Call For Nominations – THT Prof S. Swaminathan Heritage Award 2021

The Tamil Heritage Trust-Prof S. Swaminathan Heritage Award (THT-SS Award) aims to recognize exceptional individual contributions towards the understanding, dissemination and preservation of Indian Heritage. By rewarding outstanding work in this area, the Award aspires to encourage interest and involvement of the general public in Indian Heritage, thereby raising the awareness and appreciation of history, literature, arts and culture which deserve our attention and care.

The award aims to recognize and reward the efforts and achievements of individuals. Thus, collective enterprises like societies, trusts and Section 8 companies and other interest groups will not be eligible for the award.


Last Date for receiving nominations is July 10, 2021


The award was instituted in 2020. You can find details of 2020 Award winner at :

The Award is based on a nomination and selection process.

The Award will consist of a citation and a prize of Rs.25000/-


Nomination Process


1.     Any individual can nominate any other individual whom they believe has done noteworthy work in the area of Indian heritage.

2.     Individuals can also nominate themselves.

3.     Nominee's age should be between 20 and 50 years.

4.     The individual must be a citizen of India and ordinarily resident in India.

6.     Please click to download the nomination form from here

7.     Nominations must be sent by email along with the nomination form to to reach us before July 10, 2021.

      Nominations and accompanying details may be in English or Tamil only.


Selection of Winner


A jury comprising members of the THT Award Committee as well as experts from the field of Heritage will select the winner.

As a part of the selection process, the Judges may choose to have an interaction with the nominee in person or over phone.


Award Ceremony & Award Lecture


The THT-Prof. S Swaminathan Heritage Award will be presented at a formal award ceremony in September 2021

The Winner will be invited to present the award lecture at the ceremony. The Winner may choose a topic of her/his choice. The Award Lecture may be in Tamil or English.





Am I eligible to enter?


We welcome Nominations from any individual who is a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident in India. Organisations and institutions – like Societies, Trusts, Interest Groups etc – are not eligible.


What are the criteria for selection?


The work done must relate to the previous 5 years. The judges will look for, among other qualities and parameters:


·                New discoveries or insights

·                Thoroughness of knowledge in the chosen area

·                Scholarly rigour in the individual’s output

·                Demonstrable eagerness to share with the public and involve them in a dialog

·                Consistency and persistence of the effort


In what language should the Nomination be submitted?

Nominations can be sent in English or Tamil only.


Is it necessary for the Winner to deliver the Award Lecture?

Yes, the Winner will be expected to deliver the Award Lecture at the Ceremony, either in Tamil or English, on a topic of her/his choice.


What is the Last Date for Nomination?

The last date for entries to reach THT is July 10th, 2021.


When will the winner be announced?

The winner will be announced shortly before the Award Ceremony and the Award Lecture.


When and Where is the Awards Ceremony?

The Ceremony will take place during September 2021. Details of the ceremony will be announced later. 


Is there an Entry Fee?

No, there is no fee involved.


Terms + Conditions of entry

The Award will be made solely at the discretion of the Jury. No feedback or correspondence will be entered into about the results and the Jury’s decision is final.



About Tamil Heritage Trust (THT)

Tamil Heritage Trust (THT) is a recognized trust (Reg.No. 379/2010) set up with a vision to promote, document and disseminate Indian heritage. The impetus for this came from Prof. S. Swaminathan, who retired as Professor of Mechanical Engineering, IIT-Delhi and Badri Seshadri, a well-known publisher, entrepreneur and heritage enthusiast.

THT’s events are conducted by volunteers with a common interest in Indian heritage and a passion to communicate its richness and beauty to as many people as possible. Aṣ a non-profit organization, the Trust is supported by sponsors and donations by heritage enthusiasts. There is no membership or subscription fees. THT’s Monthly Talks and Pechu Kacheri programs are free for all. The Site Seminars, Mamallapuram Study Tours and How to See a Temple sessions are run on an at-cost basis.

Our mission is to get everyone interested in Indian heritage and, if they are already attracted to this subject, provide them a community they can enjoy learning along with.

