The life of Swathi Thirunal was an offering in music to God. A rare renaissance personality, Swathi Thirunal was a king among musicians and musician among kings. His musical compositions and his life were a mutual translation of his devotion to LordPadmanabha, the presiding deity of the Travancore Royal House....
Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma
was a progressive ruler who lived ahead of his times and was committed to the welfare of the people. Being an able administrator his far sighted reforms were responsible for introducing modern medicine, English education and a humane judicial system in Kerala....


Composers and Musicians

Dr. Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Muthaiah Ragalist

Dr. Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar is one of the most important post-trinity composers in Carnatic music. He was also a noted vocalist. Muthaiah Bhagavathar was born to Lingam Iyer and Anamdam in 1877. After the early death of his father, he was brought up by his maternal uncle Lakshamana Suri of Harikesanallur.

His uncle taught him Sanskrit, Vedas and music. He got further musical training from Sambasiva Iyer and his son T. S. Sabesa Iyer, who belonged to the Thyagaraja shishya parampara.
As a vocalist, his big break came when in 1887 when he sang before Maharaja Mulam Thirunal of Travancore who honoured him as a court musician. This established him as one of the front ranking musicians of the time. Later he started giving Harikatha performances, for which he earned the name Bhagavathar. This was the time he started composing, which he would use in his Harikathaas.
The next phase of his life was as a court musician in Mysore, from 1927. In 1936, he was again invited by Maharani Sethu Parvathi of Travancore and he spent several years there. During that time, one of his major contributions was popularising Swati Tirunal compositions. He was also the first prinicipal of "Swathi Thirunal Academy of Music" at Thiruvananthapuram.
Apart from being a vocalist and composer, Muthaiah Bhagavathar was also a learned musicologist. He was actively involved in the Annual Conference of Experts conducted by The Music Academy of Madras. In 1930 he was awarded the Sangeetha Kalanidhi by the academy. He also wrote a book on the science of music, Sangeetha Kalpa Dhruma, for which he was awarded Degree of Doctorate in 1943 by the Travancore University.

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