routledge Series and the Series Editor on the Archaeology and Religion in South Asia book series. 


Dr Ray's books on maritime history include Beyond Trade: Cultural Roots of India’s Ocean and The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia. She has also edited volumes, The Sea, Identity and History: From the Bay of Bengal to the South China Sea, Cross Currents and Community Networks: Encapsulating the History of the Indian Ocean World, Tradition and Archaeology: Early Maritime Contacts in the Indian Ocean.


Sri K R A Narasiah completed the Indian Navy's Marine Engineering course in INS Shivaji Lonavla and sailed in naval vessels for 10 years before joining the merchant navy.  He was the first Indian flight deck chief of INS Vikrant. He joined the Visakhapatnam Port in 1965 as a marine engineer and rose to the position of the Chief Mechanical Engineer and retired in 1991. After his retirement he was appointed consultant to the Indian Ports Association. Later he was invited by the World Bank to join a mission for the emergency rehabilitation of Cambodia.

Sri Narasiah has written a treatise on the Indian Sea Trade which won him an award from the Tamil Nadu Government. His book on history of Madras has also won the state award. He has also written on the history of Madurai on his Cambodian reminiscences. In addition, he has written over a 100 short stories in Tamil. Sri Narasiah’s autobiography ‘Through The Rear View Mirror’ was published in 2022.

Indology Festival 2023: "Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea"

India has a long and rich maritime history that dates back several millennia. As a country with a vast coastline, India has always been connected to the sea. The subcontinent was a hub of maritime trade, a key link between Asia in the East and the Middle East, Europe, and Africa in the West. Indian religions like Buddhism and Hinduism spread to Southeast Asia and beyond through maritime trade routes. India's cultural and artistic traditions such as temple-building and sculpture found their way to other parts of the world through maritime connections. The flourishing kingdoms and cities along India’s coast helped to shape our history in ways that still endure today.

THT Indology Festival 2023, "Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea" sets out to explore and celebrate this diverse and vibrant history.
Over seven days, from June 5th to 11th, 2023, we bring you talks by fourteen distinguished historians, scholars and authors who will share their insights on the maritime history of India.

In #THTIndoFest2023, we will:
  • Learn about the maritime connections of the coastal settlements of the Harappan times
  • Find out how important India’s trading ports were to the Greco Romans in the first century CE.
  • Get a glimpse of the ship-building technologies of ancient and medieval India.
  • Understand how Buddhism and Hinduism crossed the seas to establish a foothold in South-East Asia
  • Marvel at the ingenuity and global reach of India’s traders from East Africa to Malacca
  • Investigate the epigraphic evidence for Rajendra Chola’s expeditions
  • Appreciate the commonalities and differences in the development of the maritime relations of different regions – Gujarat, Malabar, Bengal, Andhra, and Odisha
  • Rediscover the forgotten naval histories of the Marathas
  • Be surprised by the pirates of the Indian Ocean
Throughout we will encounter colourful and influential characters – Khachchi merchants, Buddhist monks, naval captains, Cambodian emperors, pirates and predators!
So, hop on board and join us as we explore these alluring waters with the guidance of expert navigators.
There are two Online Talks every day starting at 5.30 pm. And they are free to watch.
To receive your link for ALL the Talks, please register at:
See you at #THTIndoeFest2023!

ஓலைச்சுவடி: பரமரிப்பும் பாதுகாப்பும், திருமதி ஜெ. லலிதா, May 20, 2023 at 6 PM.

ஓலைச்சுவடிச் செல்வம் நம் நாட்டு பொக்கிஷங்களில் ஒன்று. நம் நாட்டு வரலாற்றை அறிய ஓலைச்சுவடிகள் முதன்மையான ஆதாரமாக உள்ளன. இலக்கியம் மட்டுமின்றி, சமயம், கட்டடம், சிற்பம், ஜோதிடம், மருத்துவம் போன்ற எல்லாத் துறைகளிலும் பழங்காலத்திலிருந்தே தமிழர்கள் சிறந்து விளங்கினார்கள் என்பதை ஆதாரங்களுடன் சுவடிகள் கூறுகின்றன. அத்தகைய சிறப்பு வாய்ந்த சுவடிகளின் வரலாறு, சேகரிப்பு, பராமரிப்பு, பாதுகாப்பு ஆகியவற்றைப் பற்றி, சென்னை குப்புசாமி சாஸ்திரி ஆராய்ச்சி நிறுவனத்தின் நூலகர் திருமதி ஜெ. லலிதா, "ஓலைச்சுவடி: பராமரிப்பும் பாதுகாப்பும்" என்ற தனது உறையில் விளக்குவார்.

Inviting Nominations for V Venkayya Epigraphy Award, 2023

V Venkayya Epigraphy Award

Smt Sunitha Madhavan and Tamil Heritage Trust are proud and happy to call for nominations for the Second V Venkayya Epigraphy Award, 2023. The annual award, one of its kind, was instituted in 2022, in memory of Rai Bahadur Shri V Venkayya, a pioneering Epigrapher who became the first Indian Chief Epigraphist to the Government of India. 

