Dr. R. Nagaswamy

ramachandran_nagaswamyDr.R.Nagaswamy, Director of Archaeology (Retired) and former Vice chancellor, Kanchipuram University, is one among the most distinguished scholars covering a vast field of specialization, art, archaeology, architecture, literature, epigraphy, paleography, numismatics, temple rituals and philosophy, ancient law and society, music, dance and South Asian art. Tamil Nadu must be grateful to him for he made archaeology a very popular subject in the state. He did this through publication of popular guides to our monuments, conducting courses, setting up museums and sensitizing the public towards preserving our monuments.

Many important excavations at places like Karur, Alagankulam, Korkai and Gangaikonda-cholapuram, were conducted by him. He is an acknowledged International Expert on South Indian Bronzes. He has authored several books and presented path-breaking papers in international conference. It was Dr. Nagaswamy who started and founded the now world famous Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival, 24 years ago, He has authored several books in Tamil and English, including on Mamallapuram. One of his signal contributions to history is his original hypothesis of an alternative authorship of the monuments of Mamallapuram in 1962, which he discussed at this Seminar.

Dr. Chitra Madhavan

chitra_madhavanDr.Chithra Madhavan has an M.A. and M.Phil. from the Department of Indian History, University of Madras, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore. She is the recipient of two post-doctoral fellowships from the Department of Culture, Government of India, and from the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. Chithra is a guest lecturer at many institutions in Chennai like Kalakshetra Foundation, the Arts Management Programme of DakshinaChitra, and the Asian College of Journalism. She frequently delivers lectures on heritage-related topics in various places in India

Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan

sankaranarayanan-300x200A polymath and a renowned scholar, Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan has expertise in history, epigraphy, silpa sastras, agamas, Tamil and Sanskrit literature. After completing his Masters and Doctorate in Sanskrit, at present he is working as an Assistant Professor in Sri Chandrasekara Saraswathi Vishwa Mahavidyalaya, Kanchipuram, teaching Sahitya, Indian History, Epigraphy to B.A, M.A, students. His special project of interest is on “Kamakshi Amman Koil Sasanangal”. A Prolific Writer, Orator in Tamil, English, Sanskrit, Telugu and many other languages and Versatile in various subjects like Art and Architecture, Music and Dance, History and Hindology, Drama, Epigraphy. Yet, a humble man with an excellent sense of humor and very approachable for any clarifications over Facebook, Phone or in person. His blog Sarasvatam is a well-known reference in epigraphy and history circles.

Prof. S. Swaminathan

swaminathanProf. Swaminathan was a professor of the Mechanical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi for more than 30 years . He also worked in Centre for Rural Development in IIT Madras, Bharath Gyan Vigyan Samithy, Delhi as the National Coordinator for watershed development and Integrated Rural Technology Centre, Palakkad, Kerala.
He has made a very detailed study of Ajanta paintings and his lectures on Ajanta are especially popular. His favorite topics included Indian music, Sanskrit, ancient Tamil literature, Tamil prosody, development of scripts, Gandhian philosophy. The other major work of his is the Story of Scripts, which starts with the need felt by communities for writing, then on to the five cultures – Sumerian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Meso-American, Korean Tibetan and Siddham scripts and calligraphy of Arabic. Drawn towards the Pallava art at Mamallapuram. he is presently working on in documenting the monuments of Mamallapuram and sensitizing all cross-sections of people about our heritage. He initiated the Site Seminar series with a 3-day residential Mamallapuram seminar during 23-25th January, 2010.
He is the co-founder of the Tamil Heritage Trust.

Dr. S. Balusami

21frbharati_gs05ji_1214495gDr. S. Balusami, Associate Professor in the Department of Tamil, Madras Christian College, Tambaram, has made waves as a writer and novelist with the pen name Bharatiputran. He did his master’s degree in Tamil literature from Pachaiyappa’s college, bagging a university gold medal. He obtained a PhD from Madras University for his dissertation on the Nayak arts of Tamil Nadu. His areas of interest – on which he has written several books – cover art history, folklore and Tamil culture. He has carried out an ethnographic study of fisher folk of the east coast between Thiruvanmiyur and Mamallapuram. He has also done digital documentation on mural paintings of Tamil Nadu. His books include Arjunan Tapasu, Mamallapuram: Puli-guhaiyum Krishna mandapamum, Nayakar kala kalai kotpatugal and Kolli Malai Makkal Padalgal (he edited the book for the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation). He has won several recognitions for his work. His book Arjunan Tapasu was selected as the best book of 2011 by the Government of Tamil Nadu. SRM University’s Tamil Perayam honored him with the Kala Yogi Ananda Kumaraswamy award. The Pondicherry literary association conferred on him the Bharathi Selvar award. TAG Corporation honored him with the Best Critic Award –2014.