Towards this end, we conduct a range of events:

·      Monthly Talks on various aspects of heritage, conducted on the first Saturday of every month

·      Annual Pechu Kacheri (a lecture series) on heritage-related themes in December

·      Periodic Study Tours to Mamallapuram

·      Periodic Workshops on “How to See a Temple” and “How to See a Museum”

·      Annual Site Seminars – weeklong tours to heritage sites of importance in and outside Tamil Nadu

·      Presentations at schools to sensitize youngsters to our heritage

·      Heritage courses for teachers

·      Coordination with the TN Government’s culture/tourism agencies to support and supplement their efforts


You can follow THT on Facebook (/TamilHeritageTrust) and Twitter (@TamilHeritageTN)


About Prof. S Swaminathan


Prof. S Swaminathan is the inspiration behind the Tamil Heritage Trust. As a co-founder, he continues to guide the initiatives and activities of THT.
His interest in India’s rich heritage goes back to his days at IIT-Delhi where he engaged generations of his students in projects and conversations on India’s traditions in art, architecture, music, mathematics and science. After his retirement he made it his life’s mission to educate, inform and inspire interested audiences to discover more about their heritage.
A Professor in Mechanical Engineering in Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi for more than 30 years, Prof Swaminathan also worked in the Centre for Rural Development in IIT Madras, Bharath Gyan Vigyan Samithy, Delhi as the National Coordinator for watershed development and Integrated Rural Technology Centre, Palakkad, Kerala.
Fuelled by an infinite curiosity, his interests range far and wide. He has written a book on the Pallava art of Mamallapuram. His lectures on the paintings of Ajanta are legendary. His talks on an array of topics – 5000 years of Indian Art, The Story of Scripts, the Mathematics of Kolams, the Trees of India and so on - have served as wonderful introductions to awestruck audiences for many years. His erudition makes him equally at home with the fine nuances of Carnatic music, the complexities of Gandhian thought and the refined ideas of Nehru’s scientific temper.
His passion for education, especially of young minds, has led him to work pro-bono with schools and colleges – helping to redesign curriculum at one institution, assisting teachers to bring practical science to the class rooms at another, planting a Sangam-age orchard of tress in a third, and readily sharing his wisdom for the benefit of teachers and students everywhere.
He is the author Mamallapuram: Unfinished Poetry in Stone and monographs on the Paintings of Ajanta, and the Monuments of Pudukottai District.


Contact Us

For any clarifications, please contact us at:

 Mail :

 Phone : Kishore Mahadevan 99400 25869; Siva Thiagarajan: 98842 94494

Watercraft in Early Tamil Literature by Dr V Selvakumar, June 5, 2021

Tamil literature has references to several types of watercrafts. Kalam, vanji, ambi, navai are some of the watercrafts mentioned in early Tamil texts. Sangam literature presents the contexts in which these watercrafts are used such as long-distance navigation, inland navigation and for coastal transport. Medieval inscriptions too refer to the use of watercrafts for applications like maintaining irrigation tanks and long-distance trade. In his talk, Dr Selvakumar explores these references to watercraft in Tamil literature and inscriptions. Dr. Selvakumar is a faculty member in the Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology, Tamil University, Thanjavur. Earlier he was a faculty member in the Department of Epigraphy and Archaeology. He completed doctoral research and post-doctoral research from Deccan College, Pune. He was a faculty member at Centre for Heritage Studies, Tripunithura, Kerala and a NTICVAM (Nehru Trust for the Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum) Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, Southampton University. His research interests include archaeology of India, prehistory, heritage management, maritime history and archaeology, archaeological theory, heritage management, history of science and technology, Indian Ocean Cultural interactions, and ecocriticism.

Rare Architectural Forms in Temples of Karnataka: Dr M S Krishna Murthy. May 1, 2021

Dr M S Krishna Murthy, former Professor and Chairman, Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore, talks about some of the intriguing architectural forms found in the temples of Karnataka. These include vastu mandalas and vastu kumbhas, suspension roofs, Vrittaya shikaras, rare forms of Buddhist chaityas and many more. About Dr M S Krishna Murthy Dr Krishna Murthy, popularly known as Prof MSK, specialises in Indian Temple Architecture and Sculpture, Epigraphical studies and archaeological excavations of the early and medieval periods. He has written ten books, authored over a hundred scholarly papers and has been a guide for several PhD students. He has made numerous signal contributions to the field, especially in the excavation and interpretation of the site of Talakad. He has been instrumental in the discovery of many archaeological sites, artefacts and inscriptions which have led to the subsequent study and better understanding of the history of the region. Prof MSK serves on several academic Boards and Councils.

