International Conference on “Sacred Geographies, Religious Cultures and Popular practices in History and Imagination”


The Department of History, Government Arts College, Tiruvannamalai cordially Invites you to the International Conference on “Sacred Geographies, Religious Cultures and Popular practices in History and Imagination” to be held on 26th, 27th & 28th June 2014 at the college campus.

There will be five different tracks, and programs in Tamil and English. Program tracks start at 9 AM each day, and there is a large group meeting at 5 each day.



  • Histories of sectarian religious cultures, institutions in Tiruvannamalai and their networks and intersections with local, regional and global forces and spaces.
  • Royal Power, Temple traditions, Rituals and Devadasi Traditions in Tiruvannamalai.
  • Contest for identification and preservation of Heritage sites  in Tiruvannamalai
  • Christian and Muslim Sacred lineages and sites in Tiruvannamalai.
  • The ‘Secular ‘and the ‘Sacred’: Religion and Popular Culture in Tiruvannamalai.
  • The Making of Tiruvannamalai as a regional and global Sacred Space.
  • Sacred Geographies, Literary Histories and Contemporary Novelistic Accounts.
  • Agro-Rural and Pastoral traditions in Tiruvannamalai including the vanishing tradition of Festival Bull Market (Mattu Chandai).
  • Socio-cultural Histories of Mutts and Dormitory houses, (Chattirams) and changing traditions of Annadanam (Sacral offering of Food for the Needy) in sacred spaces such as Tiruvannamalai.
  • Medieval and Early Modern Puranic and Religious biographies of Tiruvannamalai (e.g.) Saiva Ellappa Navalar, Appaya Dikshitar,Tirupugazh Arunagirinathar, Sivaprakasa Swamigal, Gugai Namasivayar , Guru  Namasivayar, Gouthama Maharishi, Bhagavan Ramana maharishi, Shesathri Swamigal and Sri Yogiram surathkumar.
  • Saintly Lineages and Sectarian Writings and Sacred Geographies: Saivite, Vaishnavite, Vedantists, Siddhar tradition.
  • Cinema, Media and the construction of Sacred Spaces,
  • Tiruvannamalai as a space of regional and Global Spiritual Tourism.
  • Gender and empowerment of women.
  • Tribal cultures and intersections.

I will present a paper, “Tamil Villages – The Ancient Spiritual Heart of Tamil Nadu” at aboput 6 PM on June 26th.


Call or email:



Assistant Professor of History

Government Arts College

Tiruvannamalai-606 603

Tamil Nadu

Cell no: 09444211597


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