Dr. Swarnamalya Ganesh

slide-image-2Dr. Swarnamalya Ganesh is a professional classical Bharatanatyam dancer with over 25 years of learning and experience. She is a senior disciple of Kalaimamani K.J. Sarasa who is an exponent guru from the hereditary dancing family. Apart from training with some more of the devadasi gurus and nattuvanars she is also involved in documenting their repertoire. She is a trained classical singer. She holds a master’s degree in Bharatanatyam from the University of Madras and is currently a Ph. D. scholar in dance and a visiting faculty for the Department of Indian music, University of Madras. She has performed in several prestigious dance festivals around the world. She is a member of the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) U.K. Ranga Mandira was started by her ten years ago, as a trust which promotes research and production of various dance and musical works, and as a center for dance and music teaching.

Gopu Rangarathnam

11892208_10206459960151742_8908809705115117634_nShri. Gopu Rangarathnam is a technical historian with interests and intellectual flirtations spanning a wide spectrum – engineering, software, astronomy, economics, history, art, Heritage. After getting his BE in Computer Science from Kalasalingam college of Madurai Kamaraj University, he received an MS in Computer Science from the Texas A&M University, USA. He worked for six years in the US in software development, including five years with Microsoft. But his restless mind got bored, , and he returned to India around 2000.He has since indulged in the luxury of doing just what he likes doing. He has attempted novels, short stories and movie scripts; he has done a lot of Heritage travel; he blogs regularly; he is a prolific lecturer and a voracious reader. He says Sivakaamiyin Sabatham was one of the three books which ignited a passion for temples, sculptures, and Indian history, which is yet to abate. His lectures at various forums reflect his intellectual eclecticism and deal with science and technology, history and heritage, economics, temples, art and architecture. In September 2016, he was awarded the seventh Vedavalli Memorial Heritage Award (for outstanding contribution to South India’s heritage by a young achiever) by TAG South India Heritage Program.

Prof.Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan

11034200_1005426209484806_1117002868925408352_nProf.Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan is an Architect by profession. A graduate from School of Architecture & Planning, Anna University, Chennai, he went on to become a Gold Medalist in his Masters in Architecture in 2014. After a brief stay in the USA, he came back to set up his firm Arangam Studios to take up professional assignments in the field of Architecture and Interior Design. He is also an Associate Professor in a private Architecture Academy. He has served in the technical panels constituted to take up conservation works of many old structures including the Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram; Rajarajan Gopuram at the Big Temple, Tanjore to name a few. Prof.Madhusudhanan was the lead conservationist in preparing a report documenting 300+ heritage structures and precincts in Kanchipuram city for the coveted HRIDAY project for the Honorable PM of India’s office. Prof.Madhusudhanan is also well trained in Epigraphy, Carnatic Music, Mridangam and traditional Fresco painting techniques. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral research on Temple Town Planning Strategies in Medieval Tamil Nadu. Madhusudhanan’s passion for History and Cultural Heritage are quite well proven through his lectures and talks on various subjects like Linguistics, Tamil Literature, Culture, Indology, Cross Religious similarities, Iconography, Temple Traditions and more.

Mr. Sridharan. K

caff-ba61-4bc1-b3fb-d76cbf2395fdShri. Sridharan. K was a Deputy Superintending Archaeologist in Tamil Nadu Government Archaeology Department. He has conducted extensive surveys in Dharmapuri and Thanjavur districts. He has participated in excavations in Korkai, Gangaikondacholapuram, Kodumala, Panaikulam, Marakkanam etc. He is the co-author of museum guide books, excavation reports and epigraphy publications. He has written many articles on temples and iconography in Tirukoil, Dinamani, Kalaimagal and Amudasurabhi. He has participated in documentation of antiques and ancient structure of temples in Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram under National Missiion of Monuments and Antiquities scheme.