The book, authored by Ambujam Anantharaman, released here by Tamil Nadu Tourism Commissioner C Chandramouli is a must read for those who intend to embark on a journey to unravel the 'repository of culture'.
Often, temples represent a ritualistic way of life but the book opens a window into the legendary, devotional and societal aspects of most of the prominent temples in south India that represents antiquity, art and architecture, legend and lore, customs and culture.
The book captures the omnipresence of the structures in the four southern states and the Union Territory of Pondicherry.
Dr Chandramouli cited the age old belief that one should not stay in a place where there are no temples. ''Prosperity came wherever temples had been established,'' he said.
Calling for more such books aimed at youngsters, Dr Chandramouli said usually people went to foreign publications for authoritative works on Indian traditions. However, this work broke new ground with its treasure trove of information.
A descriptive account of 51 main temples and several sub-temples will help the reader grasp what each of them represented in the continuous quest for understanding of the Absolute.
Replete with folkore, it is a handy guide to travellers, a point emphasised by C P Ramaswamy Aiyar Foundation Director Nanditha Krishna who summarised the key elements in the publication.
Business Line Joint Editor K Venugopal, receiving the first copy, said finding snatches of history about the temple, he visited every Sunday in the book took him by surprise as he was unaware of it till then.
Mr Venugopal added, that he, being a journalist like the author, gave importance to accurate, credible and accessible collection of facts.
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