Kaveri is a great inspiration for music – from the folklore sung in the farm fields to the more structured carnatic classical. The Ponni delta region has nourished the carnatic music for centuries. From Srirangam-Tiruchirapalli, Tiruvaiyaru, Kumbakonam to Sulamangalam, Papanasam, Umayalapuram, Maharajapuram, Lalgudi, Tanjavur, Tiruvarur & Mannargudi, there are numerous towns that were thriving centres of music at some point of time or the other.
I will try to showcase in this edition of mind-snack, my personal favourite kRtis related to the delta region rendered vocally.
Starting with the nAyaka of kAvEri – Srirangam Ranganathaswamy:
By Shri Purandara By Shri Shreepadaraja, this Kannada kRti epitomizes all the beauty of kAvEri Ranga. Very rich lyrically, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s rendition in Hindustani classical style immortalizes the composition.
Sri Rangapura vihAra: Shri Muttuswami Deekshitar, one of the greatest and my personal most favourite vAggEyakAra has composed hundreds of kRtis mostly related to the deities of the delta region in a structured way. This particular kRti in rAga bRndAvana sAranga is solely dedicated to the lord who hails from Srirangam. Listen to it in the divine voice of M S Subbulakshmi.
And now on TiruvaNaikkAvu JambukEshvara and akhilAnDEshvarI:
JambUpatE mAmpAhi is one of the panchalinga kRtis of Shri Muttuswami Deekshitar based on five kshEtras dedicated to Shiva in five forms, each one representing one of the elements of creation. Correspondingly there are as many forms of shakti. JambukEshvara has akhilAnDEshvarI as consort in this kshEtra.
akhilAnDEshvarI: Set to a very beautiful rAga, dvijAvanti, Shri Maharajapuram Santhanam sings it so eloquently here:
Last on the stop – Tiruvaiyaru
A small temple town near Tanjavur situated on the banks of Kaveri, Tiruvaiyaru is known for its association with Shri Tyagaraja’s life. The great vAggEyakAra lived and attained samAdhi here. What better way than listening to his composition itself, on the consort of Tiruvaiyaru presiding deity Panchanadeeshvara – dEvi dharmasamvardhini. Set to a rare rAga nAsikabhUshaNi, ‘mAravairi ramaNI’ is a beautiful rendition by Shri M Balamuralikrishna. Listen on:
A visit to any ancient temple need not limit to an outcome of bhakti alone. One must try and explore the history governing the place and the temple, marvel at the architecture and engineering abilities of our ancestors and immerse in the music, literature and any other form of art deeply associated with the place.
Hope you enjoyed this edition of Mindsnack!