Copper-Plate Inscription, Thiruchendur

This is an eighteenth-century copper plate inscribed in Tamil. It is a record dating back to 1760 CE that states the traders of villages, including Kottaru Aloorupettai, Sivakasi Virudhugupetti, and Sivathondu Maanadupettai, gave their monthly expenses for cotton, tobacco, and kaalchattai (trousers), as well as for the puja (worship ritual) of Maheshvara in the month… Read more »

Madras Talkies – Reading List

Titles from the Sarmaya library that will draw you further into the heart of Tamil Nadu’s culture through music, architecture, photography and art

Thanjavur – Country of Gods & Kings

Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Thanjavur welcomed large communities of Telugu and Marathi speakers as a consequence of Nayaka and Maratha conquests in Cholamandalam. The result was a slow mingling and simmering of cultural influences, resulting in the unique artistic heritage of this temple town

Bodhgaya Temple, Gaya (Mahabodhi Temple)

Bodh Gaya is an important Buddhist site, known primarily as the place where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. The Buddhist complex at Bodh Gaya has a history of worship that goes back 2300 years. The oldest monumental remains here date back to the Mauryan period, during the reign of Asoka. The first Director-General of the Archaeological… Read more »

Temple of Bansberia, Hugli

This picture shows the temple of Bansberia, also known as the Hangseswari temple,  in the Hugli district of West Bengal.  In 1792, Raja Nrisinhadeb Rai Mahasai of Bansberia came to Varanasi for retirement. Here, he approved a significant amount of money to raise a temple dedicated to Goddess Hamsesvari, an avatar of Goddess Kali, in Bansberia.  He… Read more »

Sacred Space

The earliest temple was a humble place that served as a conduit between hope and whatever higher power held human fates in its hand. As faith in this unseen hand grew, so did the edifice that gathered the hopeful. Today, temples are among the richest repositories of our nation’s artistic, social and cultural legacies. Join… Read more »