The Archaeology of Bhakti III: The Bhakti of Minor Dynasties. August 3rd–14th, 2015

logos_The third workshop in the series The Archaeology of Bhakti — coorganised by Valérie Gillet (EFEO, Pondicherry), Charlotte Schmid (EFEO, Paris) and E. Francis (CEIAS, EHESS & CNRS, Paris) — will take place at the centre of the EFEO in Pondicherry from the 3rd to 14th August 2015. We are glad to announce that Claudine Bautze-Picron (CNRS, UMR 7528 Mondes iranien et indien) and Leslie Orr (Concordia University) have graciously accepted to be our guests of honour for this year’s scholarly gathering, which, unlike the previous two, will consist in a workshop only, since we plan to spend most of our time in the field. The next workshop-cum-conference will take place in 2017.

This year’s theme is “The Bhakti of Minor Dynasties.” In our working definition, this refers to all sorts of smaller dynasties that never rose to an “imperial” status, but mainly remained subordinated to more powerful kings. In the pre-medieval and medieval Tamil country, such were the Muttaraiyars, the Irukkuvēḷs, the Paḻuvēṭṭaraiyars or the Bāṇas, who for most of their history acknowledged the authority of the Pallavas, the Cōḻas or the Pāṇḍyas. Our objective is to work on theoretical issues, such as the definition of “Minor Dynasties”, by exploring in situ the architectural, iconographical and epigraphical remains that are associated with minor dynasties of Tamil Nadu and by comparing these with the corpora of the major dynasties. See provisional programme below.

We hereby invite confirmed scholars as well as students to apply for this workshop. The number of participants being strictly limited, we will favour the proposals of those who intend not only to attend the workshop but also to make a presentation (whether indoors or in situ) related to the main theme. The conveners’ focus is on the minor dynasties of Tamil Nadu, where the workshop will take place, but presentations dealing with other regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia will be very much appreciated.

The deadline for applications is January 31st, 2015, to be sent to the following three email addresses:

The list of confirmed participants will be distributed by the end of February 2015.

Participants in the workshop will have to bear the cost of their journey to India and lodging in Pondicherry. A participation fee—between 100 to 200 Euros, depending on the external funding we will be able to collect—will be raised. This fee will cover transport, lodging, and food during the field-trips.

Students are encouraged to apply also for fieldwork scholarships from the EFEO (

Nārttamalai. Photos: V. Gillet.

Nārttāmalai. Photos: V. Gillet.


Provisional Program

August 3: introduction and presentations, centre of the EFEO in Pondicherry.

August 4: departure from Pondicherry, K. Taccūr, Lālkūṭi (Lalgudi).

August 5: Malaiyaṭipaṭṭi, Kāliyapaṭṭi, Vicalūr, Tiruppūr.

August 6: Kaṉṉaṉūr, Tirumeyyam, Tirukkaṭṭalai.

August 7: Nārttāmalai, Cittaṇṇavācal (Sittanavasal), Panaṅkuti.

August 8 (morning): Gokarṇeśvara (Pudukkottai).

August 9: day-off in Pudukkottai.

August 10: Koṭumpāḷūr, Vīralūr.

August 11: Kīḻaiyūr/Mēlappaḻuvūr, Kīḻappaḻuvūr.

August 12: Gangaikondacholapuram, back to Pondi.

August 13: day-off.

August 14: presentations and conclusions, centre of the EFEO in Pondicherry.


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