“I was going to travel with my friends and perform in various places, which included St. Thyagaraja’s birthplace,Thiruvaiyaru.” This thought, made me bubble up with a cornucopia of excitement and a nanoscopic amount of anxiety as I was traveling in the absence of mom and dad.
It was 4:50am as we bid a goodbye and boarded. Drowsy to the brim, all of us slept our way through. We had breakfast in Vikravandi at 8. After a few hours of traveling, we reached Koothanur, the first place we were to perform, situated in theThiruvarur district of Tamilnadu, which is widely known for its abode of the goddess of knowledge, music and arts, Saraswathi. Draped in white, she holds a Veena, which represents mastery over art and music .King Rajaraja Chola donated this temple to Ottakoothar, a renowned Tamil poet, hence the town came to be called as Koothanur. We sang ‘Saraswasthi Namasthubyam’ and ‘Mamavathi Shree Saraswathi’
After halting for lunch, we headed to Govindapuram, a village in theThiruvidaimarudur taluk ofThanjavur district in Tamil Nadu. We were gonna visit 3 temples in this village. First we visited the Tomb (Adhishtanam) of Bodhendhiral, a pontiff of the seventeenth-century and the head of the Kanchi Mata in Kanchipuram, who spent his later life in Govindapuram. The place is known for its serenity and quiet.Next, we proceeded to the Sankaracharya temple. After singing songs in glory of the Guru, we progressed to the recently builtPanduranga Vital Temple which was consecrated on July 15, 2011. After rendering a few abhangs and bhajans we visited the cow’s stable (Ghoshala) where there are more than 500 cows and are provided with food, water, shelter and medical facilities. I was astound to see each Cow had a dedicated fan! After this, we were off to Tiruvaiyaru.
The next day was gonna be quite a momentous day. Firstly, we visited Panchanadheeswar temple and then, we visited St. Thyagaraja’s Residence, where we chorused on a few songs he’d composed. One of it was Thyagaraja’s first ever composition, ‘Namo Namo Raghavaya’ set to the Raga Desiyathodi and Tala Rupakam. After singing a few songs, we walked n sang a few other songs on our way to the tomb.
After fooding on, we went to St. Tyagaraja’s tomb (Samadhi) again for our main programme. We sang the ‘Pancharatna Kritis’ or the five gems of compositions by St.Thyagaraja and a few other songs.
Due to traffic reasons, there were a few delays and we couldn’t make it to two temples planned before:Thirumeeyachur Lalithambika temple and the Uthukadu Krishna temple. The discovery of the panchaloka idol of Kalinga Narthana Perumal from the temple tank led to the popularity of the Uthukadu temple . It is believed that sage Natasha witnessed the Kalinga Narthanam that Lord Krishna performed in front of the divine cows Nandini and Patti, children of Kamadhenu. The mythological story goes on say that Sage Naradha prayed to Krishna to remain in the village in the dance posture and bless the devotees. Hence it is believed that Lord Krishna remained in the dancing posture in Uthukkadu. I hope we make it there the next time.
Well, the trip had ended.We headed to Home Sweet Home. I surely had enjoyed the trip to the most, and my mum and dad would tell you how excited I was on telling them what happened throughout the trip. I didn’t let them sleep.😜
Last, but not the least, I’d like to thank everyone who helped me through and not to mention my teacher, Radha Aunty, who organised the trip so well.