A Road Less Travelled by Pradeep Chakravarthy: A Review

Here comes my 2nd book review. So far my book review has been only one - Mahabalipuram: Unfinished Poetry in Stone by Prof Swaminathan. This one is in similar lines - but much smaller in size, perfect to carry in handbag for a travel! 'Do you care of be different?' is what the back cover of the book asks you. So, presenting...

A ROAD LESS TRAVELLED
A Historian's guide to lesser known temples of Tamil Nadu
by Pradeep Chakravarthy

Pradeep Chakravarthy, or fondly called by many as PC, is a name known to many via The Hindu already. He is a regular columnist in the newspaper and writes about several historically and archaeologically important places, esp. the roads less travelled! Infact one of my earlier posts has a link to PC's article on Kanchipuram - Remember me as a baby in Kanchipuram Thanthondreeswarar Temple? That's PC's article referred in my blogpost!!!
His first book was 'Temple Vahanas of Tamil Nadu'. His second was the fabulous coffee table book 'Thanjavur: A Cultural History'. Now his third 'A Road Less Travelled'.
The launch of this book was held at Vivanta, by Taj Connemara, organized by Madras Book Club. Guess who released the book - that's another person I totally adore - Shri. Gopalakrishna Gandhi!

The book deals with a brief history of certain districts followed by some important, historically important places there. If I have to go by PC's words - its his 11 years put in 165 pages. He regularly organizes heritage walks and has explored several places. This book is an culmination of not all, but selected places he's explored. 
The road which is less travelled he's dealing here is denoted in the map. Starting from Chennai, he has proceeded to Kanchipuram, Thanjavur / Tanjore, Kumbakonam, Madurai, finally Tirunelveli. Even in these districts its not the regular, famous temples, he's opted to give you the not often visited, yet must-see temples for their history, art, architecture. You should relate to this well when I say in Tanjore section, Brahadeeswara Temple (Big temple) is given a miss!
Yes, there are a couple of places from his book that tally with my blog - Dhenupureeswara Temple, Mahabalipuram (Mine's in 3 parts - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) and Thirumeyyam.
The language and the style of writing is very friendly & interactive. Its not just a travelogue, its an in-detail write up about each place including history, legends and also translations of songs / hymns written centuries ago praising the lord of each temple! I'm so tempted to give you the list of places from the contents page, its such an impressive list - but no, buy the book and see it for yourself! 
Its a 165 pages, paper back book. Now, guess the price of the book.......
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Rs.200/-. Ok, I know you're in a state of a pleasant surprise & shock. Now close your mouth, before the fly gets in! Lolz!!!
The book has also been translated to Tamil by Prof. Somasundaram who happens to be the grandson of freedom fighter Kappalottiya Tamizhan VOC!

Tell me something, how often do you get to see PC, VOC's grandson, MK Gandhi's grandson in the same room, at the same time? Glad I did and got the book autographed by author Pradeep Chakravarthy and Gopalakrishna Gandhi!!!

You may purchase Pradeep Chakravarthy's book at Flipkart here: http://www.flipkart.com/author/pradeep-chakravarthy.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

13 comments:

  1. Would love to have a copy of this.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Do buy it Niranjan. Its available in Flipkart with a discount right now... You'll esp. will enjoy the book!!!

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  2. hope this review's a harbinger of a fresh series of articles!it's been a long wait.bst wshs

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    1. Not immediately, but sure in near future!!! :)

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  3. I WOULD LIKE TO GET A COPY, but how here in PORTUGAL? i am alover of india and HAVE BEEN IN TAMIL NADU... great places!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Helena,
      I'll try to find if an e-book version is available.
      So glad you love our country and so so glad you've been in Tamil Nadu and love it too!!! :)

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  4. I should see if its available in Bangalore, E-book would be a good idea though

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    1. Its available thru Flipkart.. Should be available in Crosswords or Landmark...!!

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  5. Hi

    Guess that would be an enjoyable read. Nice review and India is the best place to buy books:)

    Btw, Prof Somasundaram is VOC's grandson's grandson? Guess that was a typo eh?

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    Replies
    1. Indeed an enjoyable read! And thanks for spotting the typo, its changed now... :)

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  6. I am very much interested in books. I have read Indian stories during our study of Afro-Asian literatures. I will never forget Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are also works of Rabindranath Tagore that I do love too.

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