About Us Contact Us Help




Oothukadu Venkata Subbaaiyer - Composer Par Excellence - I

Ranjani Saigal

For dancers the works of Oothukadu are always a delight. Be it Alaipayude, Thaye Yashoda, Pal Vadiyum Mugham , Marakatha Mani Maya Chela or the many Tillanas , the powerful combination of intricate rhythms with Bhava laden lyrics can transport the artist to a higher dimension.
Click here to learn more about the May 9th event honoring this composer

Oothukkadu Venkata Subba Iyer was a saintly composer of Tamil Nadu the 18th century.One of the greatest ever composers in Indian music, Oothukkadu Venkata Kavi (also referred to as Oothukkadu Venkata Subbaier) is said to have lived between 1700-65.

OOTHUKKADU IS a small village in Papanasam taluk of Thanjavur district, about 7 km from Thirukarugavoor, where the famous shrine of Goddess Garbha Rakshambigai is located. The main deity of Oothukkadu village is, of course, Lord Veda Narayanar flanked by goddesses Sridevi and Bhudevi on either side. The temple gained popularity after the discovery of the panchaloka idol of Kalinga Narthana Perumal from the temple tank. It is believed that sage Naradha witnessed the Kalinga Narthanam that Lord Krishna performed in front of the divine cows Nandini and Patti, children of Kamadhenu. Sage Naradha prayed to Krishna to remain in the village in the dance posture and bless the devotees. Hence it is believed that Lord Krishna remained in the dancing posture in Oothukkadu.

The idol of Sri Kalinga Narthana Perumal in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is about 2.5 ft high. Lord Krishna, portrayed as a five-year old boy, is seen dancing with His left foot on the serpent's head and his right leg in the air.

An ardent devotee of Lord Krishna and Muruga, his compositions are graceful and stirring. Kalinga Nartana Tillana, one of his popular creations, portrays the dancing of Lord Krishna atop the serpent Kalinga. Alaipayuthe Kanna, Bala Sarasa Murali and Brindavana Nilaye Radhe are among his other significant works.

The sight of the Lord holding the tail of the serpent with His left hand and showing Abhaya Mudra with His right hand is indeed a feast for the eyes. It is so intricately sculpted that one can insert a thin piece of paper between the Lord's left leg and the head of the serpent. The beauty is that the weight of the Lord's body rests on the left hand that holds the serpent's tail, says the temple Bhattacharya. One can also see the scars on the right leg of Lord Krishna formed due to the violent beating from Kalinga's tail.

More in the next issue..

Click here to learn more about the May 9th event honoring this composer

Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help