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Chembai Sangeetholsavam

Chembai Sangeetholsavam
Dates12 - 15 days
Location(s)Guruvayur, Kerala, India
Years active1910 - Present
Founded byChembai
A statue of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar in his ancestral home

Chembai Sangeetholsavam is an annual Carnatic music festival held in Guruvayur by the Guruvayur Devaswom (similar to the Thyagaraja Aradhana at Thiruvaiyaru) in memory of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, one of the titans of Carnatic classical music [1][2] and an ardent devotee of Lord Guruvayurappan.

History

Chembai had conducted the festival in the temple town on his own for about 60 years.[3][4] He used to invite anyone interested in Carnatic music, from small children to renowned musicians of his time, to perform at the festival. In course of time, the scale of the festival rivaled the Thiruvaiyaru Thyagaraja Aradhana, which is recognized as one of the most important festivals of homage paid to Saint Thyagaraja. The Guruvayur Devaswom decided to take ownership of this festival after Chembai's death in 1974, renaming it as Chembai Sangeetholsavam in his memory.

The Festival

About 3000 musicians participate in this festival every year and it is held for about 12-15 days culminating on the Guruvayur Ekadasi day, when all the musicians sing five favorite songs of Chembai and also the Pancharatna Kritis of Thyagaraja.[5]

The festival is getting more popular year after year and its duration has increased from three days in its inception to about 12-15 days now.

See also

References