• There are many historians who write history as an amalgamation of
    imagination and theory. But there are few who dedicate their lives
    for research and come out with original information and who do
    invaluable contribution to the subject.
    Dr.SRB was such a great scholar whose contributions to the field of
    south Indian history stand unparallel to all other works. His field
    of study was chola temples and he devoted a lifetime for
    understanding them.
    His monumental works came in 4 parts:
    - Four chola temples
    - Early chola art
    - Middle chola temples
    - Later chola temples

    He also wrote many other works – but these three volumes, which
    contain much of original field research, stand out in their own might.

    Dr.SRB did not assume anything and was – in almost all occasions –
    able to uncover new epigraphs which were left out or ignored by govt.
    epigraphists. Also, with his intense knowledge – he was able to date
    each temple accurately.

    To date a temple is not easy. For example, if we find a Rajaraja
    inscription in a particular temple, all it means that it existed
    during his time and before. It cannot be assumed that it came into
    existence during his time. Dr.SRB used many theories – the structure
    of the temple, the vattelutthu inscriptions employed in early
    (Vijayalaya - Aditya chola) times and many other means to accurately
    date a temple.

    I can give many examples to this. For ex., we find that only
    Naarthamalai Vijayalaya Choleeswaram temple is considered to be very
    old – belonging to vijayalaya time – but SRB included atleast 6 to 10
    temples to this period.

    When we read his works, we are amazed at the accuracy and fineness
    with which he approached the subject. He did not spare a single slab
    of stone or a single sculpture on the top of the vimana – however
    difficult the access may be.

    It is a vain attempt on my part even to portray even a tinge of this
    great genius. His works speak for themselves and will do better
    justification to this task.

    Having spent nearly 40+ years in chola temple study, it is no wonder
    that he had to comeout with a magnum opus on Raajarajeswaram(Tanjore
    big temple). But this dream was to be fulfilled by his eminent son
    B.Venkataraman – who authored "RAAJARAJESWARAM – THE PINNACLE OF
    CHOLA ART" which unfortunately breathed to life after Dr.SRB's
    passing away. (This is published by Mudgala trust and I will provide
    the address of this author for Chennai guys to follow up.)

    Probably (s the author puts it) – it was the will of destiny : For
    the book came out on 1985 – exactly after a 1000 years of Raajaraja's

    Historians and their works come and go. But Dr.SRB's works will stand
    the test of time – much like the timeless chola sculptures, which was
    so dear to his heart.
  • Gokul,

    What does it mean?
  • Dear Kamal,

    I took that info from the foreword of Raajarajeswaram book written by
    B.Venkatraman. The author says that his father had passed away when
    the book was published.

    Dr.SRB had many sons and I think there is one more guy who has
    written historical books ( I think it is B.Natarajan). Not sure
    whether you are talking about these historians.
  • Hi Gokul, Your writing shows your passion and interest for his works. His books then should really be very very good, a treasure trove. Reading your mail I very mcuh want to get hold of his books and read. We will try to get those books here in chennai. I am also trying to purchase Neelaganta Saastry's books. Probably we can have a library here in chennai (and other places too) and we can circulate among ourselves. We already have one book (Thiru Devamani rafeal's Tamizhnattuk kalai kovilgal). Kamal what happened to the formal group thittam... Regards,Poonguzhali

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