Articles

Pulikaachal

Cooking instructions Soak a fistful of tamarind, preferably a year old, in a glass of warm water for three hours. Strain the tamarind to get a concentrate, where the water consistency is a little thick. Dry roast and powder a tablespoon each of fenugreek and white sesame seeds and keep aside to cool. In a large deep pan heat gingelly oil and roast 25 dry chillies. If you want it really spicy, after roasting, crush them and keep them separately. If you want medium spice crush half and keep...

Offered on a different platter

Does one live to eat or eat to live? Ancient Tamil literature seems to favour a bit of both. The Naaladiyar's first verses remind one that “Even those who have eaten every variety of food and not taken a second portion from any dish, may yet become poor and long for more.” Other poems in the ‘Purananooru' and ‘Agananooru' praise the merits of simple food – hot, well cooked rice with the best ghee. Food in ancient texts was equated with God and was therefore an...

Upholding rich legacy

A photo of many smiling children against a lovely house was my first introduction to Melaseval, a village an hour away from Tirunelveli. A few correspondences with the family members got me an invitation to the residence of Ramalingam Pillai, the pannaiyar of Melaseval. The home and the old couple were everything that is best of the hospitality of the Tirunelveli region. From the road, the house looked simple, the only curious feature being that the ground floor had just one window onto the...

A fort and an epic

I f the history of India is made up of battles, then our forts surely deserve more attention. Tucked away on the Thanjavur–Mannargudi Road in Tiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu, Mahadevapatnam is but a blip on the map. The village may always choose to be like that but it has a tourist and historian's treasure waiting for the world to discover. Sakthi and I felt like intrepid explorers. We had a line of reference from an old book about the possibility of a mint from the Maratha times existing...

Money mania

C ounting numbers has never been a strong point of mine; the only time I didn't feel ashamed of it was when, a few months back, newspapers carried the loss to the nation from the CWG and Spectrum scandals. My mind boggled with the number of zeroes and sums of money I doubt I will ever make in my life! The politicians had made me a fool and I wasn't comfortable with that. All our politicians are never at a loss to describe the greatness of our country and our wonderful heritage in their speeches...

Old world charm

P ublished in 1908, ‘Aristocracy of Southern India,' by A. Vadivelu made for fascinating reading and I was overjoyed when a friend promised to take me to one of the Zamindars written about in the book. Ilayarasanendhal is a small village today between Kovilpatti and Madurai. One would find it difficult to locate it in the map but the efforts will be well rewarded. We snaked through the many small lanes and humble homes to some imposing walls and an entrance to the side. The entry got us...

Grand old man of THAMIZH

It is important that February 19 is remembered for on this day in 1855 was born a man who did so much for Tamil as a language. But he never got his due. Not even a university named after the person, whose crusade was to restore lost literary treasure. Most speakers of Tamil will know U.Ve. Swaminatha Iyer as ‘Thamizh Thatha.’ Some may have heard of his untiring efforts to bring the Sangam period literature back into circulation and accessible to the larger population and thereby...

About life in towns and villages

(This column attempts at unravelling fascinating facts on the art and architecture of India and this week’s article throws light on the village life.) With the teaching of history being grudgingly tolerated, it is a pipe dream for us to expect local history to be taught in schools. Yet, thanks to inscriptions, the medieval life of several towns and villages can be reconstructed to a large degree. With the use of literature references, it becomes even more colourful and absorbing. Some...

Of music and Hindu history, carved in stone

If you are to participate in author and epigraphist Pradeep Chakravarthy’s heritage walks, then you have to be accompanied by a schoolgoing child. On Sunday morning there was only one child among the group of enthusiasts at the Marundeeswarar temple where he sung Tirugnanasambandar’s padigams in soothing Hindolam and Mukhari. And the youngster persisted with numerous questions about the various stone carvings on the pillars. The early start to the day didn’t seem to bother...

Dispelling darkness

(A monthly column that highlights many fascinating facts about the heritage structures around the State, this one talks about gifts of lamps to the temples.) Several inscriptions in temples mention the gift of lamps. From a philosophical angle, they signifed the banishment of ignorance by casting light (knowledge) and in a practical sense, they were indispensible at a time when there were no other illumination facility. Lamps were found both in stone and metal. In several temples, even today,...

Talks

Eroticism in Temples of Tamilnadu


Eroticism in Temples of Tamilnadu
following link : https://youtu.be/6iS-WruwYA4