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Srirangachariar – Katha Kalakshepam In Hindu Religion

Sriganachariar is an expert in the recital of ancient stories (Katha Kalakshepam) from the scriptures of Hindu religion especially in Tamil Nadu. Story-telling based on the epics, Puranas and other ancient lore not only entertains but helps propagate ethical and spiritual values. The dawn of the 20th century saw the blossoming of this art. What was earlier only a discourse, pravacana, developed into a complete art of music and humor.

Among the stalwarts, Chidambaram Srirangachariar (1833 – 1944 ) was a prominent exponent of this art. A scion of the distinguished family of Embar, he enjoyed the benefit of a flexible voice, which was eminently suited for the exposition of spiritual and religious themes through songs.

His musical talent was of a high order. His knowledge and faith in Vedas and Puranas were profound. His presentation was couched in plain but elevated language. He had his training under Mahamahopadhyaya Dandapani Dikshitar and Melkote Govindappa Ayyangar.

Embar Vijayraghavachariar, his son and successor to the legacy, was an equally renowned artiste who was honored with the prestigious title ‘ Saingita Kalanidhi’ by the Madras Musical Academy.

Eminent scholar and vainika Rangaramanuja Ayyangar has observed that the presentation of katha kalakshepams by Srirangachariar was marked by sincere devotion and zeal and that he left behind over 150 Harikathas, the fruit of prodigious labor over several decades.