Unveiling Chennai’s heritage: This exhibition chronicles temple games through the ages
The exhibition which runs from August 21 to 27 at Kreeda Experience Centre, Nandanam, follows a unique format, with each day of the week focusing on games from a specific temple or monument in Chennai
CHENNAI: As the city anticipates the vibrant celebrations of Madras Week, Kreeda is all set to offer an immersive experience through an exhibition showcasing traditional games found within temples and monuments across Chennai. Vinita Sidhartha, the founder of Kreeda, sheds light on the organisation’s efforts to raise awareness about these ancient pastimes.
“For years, the Kreeda team and I have been documenting the games inscribed on temple and monument floors. What began as a simple endeavour to capture curiosity evolved as we recognised the wealth of knowledge embedded in these games. By observing various patterns, we discerned valuable insights.
For instance, the popularity of a game could be gauged by the number of boards present. The spread of games correlated with their locations. These patterns revealed intriguing stories, like the presence of a less-known game indicating cultural exchanges. This exchange reflected not only trade but also ideas and lifestyles, crucial facets to comprehend in today’s context. With a comprehensive collection of documentation, Kreeda believed it was vital to share this with the wider public,” Vinita explains.
Coincidentally, this year marks Kreeda’s two-decade journey in promoting awareness about traditional games. “This series of exhibitions starting from August 21 takes us a step further. It’s about more than understanding the games themselves; it’s about acknowledging their significance. These games have deep historical roots in Indian culture. They impart lessons that help us fathom our thought processes and life’s essence. They reflect our origins and identity. Furthermore, recognising the diverse culture of games in India, each tailored to different skills and preferences is crucial. Documenting these games and raising awareness ensures their preservation for future generations,” she adds.
The exhibition which runs from August 21 to 27 at Kreeda Experience Centre, Nandanam, follows a unique format, with each day of the week focusing on games from a specific temple or monument in Chennai. “On Monday, we will focus on games inscribed at the Thiruvottiyur Thiyagarajaswamy Temple.
Tuesday’s focus will be on games from Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore, on Wednesday, participants can learn about the games from Marundeeswarar Temple in Thiruvanmiyur. We will be covering Thiruporur Murugan Temple’s games on Thursday – these games are also linked with Saluvankuppam Murugan Temple, which was brought to light by the tsunami. On Friday, we will be learning about the traditional games inscribed on Krishna’s Butterball in Mahabalipuram.
August 26 and 27 will have a combined exhibit of traditional games from other temples and monuments in Madras,” Vinita elaborates.
Historians and heritage experts from the city will also contribute insights into traditional games during the exhibition that runs throughout next week from 10.30 am to 7.30 pm. Vinita concludes, “We aim to delve into the world of traditional games and cultivate a greater appreciation for them as they deserve.”