The glory of Tamil

A viewof the ongoing construction of the World Tamil Sangam. Photo: S. James   | Photo Credit: S_James

If all goes well, then by this time next year the locals and the tourists and visitors to the Temple Town will be able to include an additional hotspot in their checklist of places to see in Madurai. Nearly 70 per cent of the construction work of the proposed World Tamil Sangam master complex near the Madurai Law College at Tallakulam has been completed. And all those involved in the preparation, planning and design vouch that it will be stamped by every possible traditional Tamil element.

Once fully done, it will mark the fruition of exactly three decades old dream of former Chief Minister M G Ramachandran to establish Ulaga Tamil Sangam as an umbrella organisation for connecting Tamilians all over the world to propagate Tamil language, culture and literature.

After he made the announcement at the fifth Tamil Sangam in Madurai in 1981, the project was inaugurated in 1986 and the plaque was installed next to the Tamil Thaai staute at Tamukkam Grounds. However, it was only three years ago that concrete work began with the State Government allotting 14.5 acres and Rs.25 crore for the purpose.

Ever since a posse of Special Officers, architects, designers, cultural experts have been working to gift to the people an integrated campus that, they say, will become the talking point and a head turner in Madurai, the seat of ancient Tamil Sangams.

One of the architects involved in the project says “the environmental footprint has been kept to minimum by adhering to eco-friendly practices and lay-out.”

The main building will stand in the centre over nine acres and the remaining area has been divided and reserved for a park spread over three acres, landscaping depicting the five types of Tamil landscapes and space for parking.

The entire area will have paver blocks and lots of green patches and channelized rainwater ducts, says the designer.

The main building is inspired by the 300 years old ornamental temple designs with a central dome as seen over sanctum sanctorum and a façade of numerous sthapati works and murals. The building will be powered by hybrid supply from the Grid and solar panels on the rooftop.

In the first phase of the two-storeyed construction, four main activities are through, according to officials. With a plinth area of 40,000 sq.feet on each floor, it will house the administrative wing, the academic block with research and computer centre and a 500-seater air-conditioned auditorium. The library is being dubbed as the biggest in south Tamil Nadu.

In the second phase, an exclusive museum and the landscaping are expected to be completed over the next six months. In the last few months, the Ulaga Tamil Sangam has conducted series of seminars and workshops to look into the legacy of ancient Tamil Sangams and the contributions of ancient Tamil poets, scholars and people towards enriching the growth of the classical language.

Plans are afoot now to bring out a series of books on different aspects of Tamil culture, compile a list of World Tamil organisations, World Tamil Sangams and World Tamil research Centers and also publish an encyclopaedia on diaspora of Tamils living in Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

The idea is to introduce Sangam literature to foreign Tamils all over the world so as to enable cultural and linguistic exchanges. The World Tamil Sangam is expected to act as a pivotal centre in networking with Tamil research departments in various universities across the globe.

Set in motion, the new landmark is taking shape to push up Madurai’s place of pride in the world map.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 9:04:09 PM |

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