 Tamil Heritage Trust

Aalamar Avai

(Teachers For Heritage) 


  1. Who is Tamil Heritage Trust?

    Tamil Heritage Trust was established in 2010 by like-minded professionals who wanted to spread awareness about India’s rich heritage in all its dimensions – art, architecture, music, history etc etc. The five founding Trustees are:

    1. Prof S Swaminathan – Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Retd), IIT – Delhi
    2. Dr Badri Seshadri, PhD – Publisher, Kizhakku Padippakam
    3. Siva Thiagarajan - Proprietor, DuraSoft
    4. Mr A Annamalai, Director, National Gandhi Museum, New Delhi
    5. Mr S Kannan, Retired Banker
  2. What are THT’s activities?

    THT conducts the following programs for furthering the awareness and appreciation of Indian heritage:

    1. Monthly Heritage Talks (now on-line) - by experts and learned enthusiasts
    2. Pechu Kacheri – an annual 2-Day Seminar on Heritage topics
    3. Site Seminar – an annual 1-week study tour of places of heritage and historical
    4. importance
    5. How to See A Temple – 1-Day workshop introducing architecture, iconography and
    6. inscriptions of temples in Tamil Nadu
    7. Mallai Study Tour – – Day in-depth tour of Mahabalipuram with certified docentrs
    8. How to See a Museum - 2-Day Tour of Egmore Government Museum, Chennai
    9. Pallava Grantha – Workshop introducing participants to Pallava grantha script
  1. What is Aalamar Avai?

    Aalamar Avai is THT’s Program exclusively for Teachers who are interested to spread awareness and appreciation of history and heritage among their students and in the communities in which they live and work.

    Through this program, THT aims to provide opportunities for teachers who are interested in heritage to:

    1. Learn more about heritage matters
    2. Apply their learning by teaching others, by conducting events etc.,
    3. Share their activities with other fellow, like-minded teachers
    4. Get easy access to resources and materials for teaching
    5. Get easy access to a heritage mentor, who can provide tips and additional information when required
  1. Why is it only for Teachers?

    When a teacher is equipped with knowledge and has the enthusiasm to spread that knowledge, then the message about our heritage can reach successive generations of students. THT wants to support and encourage such teachers with training and other resources.

    Other professionals and general citizens do not have the same level of access to young audiences. Hence, this program is restricted only to teachers.

  2. Who can join Aalamar Avai?

    Any Teacher who is currently teaching in any School and College anywhere in Tamil Nadu can join the initiative. There is no bar on age, type of school, teaching medium, subject they normally teach, etc.

    One important requirement is that the teacher must have some level of interest in heritage matters.

  3. Can a teacher from outside Tamilnadu and Pondicherry or outside India join?

    As of now, this program is meant only for teachers in Tamilnadu and Pondicherry. It may be noted that most of the programs will be conducted in Tamil and references will be to monuments, artefacts and heritage elements of Tamilnadu.

  4. What kind of programs can a member of Aalamar Avai expect?

7.1 Heritage Certificate Courses

THT will conduct short online training programs on How to See a Temple, and appreciate the Architecture, Sculptures, Paintings , Ancient scripts , Inscriptions and fine arts. These will be conducted on 4-5 weekends followed by interactions thru Whastapp during the week. Each course will have a project for the participant and an on-line exam. On clearing the course requirements, the participant will be awarded a Heritage Certificate by THT.

  1. 7.2  Experience Sharing Session

    Participants will be given opportunities to share their heritage-awareness activities with other members. They will get opportunities to make presentation on their favourite heritage topics – say a local temple, or history or archaeology etc.,

  2. 7.3  Invitation to all programs of THT

    Members of Aalamar Avai will be notified and invited o all the programs that THT conducts for its audiences.

  3. 7.4  Social Media Network

    Members will become part of WhatsApp or Facebook Group which will contain threads / discussions on various subjects and some of the reference materials and a WhatsApp groups which will facilitate interaction among the Teachers and clear doubts / queries with Mentors over weekdays.

  4. 7.5  Access to teaching and learning materials

    Members will have access to THT’s resources like Powerpoint presentations, videos, quizzes, and other specially developed materials with which they can spread awareness on heritage matters

  1. What is expected from me as a member of Aalamar Avai?

    The two main things expected from you as a member of Aalamar Avai:

    1. Active and enthusiastic participation in all the courses, programs, events, interaction sessions etc

    2. Active and meaningful work in spreading awareness amongst your students and audiences in your local communities.

  2. Is there any fees for joining Aalamar Avai?

    No. THT offers all its programs free to audiences.

    However, when a member participates in events that include travel, accommodation, food etc, then a basic fee will be charged to take care of expenses.

  3. Will THT support members to conduct programs in their schools or colleges for students?

If a member teacher wants THT to conduct a program in their school, THT will try to support such an initiative by identifying appropriate resources like presentation materials, contact details of appropriate resource persons etc., to assist them in conducting programs for their students.

