VR CHENNAI presents the 12th edition of “KATHAI, KALAI, PARAMPARIYAM” WALKS – a unique opportunity to discover the stories that shaped Chennai through Culture, History & Art on 11th January 2020 at 11.30 am
Curated by VR Chennai and conducted by historian V. Sriram, the “Kathai, Kalai, Parampariyam” Walks trace the rich heritage of South India by way of art, design and architecture.
The Virtuous Retail philosophy of “Connecting Communities ©” draws from the concept of creating lifestyle centres that bring people together and strengthen social pride while reflecting local aesthetics. The city of Chennai is a fascinating blend of the mighty southern dynasties, the charming Madras of yore and the ambitions of the modern-day city.
The process of translating Virtuous Retail’s design ethos and vision into reality has been backed by extensive research into the art, architecture, culture and history of the region. As part of its commitment to encourage and nurture indigenous craft, VR Chennai has actively tried to engage with local artists and artisans. The collective of exquisite, especially commissioned artworks at VR Chennai, has been created in partnership with acclaimed artists and guilds such as Kalarings Art Studio, Cholamandal Artists’ Village, Klove Studio, Satish Gupta and Sri Sankara Silpa Sala, amongst others.
The Kathai, Kalai, Parampariyam Walks have been designed to take our visitors, across age groups, through a narrative of the rich heritage of this region. Thousands of man-hours have gone into handcrafting the art and in curating this one-of-a-kind experience, to perfection.
The Kathai walk explores the mythical tales of the Dasavataram, the 10 primary forms of Lord Vishnu, the inspiration of which stems from the discovery of the earliest known epigraph found in the Adi-Varaha Temple in Mahabalipuram (erstwhile Mamallapuram), a shore town not very far from Chennai. It marks the earliest known instance where all the 10 avatars are mentioned in one place. Modern interpretations of the Dasavataram are found scattered across the Centre waiting to be explored.
The Kalai walk showcases the indigenous art and architecture of the region through the multiple element that have been incorporated in the contemporary design of the centre including the soaring Gopurams and their intricately carved bases, the pillared mandapams and various bell installations at each of the four entrances, all an ode to the traditional temple architecture with a contemporary and sometimes playful twist.
Finally, the Parampariyam walk features a depiction of the tradition and history of this great city and stories behind them in the form of maps, motifs, coins and seals all etched into stone and a not-to-miss hand-painted mural, which traces the historical and cultural legacy of Chennai, detailing the evolution of the city from 250,000 BC through colonial era till present day.
Each work of art that is featured in the Kathai, Kalai, Parampariyam Walks is the result of extensive research and painstaking processes undertaken by the team at Virtuous Retail to create an atmosphere of artistic immersion for all who visit.
The previous editions of the walks have seen active participation of various groups from across the city, including the Duchess Club and The International Women’s Association (IWA). Chennai is home to many of us; yet not many know the story of its origin & transformation into the cosmopolitan City it is today. Kathai Kalai Parampariyam walks intend to fill this gap, to remind and to educate the people about the importance of their City in the pages of history.