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Thursday, July 14, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: ‘Visnu Temples of Kancipuram,' Dr. R. Nagaswamy!
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Dr. R. Nagaswamy, former Director, Department of Archaeology, Government of Tamil Nadu. Photo: N. Sridharan.
In his book, ‘Visnu Temples of Kancipuram,' Dr. R. Nagaswamy unfolds the aesthetics and history of an ancient city.
Kanchi, “the City Beautiful.” The site of more than 108 temples and the famed capital of great dynasties, Kanchipuram lures all those who love the spiritual and the historical. Dr. R. Nagaswamy, former Director of Archaeology, Government of Tamil Nadu, in one scholarly sweep takes in the Vishnu temples of this ancient city in his just published book. In 'Visnu Temples of Kancipuram', he covers five well known temples in depth and six briefly.
"The accent in the book is on the factual history rather than religious life," says Nagaswamy. “I have always been interested in the study of the growth of villages and townships — how a village flowers from earliest to colonial times,” he replies to the question why he focussed on Kanchi.
Nagaswamy has a huge store of photographs which he has taken over the years — nearly 15,000 in all. But the splendid photographs “especially for the book” were taken by him over the past four years. His camera captures the sculptures, paintings, inscriptions and archaeological features with the caring, perceptive eye of the expert.