11. Will THT approach my school / college for anything connected with Aalamar Avai?

Aalamar Avai is a program to support and encourage individual teachers who want to spread awareness about heritage related matters. It is entirely voluntary on the part of the teacher. THT will not directly approach the school or college of the teacher for any heritage-related activities.

12. How much time will I be expected to spend on Aalamar Avai activities?

There are two sets of activities:

  1. Activities for you as a member e.g. Certificate Courses, Experience Sharing Sessions etc., The Courses will take about 8 hours a month on weekends and around 2-3 hours on exploration based assignments. Other than that there will be one 60-75 minute interaction every month.

  2. Activities that you conduct for your students. The time you spend on this will be entirely up to you. THT recommends at least 2-3 hours a month for such activities.

13. How do I enrol in the Aalamar Abvai program?

Please fill in the online Registration Form at with some details about yourself, your school or college, and a few questions on your Heritage Interests to shortlist suitable aspirants. Selected Teachers will be intimated and will start the programs including training programs.

14. What infrastructure is required for making the best of the membership of this program?

  1. A smart phone with good internet connection and Whatsapp Chat
  2. A google account (for communication )
  3. A Facebook Account (optional – to join the groups)
  4. A PC/ LAPTOP – to read reference material and prepare project documents in Tamil (optional)

15. What does Aalamar Avai mean?

In Tamil, Aalamar Avai means “the forum under the banyan tree”. Lord Siva as Dakshinamurthy, the divine teacher, is represented as being seated under the banyan tree (aala maram in Tamil) teaching rishis.

The Glorious Heritage of the Godavari by Sreemathi Ramanath and Shreya Ramnath

Great rivers spawn great civilizations. The Godavari, India’s second-longest river (termed the Dakshina Ganga) is one such glorious example. Originating in Maharashtra and flowing along several states before draining into the Bay of Bengal, Godavari is redolent with historical, cultural and literary splendour and the ideas and ideals of sages, statesmen, writers and artists. In her talk, Sreemathi Ramnath will provide glimpses into the luminous heritage of the Godavari with words, visuals and music highlighting a few extraordinary temples of both Shiva and Vishnu. The Siva temples include the kshetras at Bheemaaramam, Somaaramam, Kumaararam and Drakshaaramam, the Vishnu temples are the Jaganmohini Aalyaam in Ryali and the Sri Rama temple of Bhadrachalam. The fertile belt of Godavari, so alive to new ideas, also witnessed social reform movements like the Andhra Brahmo Samaj. Songs commissioned in the 1930s by the P.R College of Kakinada became musical landmarks. Top musicians set to music the works of poets from this region: these led to the unique musical tradition, the Bhava Sangeetham. Shreya Ramnath who specializes in this school of music, will introduce us to the charms of Bhava Sangeetham. About the Speaker and the Singer Sreemathi Ramnath wears many hats – she is a Consultant, Coach, Media Person and a Literature enthusiast who works in three languages: Telugu, English and German. Born in a family of Sahitya Academi winning Telugu scholars, writing was a natural choice for her. As the member of the Panel of Script Writers and Commentary Speakers for the Films Division of India, she has written and spoken for several documentary films. Sreemathi has worked alongside Telugu literary luminaries like Devulapalli Krishna Sastry and Sri Sri. She became a casual artiste with the AIR as a child and went on to become the first Doordarshan anchor for telugu programmes telecast from Madras. Sreemathi had her higher education and professional development at various Universities and Institutes in Germany, U.K, Switzerland, Singapore, China and the United States. She has taught German language and culture before moving to the specialised field of Cross cultural Communication and Management. She has co-authored a book for the Goethe Institut, Munich on teaching methodology and adult learning techniques. As the Founder and Principal Consultant with ‘immer besser’ Cross cultural Management Consultancy, she has consulted and delivered programs in 25 countries for fortune 1000 companies. She also delivers Guest Lectures at the IIM Ahmedabad for the MBA students. Shreya Ramnath Shreya, a graded artiste of All India Radio (B-High )has a Diploma in Music from the Madras University . She has sung for several CDs and has given a number of devotional music and Bhava Sangeetham concerts both in India and in the United States. She is the recipient of the prestigious prize of the Music Academy Annual Music Competitions in the devotional music category amongst others. Shreya has 2 Masters degrees one in Media studies from Cardiff and the other in Sociology from the CEU in Budapest. She is currently on a fellowship from the Central European University, Vienna, Europe.