‘Indian Culture,’ a scholarly work
Voice of The Reader

‘Indian Culture,’ a scholarly work

July 28, 2021


I read with interest the ‘Book Talk’ column in SOM dated July 21 on the scholarly work, Indian Culture : A Compendium of Indian History, Culture and Heritage, the English version of the Kannada magnum opus of the reputed Prof. S. Srikanta Sastri. I would like to add a few words. Yesterday, I received a parcel from Amazon and opened it assuming it to be one of the books I was expecting. But surprisingly it turned out to be this famous work of the renowned historian, a former Professor of the Mysore University.

Here, I must gratefully recall a similar gift of books, including Samshodana Lekhanagalu, Prapancha Charitreya Rooparekhegalu and Hoysala Vasthushilpa, all in Kannada, authored by the same scholar.

The first one, Samshodana Lekhanagalu, is a collection of highly useful 115 of over 200 research articles written in Kannada by the learned author in a number of research magazines, newspapers and felicitation volumes covering a vast area of history, culture, art, architecture, literature, reviews and forewords compiled in about 630 pages. The second one on world history is comparatively a small work of 187 pages, meant for High School and Pre-University students, but equally good for anyone who wants to know world history in brief.

Another book of Prof. Srikanta Sastri is Hoysala Vastushilpa, a highly beneficial book as far as I am concerned because, whenever I go on a trip to see a Hoysala temple, I take this book with me without fail. It serves as a guidebook to me as it gives details about architecture, sculptures and other unique features of that or those temples which I visit. About a hundred temples are dealt with in this work, which includes a few pictures.

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I recall here of attending the felicitation function arranged in honour of the internationally reputed scholar in Manasagangothri, Mysore University, in 1973 by his students and admirers. At this unique programme, a felicitation volume titled Srikantika was released and presented to Prof. Sastri, who had retired by then. Again, this 400-page volume contains as many as 58 scholarly articles by an equal number of writers on areas in which Prof. Sastri had worked and thrown new light with his in-depth research.

I must thank and congratulate Prof. S. Naganath for translating the original Kannada work, Bharatiya Samskruthi, into English and making it available to an international audience. The two book parcels did not reveal the person who had gifted those books to me, as they came directly from the Publishers and, I assume, they were sent to me by none other than Prof. Naganath, and hence I take the liberty of making use of this column to thank him for his kind courtesy. Thank you Prof. Naganath!

– Gouri Satya, Mysuru, 22.7.2021

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