Penn State

Venkatraman N. Shankar - associate professor of civil engineering, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Temples of South India

Author: Ambujam Anantharaman

Book Description:

First of all, it is very difficult to recommend a book for Penn State Libraries, for they seem to have just about every book one thinks would be of some value to society.

I got lucky on this book since the Libraries do not seem to have this. I grew up in Madras, South India, so this book by Ambujam Anantharaman is dear to my heart. The book offers a very unique insight—an integrated view of South India's majestic temples from not just an architectural perspective; but with historical, devotional, societal and spiritual facets as well. The author is highly regarded and eminently qualified to write this book. She grew up in Mylapore which is one of the cultural epicenters of South India. The book is written with such integrity of thought that it represents all that is holistic in the practice of craft. I am an engineer and have always wondered at what lay inside a craftsman. This book laid out one perspective for me. There was much to learn for me in terms of the practice of my craft. While I can relate to it because of my background, I trust other readers will find the book thought provoking; and take upon the book as an open invitation to visit South India.

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