Historian Dr. Chithra Madhavan Discusses Historical Characters in Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan
Irresistible. That’s the only word to describe any talk by Chithra Madhavan. She combines in-depth research, profound scholarship, and her own innate passion for the subject. Her delightful delivery makes history and archaeology as engaging as a novel! What rivets me about Chithra is that, as she talks, she transforms the characters from ancient & medieval worlds, into living, breathing human beings. Chitra has also written several books on temples, sculptures, and monuments.
Who can talk about Kalki’s strategies in fictionizing history with more knowledge and understanding? For Chithra knows the history Kalki dealt with like the back of her hand, and she has read Kalki enough number of times to understand just what made him opt to write about the past, in the exact way in which he did.
Chithra Madhavan has an M.A. and an M.Phil. in Indian History and a Ph.D. in Ancient History and Archaeology. She is the recipient of two Post-Doctoral Fellowships. Chithra has published nine books – History and Culture of Tamil Nadu (in two volumes), Vishnu Temples of South India (in five volumes), Sanskrit Education and Literature in Ancient and Medieval Tamil Nadu – An Epigraphical Study and Temples of Kanchipuram. She has written the text for a coffee-table book Snapshots Of A Bygone Era- A Century of Images which contains about a hundred photographs of monuments of India. She has also co-edited a book South India Heritage which contains five hundred articles on various aspects of South India’s heritage and culture and has edited a book Kalakshetra-Sculpture which contains twenty articles on iconography by well-known authors on this subject. Chithra has also compiled books on the Srirangam temple and the Varadaraja Perumal temple, Kanchipuram. She regularly conducts heritage tours to places of historical and archaeological significance in India and abroad.