Chithra Madhavan has an M.A. and M.Phil. from the Department of Indian History, University of Madras, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore. She is the recipient of two post-doctoral fellowships from the Department of Culture, Government of India, and from the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi.
The focus of her research is temple architecture, iconography, and epigraphy. She is the author of seven books including the Vishnu Temples of South India (four volumes) . She frequently delivers lectures on heritage-related topics in various places in India. Chithra is a guest lecturer at many institutions in Chennai like Kalakshetra Foundation, the Arts Management programme of DakshinaChitra, and the Asian College of Journalism.