Carnatic Postage Stamp13

The following is from the Information Folder issued by Indian Posts & Telegraph Department, Government of India

Venkataramana Bhagavathar was born on 18 February 1781 as the fifth son of Kuppiah Nannusamy Bhagavathar at Ayyampet in Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu. Venkataramana Bhagavathar was a great composer of Carnatic songs and a musician of eminence. He was one of the most illustrious disciples of Saint Thiagaraja of Tiruvaiyaru, the cradle of Carnatic music located in Tiruvarur of Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu.

After his marriage, he moved to Walajapet in the then North Arcot of Madras Province. Saint Thiagaraja two months prior to his death called Venkataramana Bhagavathar and entrusted to him the idol of Sri Ram which he worshiped, the bundles of palm leaves containing his Kritis (Compositions) and other articles. These palm leaves and manuscript copies of various scriptures of Saint Thiagaraja were later popularly known as “Walajapet Collections”, attracting the attention of scholars, researchers, musicians for study.

Venkataramana Bhagavathar had himself written hundreds of kritis on palm leaves. He wrote Dhyana Sloka, Adiguru Stotra Panchakam, and Thiagaraja Mangalashtakam all in praise of Saint Thiagaraja. He also wrote “Sri Thiagarajashtakam” which is being rendered at the end of all concerts during the Thiagaraja Music Festivals. “Nowka Charitam”, an opera written in Telugu by Saint Thiagaraja was later rendered in Sanskrit by Venkataramana Bhagavathar.

Venkataramana Bhagavathar was not only a musician and composer of great eminence, but also a great preceptor. He had a chain of disciples, which was later popularly known as ‘Walajapet Chain Disciples”.
He had profound knowledge of the Sanskrit and Telugu vocabulary which is amply displayed in all his works. Venkataramana Bhagavathar’s Kritis espouse Bhakthi, Rama Nama Prabhava and Vedantic philosophy. His compositions are found to be excellent pieces, highly classical in form and spirit, amalgamating the stylist traits of the musical Trinity (Thiagaraja, Muthusamy Dikshitar and Shyama Sastrigal).

Venkataramana Bhagavathar passed away on Tuesday, the 151 December, 1874 at the age of 93. His contribution to Carnatic music and the care and dedication with which he preserved the valuable scripts of Saint Thiagaraja stand as a real and great testimony to prove his services to Carnatic music.

India Posts is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Venkataramana Bhagavathar.