Temples have been the focus of the social and cultural heritage of the people of India for centuries. They have served as the cradles for nourishing various fine art forms like dance and music besides fostering and preserving art, architecture and sculpture. A study of the temples presents a vivid and eloquent description of the various facets of the culture and civilization of the community.
The Indian Census is internationally acclaimed not only for its credible data on population and its characteristics but also for the many unique studies on the various social and cultural themes that touch the life of the people of this country. Mono-graphs on Fairs and Festivals of India, Village and Town Studies, Studies on the various Arts and Crafts of India are a part of the diverse repertoire of literary compositions that have served to throw light on the various aspects of the Indian people.
This study, "Temples of Tamil Nadu - Kancheepuram District" has been undertaken under the aegis of the Directorate of Census Operations, Tamil Nadu as part of the inter-censal studies after the 2001 Census. The present volume contains a wealth of data, both empirical as well as anecdotal on various aspects of the temples of Kancheepuram District in Tamil Nadu. Brilliant colour photographs, diagrams and illustrations, have been added value to the text. I am confident that this rich collection will invoke a great sense of satisfaction and admiration both from the discerning lay reader as well as those who have an interest in Indian culture.
"We also count people", the blurb that greets visitors to the website of the Census of India 2001 well and truly captures the spirit of the Indian Census. The Organisation has a rich tradition and an enviable track record of documenting diverse facets of life in India-Demographic, Socio-Cultural and Economic. The canvas extends to an entire gamut of subjects ranging from "Fairs and Festivals", "Arts and Crafts", "Ethnography", "Temples" and the like. In fact, anything to do with the people of India concerns this Organisation. Little surprise then that the Logo of the Census of India 2001 reflects this in its slogan "People Oriented". Any aspect of Indian life is of interest to us and counting people is only one such facet!
The present venture, "Temples of Tamil Nadu-Kancheepuram District" is yet another addition to the impressive collection of Monographs brought out by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Such a study was first undertaken in the Census of India 1961. The Office of the Superintendent of Census Operations, Madras brought out seven Monographs in a series called "Temples of Madras State" covering all the Districts of the Madras State (now Tamil Nadu). The Directorate of Census Operations Kerala has undertaken a similar effort in the Census of India 1991. Three Monographs entitled "Temples of Kerala", "Temples of Kannanur District" and "Temples of Kasargod District" were published. Similar Volumes are planned for the other Districts of Kerala.
"Temples of Tamil Nadu - Kancheepuram District" as the name indicates is a survey of all Temples located within the revenue District of Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu. A unique feature of this study is that while the earlier Monograph covered only the Temples that were under the control of the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department, the present survey has covered all the Villages and Towns in this District. This includes 6 Municipalities, 28 Town Panchayats, 21 Census Towns, 1 Cantonment and 1091 Revenue Villages. Details have been presented for 2359 temples. In the case of 1459 temples, names alone have been furnished without any details.
A Survey Questionnaire was canvassed from two main sources- the Village Administrative Officer (VAO) of each village and from the Executive Officers of the Temples under the control of the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Information was also culled out from the database of Land holdings available with the District Information Officer. To this was added information available from secondary sources like books and publications. Particular mention has to be made here of the "Sthala Varalaru", the history of the Temple brought out by many temples, which is a rich source of information. The information thus gathered has been presented Village wise. The Villages fall under the following categories - villages where sufficient details are available about the temples; villages where the names of temples are available but no other significant details are available and villages where no details are available. The last category also includes villages where there are no temples. The Permanent Location Codes assigned to the various geographical units 4111 in the Census of India 2001 have been adopted in the Survey.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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