Heaping praise on tamil lands through ‘petchu kutcheri’

An initiative of the Tamil Heritage Trust, this event to be held during the Margazhi season, will see eminent speakers highlight the history and heritage of the Chola dynasty.
Heaping praise on tamil lands through ‘petchu kutcheri’
Above and below: Temple and sculpting seen in Gangaikondachozhavaram; Chola period coin (left)

Chennai

When music and dance can have kutcheris (concerts) during the Margazhi season, why not have a talk session to spread awareness about Tamil heritage? This thought struck a group of history enthusiasts called the Tamil Heritage Trust, a non-profit organisation. Ashwin Prabhu, one of its volunteers, tells us more about the event titled ‘Petchu Kutcheri’.
“It will consist of a two-day talk session on the history and heritage primarily of the Tamil land. To be held during the third weekend of the month, Petchu Kutcheri talk will focus on the Chola dynasty and participants can see eminent speakers in the fields of history present sessions,” he says.
This event is just one of the activities that the trust does to promote their fields of interest. “Our trust is more than a decade old and has been fairly active in creating awareness about Tamil Nadu through a variety of ways. We have monthly talks, study tours of a place of historical interest every year, conduct docent training programmes and more,” he adds.
Among such activities is Petchu Kutcheri — one topic is chosen every year and examined in great detail. So, this time is about the Chola dynasty. Says Ashwin, “A series of 10 talks will happen over two days and we have quite a line-up of speakers. The keynote speech on Raja Raja Cholan will be given by Padma Bhushan Dr. R Nagaswamy, an Indian historian, archaeologist and epigraphist.”
Other specialists include Dr. Chitra Madhavan, Vijayakumar, who is an expert on Chola bronzes from Singapore, among others. “Each talk will be between 60-90 minutes. Many of the sessions will be audio-visual too since the speakers will be talking about architecture, art and more,” he shares.
But since a lot of information about the Chola kingdom is available and well-known among the public, how might they additionally benefit from Petchu Kutcheri? He replies, “Most of the information available is based on fictional literary works like Ponniyin Selvan set during the dynasty’s rule. If not, most people would have seen the architectural splendour at the Thanjavur temples. Why we would urge the public to attend these talks is to get factually correct information on the Chola kingdom, thus busting myths or legends. The intention is to take the topic beyond preliminary interest and try and equip people with a historically accurate account of the Cholas and help them gain artistic appreciation towards the iconography and workmanship involved in creating this empire.”
To be a part of any of the 10 intriguing talk session, visit Tamil Virtual Academy, Anna University Campus, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Kotturpuram, on December 15 and 16 from 9 am to 5 pm. Entry is free.

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