The award has been instituted by the great-granddaughter of Shri V Venkayya, Smt. Sunitha Madhavan, who published his biography in 2021, with the encouragement of (Late) Shri R Nagaswamy. The V Venkayya Epigraphy Award (VVE Award) aims to recognize exceptional individual contributions towards the discovery of unrecorded inscriptions, interpretation of inscriptions from a refreshingly new perspective, dissemination of wealth of knowledge contained in them by conventional as well as digital medium and preservation of Epigraphic resources for posterity.  

By rewarding outstanding work in this area, the Award aspires to encourage interest and involvement of all the stakeholders including the general public in Indian Heritage and Epigraphy in particular, 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 consists of a citation and a prize of Rs.20000/- 

V Venkayya Epigraphy Award 2022 Winner – Dr Y Subbarayalu
Dr. Y Subbarayalu, one of India’s eminent Epigrapher and Historian was the recipient of the inaugural V Venkayya Epigraphy Award in 2022. Dr. Y Subbarayalu has held several academic positions in institutions like Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil University, Thanjavur etc., He also served as a Visiting Professor in University of Tokyo and EPHE, Paris. He was a researcher in the Department of Indology for more than a decade at the French Institute of Pondicherry.  He has authored, co-authored, and edited many books, publications and articles. To name a few - authored South India under Cholas; Glossary of Tamil Inscriptions; along with Noboru Karashima and Toru Matsui A Concordance of the Names in the Chola Inscriptions; edited South Indian Inscriptions, Vol. XXXIV, Archaeological Survey of India; co-edited with S Rajavelu Inscriptions of the Vijayanagara Rulers, Vol. V, part I (Tamil Inscriptions)

About Rai Bahadur V Venkayya
(Rai Bahadur) Shri V.Venkayya, born in 1864 in the lineage of the illustrious scholar Appaya Dikshita of the 16th century, was one of the pioneering epigraphists of India. His contribution to understanding the inscriptions of Pallavas, starting with Mamallapuram and Cholas with Brahadeeswara Temple, broke new ground in the field of Epigraphy in India. He also deciphered the writing (legends) on coins. 
A chance meeting with Dr. E. Hultzsch, the famous German Indologist and ASI’s first Chief Epigraphist, at Mamallapuram turned the obscure school teacher into an expert in epigraphy, who eventually became the first Indian Chief Epigraphist to the Government of India.  His stellar effort in unraveling, recording and deciphering hundreds of lithic and copper-plate inscriptions of Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and others through publications like “South Indian Inscriptions” inspired many epigraphists and historians to record, reconstruct and write the history of South India in new light with clarity and scholarship. 
The ultimate tribute to Shri V Venkayya came from John H. Marshall, Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1902 to 1928. ‘From first to last, his life in the Archaeological Department was one of assiduous labour and devotion to duty and his work throughout was characterized by sound scholarship.’

Nomination Process
1. Any individual can nominate any other individual whom they believe has done noteworthy work 
in the area of Epigraphy
2. Individuals can also nominate themselves. 
3. An individual can send only one nomination. 
4. Nominations that were not considered for the Award last year can be sent again this year
5. The nominee must be a citizen of India and ordinarily resident in India. 
6. Nominations must be sent by email to to reach us before May 20, 2023. 
7. There is no Nomination Form 
8. A Nomination must consist of the following:
a. Personal Details: Full Name, Full Address, Mobile Number, Email id, Scanned Passport 
size Photograph, Brief biodata of the Nominee 
b. Details of Contribution to Epigraphy: Details of actual work done by the nominee, with 
particular emphasis to work in the past ten years.  The details may be sent in any one of 
the following formats:  MS Word, MS Powerpoint or PDF.
c. Supporting Documentation: Documentary evidence the work done by the nominee 
could include copies of papers submitted, articles written in journals, newspapers or 
magazines, links to any websites or blogs run by the nominee, lists of talks given, 
courses conducted, links to social media presence etc.
9. Nominations and accompanying details to be in English only. 

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

Award Ceremony & Award Lecture
The V Venkayya Epigraphy Award will be presented at a formal ceremony on July 1, 2023 (Saturday) in Chennai.   The Winner will be invited to present the Award Lecture at the Ceremony. The Winner may choose a topic of her/his choice and will be required to submit the manuscript of the lecture for publication at least a week before the ceremony. The Award Lecture should preferably be in 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, and Interest Groups etc – are not eligible.  Nominations that were not considered for the award in the year 2022 can be sent again this year
What is the Last Date for Nomination?
The last date for the Nomination to reach THT is May 20, 2023. 
What are the criteria for selection?
The judges will look for, among other qualities and parameters:
* New epigraphical 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 only. 

Is there an Entry Fee? 
No, there is no fee involved. 

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 on July 1, 2023 at Arkay Convention Centre, Chennai. The time will be announced soon. 

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, preferably in English, on a topic of her/his choice. 

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.

For any clarifications, please contact us at:
Phone: Ravishankar: 95000 74247 (