A group of students from Sir Sivaswamy Kalalaya visited Oothukkadu near Thanjavur on Janmashtami day and presented the music compositions of Oothukkadu Venkata Kavi. This is a report by Nandini P S who was among the participanats in the event, in her own words.
If you love classical Carnatic music, you would not have missed to listen to the song ‘Thaaye Yashoda’ on the pranks of little Lord Krishna. Oothukkadu Venkata Kavi composed many such songs in Tamil, Sanskrit and even in Marathi on Lord Krishna .
Our school, Sir Sivaswamy Kalalya, takes a group of students to Oothukadu every year on Krishna Jayanthi day to pay tributes to the lord and the composer.
This year I was part of the group. Other schools such as National Public School, PSBB (all branches), and Sankara School also came to Oothukkadu on that day.
We went by train to Kumbakonam and stayed at Raya Mahal. We went to different temples by bus from Kumbakonam. First we visited the Saraswati temple at Koothanoor. In Lalithambikai temple there was a sculpture there of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. If we look on one side of Parvathi, it seemed as if she is angry and if we see from the other side, she was smiling! It was due to the sculptor’s skill.
Then we went to worship Saneeswaran temple at the Thirunallar temple and had lunch at Govindapuram Krishnar temple. There we sang bhajans for an hour at the temple. Then we went to a nearby Hanuman and Puri Jagannathar temple, had our dinner and returned to Kumbakonam.
The next day we visited Uppiliappan temple where they don’t use salt in anything they make! We went to Pattiswaram temple. The stone sculptures there were very beautiful. The sculptures of dancing girls were even having ‘ellukkal pinnals’! In this temple the Nandi is not blocking the entrance to the sannadhi, but is away from it to leave way to Lord Shiva. All the pillars there had very realistic Yaali sculptures at the bottom as if the Yaali is holding the pillars. The paintings there are very beautiful, but they need to be renovated.
Our next stop was at the Oothukadu Kalinga Nardanar temple where the idol of Krishna and the cow, Kamadhenu and Nandini, looking up at Krishna is very beautiful. There we sang the saptaratna kritis ( a set of seven compositions) composed by Oothukadu Venkata Kavi.
He has also composed many nice songs like ‘Asainthadum mayil ondru’, ‘Thayee yashodha’, ‘Swagatham krishna’, etc. All these songs were written in palm leaves and stored in a mud jar later brought out by Needamangalam Krishnamurthy Bhagavathar, a musician.
After having lunch, we went to Kailasanathar temple, a Shiva temple where we presented a few Shiva songs. Then we went to another Vishnu temple where Lord Vishnu was sitting instead of the usual sleeping position. The priest told us the story of the temple. He said that because Nandi asked Vishnu, all the sannidis’s names begin with the name ‘Nandi’. Also Nandi is in human form instead of the normal bull form.
From there we went to the railway station and returned to Chennai. Though our journey ended, we still carry the pleasant memories of the trip. We also had a chance to know the stories on our cultural spots of that belt in Tamil Nadu. I look forward to the trip next year too.