A photo exhibition showcasing temples in and around Chennai that Saivaite and Vaishnavite saints have sung in praise of, was inaugurated here on Saturday.

Organised by the Chennai Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the ‘Chennaiyil Paaadal Pettra Tiruthalangal' exhibition features temples such as the Parthasarathy temple in Triplicane, Bhaktavatsala Perumal temple in Thiruninravur, Jagannathar temple in Thirumazhisai, Vedapurisvarar temple in Tiruverkadu, Marundeeswarar temple in Thiruvanmiyur and Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore.

Along with the photographs, some of the verses written by saints such as Thirugnanasammandar, Thirunavukkarasar and Sundaramurthy Swamigal have also been put up.

Inaugurating the exhibition, T.S. Sridhar, commissioner, Department of Archaeology, said temples functioned as a centre of administration and also ensured that the arts and our culture flourished.

“Several saints have sung in praise of the presiding deity of the temples. In addition to the religious fervour with which they sang, we get a glimpse of the socio-cultural context then,” he said. This literary evidence could be corroborated with the archaeological evidence to understand our past, he added.

Sathyabama Badrinath, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI (Chennai Circle), said the temples featured in the exhibition developed into socio-economic centres and laid the foundation for the development of the State.

The exhibition was being organised to promote cultural awareness and coincided with the Independence Day and Madras Week celebrations, she said. The exhibition, on at the Clive Building, Fort St. George, is open to public from August 15 to 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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