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Mass Singing of Seven Sankirtans of Saint-Composer Annamacharya creates World Record

More than 150,000 participated in the ‘Annamayya Laksha Gala Sankeerthana’ at Parade Grounds in Secunderabad (Hyderabad) in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, May 10, 2009 to create Guinness World Record for Mass Choir. The earlier record was made in 1937 when 60,000 people participated in a mass choir of a single song in Germany. The disciplined crowd of 150,000 sang seven compositions of Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya (1408-1503) the mystic saint composer of the 15th century who is the earliest known musician of South India to compose songs called ‘ Sankirtanas’ in praise of Lord Venkateswara of Tirumala Tirupati.

The New Indian Express reports

From the afternoon itself, people started pouring into the grounds. From children and youngsters to the aged, they came from various parts of the country and the world. More than creating a record, their sheer passion for Annamacharya brought them to the venue. For several weeks they had been practicing the seven sankirtans.

Noted Annamayya sankirtana exponent Garimella Balakrishna Prasad led the mass singing, while Abhinava Vaggeyakara Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna and a host of others, the who’s who in the Carnatic music and Telugu film industry, lent their voice.

After seeking the blessings of Lord Venkateswara, Prasad invoked the blessings of the saint-composer whose 602nd birth anniversary marked the event.

Starting with `Bhaavamulona, Bahyamunandunu Govinda’ the musicians and singers rendered `Brahma Kadigina Padamu’ (Mukhari raagam, set to Adi taalam), `Entamatramuna Evvaru Thalachina’ (Mayamalava Gowla, Misra Chaapu talam), `Podugantimayya mimmu’ (Mohana, Adi Talam), `Kondalalo Nelakonna Koneti Rayudu Vaadu’ (Hindolam, Adi talam), `Narayante Namo Namo’ (Behag, Adi Talam) and concluded the extravagnaza with `Muddugare yashoda’.

Guinness’ representative Raymond Marshal presented the certificate to the organizers - Silicon Andhra, the Department of Culture of the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams.

Raymond Marshal admitted that he had not seen such a performance, which he said was a treat to the eye and the ears.