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Vakkom Moulavi Memorial Lecture 2016

Written by vmft

Chennai: The serenity of the Ashvita bistro in Alwarpet provided the perfect backdrop for the second session of the series of curate events hosted by the Ashvita group, focusing on historically significant temples. The talk, captained by historian Pradeep Chakravarthy, was a treat to history lovers who acknowledge the cultural worth of our country, predominantly the South. The session was, in fact, an attempt to make the city folk familiar to our temples which are likely to go unnoticed otherwise.

The session bore into the influences of the Chola dynasty on the Kapaleeshwar temple in Chennai, Gangaikondacholapuram in Trichy and Darasuram temple in Kumbakonam. In terms of their architectural quality and uniqueness of the sculptures, they stand apart. The talk was interlaced with the small and beautiful musical renditions by Carnatic vocalist, Shankar Narayanan, who presented the audience with verses in relation to these temples, connoted in different ragas.

Each of the temples can be considered as fitting representatives of the Chola dynasty in general, pertaining to the rituals and festivals they practised, apart from their architectural beauty. The first musical rendition by vocalist Shankar Narayan was a ‘Shiv Pranam’ which praised the Kapaleeshwar temple in Mylapore. Two more renditions followed which gave the audience an idea on how choral literature proves as a vital part of history.

Pradeep Chakravarthy talked about all the three temples, focusing on their importance in the history of the Chola dynasty, which is believed to be the longest ruling dynasty in the history of Southern India.

The one-and-a-half hour long session on Saturday, 12th March, concluded with an enchanting story-telling session by freelance journalist and story teller Sudha Umashankar.

Sudha effectively narrated ‘Kiratarjuniyam’, a snippet from the Mahabharatha which deals with the story of how Arjuna receives the Pashupathaastram (Pashupatha weapon) from Lord Shiva. The storytelling session added to the literary flavour of the evening which saw a confluence of art and history as seen in these temples.

The third session of the event is likely to be convened on April 9th, and is expected to give an insight into other temples, which belong to the same dynasty.
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