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There are many books about Indian temples. I have waded through quite a few of them seeking to understand more about these remarkable constructions both architecturally and spiritually. I have driven past many temples wondering whether I should go in. Will I see something architecturally or historically special, however uncared for, or will this be one of these temples that alas has been cared for too much, where modern plastic and concrete takes over from a sense of history and good taste?
Pradeep Chakravarty’s book is a welcome addition to the literature. This delightful little book points the reader to temples which are both historically and architecturally interesting. Many of them are in smaller villages in the by-roads of Tamil Nadu. These roads are themselves worth travelling to enjoy the tranquillity of rural India. The temples are grouped by location and each chapter is introduced by a section on the history of the region and the rulers in whose period the temples were built.
Each temple is not only lovingly described but, wherever relevant, it is linked to its appearance in Tamil literature. The temple inscriptions, a critically important historical record of Tamil Nadu are explained. The reader benefits from the writer’s profound knowledge and appreciation of the history and literature of his native state.
To keep the cost down and make the book accessible to as many as possible the book has no illustrations. I, for one, would like to see a lavishly illustrated follow-up or companion edition. And yes – I am a Brit so I would like to see some decent maps. I know it’s a cultural thing - I should just drive to the nearest point and ask – but it really would have helped.
I had joined the author in many of his "Temple Walks" and have always wished that these walks should be documented somewhere.
The answer has come in the shape of this book which is literally eye-opener to the many hidden gems in plain sight. A very nice initiative.
The author informs us on those south Indian temples which are "hidden" in our plain sight but are literally goldmine of information and art of the past.
Priced economically this is a great start for those interested to know the gems literally hidden in our "Backyard"
Only thing that I would have liked more in this book is the Pictures but as pointed out by author in one of his interviews.. it was a decision taken keep the book affordable and reachable..
Hope the author will come out with more books like this in future and generate the curiosity in masses about the heritage
Happy Reading !
What I liked best about this book was the way it combined facts about temples from different sources: letters, songs, inscriptions, and the author's own experiences - it's a little like reading an exceptionally well-informed diary, and that's the way it should be. Warm, approachable and with a genuine love for this land and these temples. Pictures would have been good, but affordability is paramount. An excellent work.
On reading Mr.Chakravarthy's book,I was surprised to learn that there were many hidden "gems" within the urban sprawl of this great city of Chennai!A very well written,easy to read book .it is easy to visualize the places mr.pradeep chakravarthy takes us on a tour of !
I ,for one have already made plans to visit them all.
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