What Hindus can still relish

published on March 21, 2009

Sanskrit College gets NAAC approval

Author: Sivadas Varma

Source: www.expressbuzz.com

KOCHI: Rajarshi Rama Varma, the Kochi king who ruled the state from 1895 to 1914, is commonly known as the Abdicated Maharajah as he abdicated the throne on December 1914 following differences with the then British rulers. Examples of his contributions to the Kochi State are many; one being his selling fourteen gold caparisons of Sree Poornathrayeesha Temple to extend the railway line from Shornur to Kochi, a key decision that helped Kochi to grow as Kerala’s industrial capital.

It’s one more chance to remember the raja’s invaluable contribution as the Sree Rama Varma Government Sanskrit College established by him in 1914 wins the approval of the National Assessment of Accreditation Council with a B grade.

This college of Vedic language was witness to many historical events.

The institution served as a linguistic lab for many Sanskrit scholars like Manthitta Kunchu Namboothiri, Perunthanam Narayanan Namboothiri, Achyutha Pothuval, Kalakkathu Govindan Namboothiri and G Vishwanatha Sharma.

The Ravi Varma Samskritha Grandhavali published from this college as a quarterly contained many informative articles and also the text of Geetha Govindam scored by the legendary carnatic musician, Shemmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer.

Later many invaluable books like Narayaneeyam Rasikapriya Vyakhyanam of Sabrudhayathilakan Rama Pisharody, Vedantha Paribhasha Samgraham by Rama Varma Maharaja of Kochi, Poornathrayeesha Shathakam by Veera Kerala Varma, Art of Kerala Temple by Kapila Valsyayan, Natyasasthra – National Identity by Padma Subramanyam were published by the college.

The Annual Sasthra Sadhass (Sanskrit Scholars’ meet from all over India) is yet another special feature of this college. During the royal reign, especially during the period of Rama Varma Pareekshith Thampuran, this unique Scholars’ Meet was attended by stalwarts in Sanskrit like Thrikkovil Rama Warrier, Pannisseri, Manthitta Narayanan Namboothiri and many scholars from neighbouring states.

The Pareekshithu Thampuran memorial lecture series is another highlight of this college. “It was in 1988 we had started the lecture series,” recal ls Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University vice-chancellor K G Paulose, who was the principal of the college during the period.

Every year experts present papers on their respective subjects at the college. International figures like Scheldon Pollock, Christopher Brisky, Kapila Valsyayan, Padma Subramanyam, M T Vasudevan Nair, U R Anantha Moorthy and many others have presented valuable papers on contemporary theatre, dance and literature here.

The manuscript library owned by the college is a treasure house of knowledge on ayurvedic medicine, astrology and the original versions of many ancient sanskrit texts. With the college acquiring the NAAC approval it will be accessible to students across the country.

In 1995 a group of koodiyattom connoisseurs headed by K G Paulose and K P Achuthan started the International Centre for Koodiyattom with Sanskrit College as its base camp.

From then onwards the centre started lecture sessions to enable the common man to appreciate the thousand- year-old ancient Sanskrit Theatre.

Interestingly within three years the centre got world wide approval by UNESCO.

The old auditorium of the Sanskrit college was also witness to many immortal acting moments of legendary koodiyattom maestro late Guru Ammannoor Madhava Chakyar. The college still hosts koodiyattom performances by upcoming artists like Ammannoor Kuttan Chayar, Ammannoor Rajaneesh, Sooraj Nambiar and Aparna. The activities at the koodiyattom centre helped to draw the attention of art lovers towards this Sanskrit institution.

After assessing the achievements of the college in the field of linguistic studies, popularisation of Sanskrit theatre, organising annual Sanskrit scholars’ meet and publishing of informative texts on various subjects including Sanskrit Theatre, one may feel the present approval of NAAC comes as a belated recognition for the campus which upholds our rich tradition.

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