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 (