The 17th edition of the Neyveli Book Fair organised by the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, got under way here on Friday.

The fair was inaugurated by Justice M.M. Sundresh, Judge of the Madras High Court.

Justice Mr. Sundresh recalled two anecdotes from the history of Adhiyamaan, King of Thagadur, and renowned poetess Avvaiyar of the Sangam period. Adhiyamaan, a warrior of repute, always revered Avvaiyar and her scholastic achievements.

Her love for Tamil language endeared him to the extent that he offered her a rare gooseberry fruit that had the potential to increase life expectancy.

The Judge pithily stated this to drive home the point that how erudite scholars commanded respect in royal courts in those days of yore. NLC Chairman-cum-Managing Director B. Surender Mohan said the 10-day fair, which turned out to be a virtual festival, was likely to get 1.5 lakh footfalls.

On the occasion, Judge (retired) M. Pugazhendi, a well known author, and Sri Shenbaga Publisher were felicitated and a book titled “Mouna Mazhai” authored by Vallam Kovi was released.

Students of the Neyveli schools presented cultural events.

The fair would be open to public from 10 am. To 9 p.m. on all days.

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