Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar

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Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar received The Musician award from Rajendra Prasad in 1952.

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar (19 May 1890– 23 January 1967[1]), popularly known as Ariyakudi, was a Carnatic music vocalist, born in Ariyakudi, a town in Ramanathapuram (present-day Sivaganga) district]] of Tamil Nadu. Ariyakudi developed a unique style of singing which came to be known as The Ariyakudi Tradition and is followed by his students. He established the modern katcheri (concert) traditions in Carnatic music.[2]

The doyen of Carnatic music, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, is known to have remarked, "I was greatly influenced by Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. I do not want another life. But if there is one, I want to be able to sing like Ramanuja Iyengar".[3] And another maestro, G N Balasubramaniam, a contemporary of Ariyakudi, is known to have prostrated in front of him out of respect. With excellent violinists and Palghat Mani Iyer mridangam maestro, he formed formidable partnerships on the concert platform and friendships born out of mutual respect.[4] Palghat Mani Iyer is reported to have said, "Annaa (Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar) and Iyengarval (Ariyakudi) are like my two eyes".

In 1954, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour conferred by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. This was followed by Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 1958.[5]

Early life and background[edit]

Ariyakudi was born in Ariyakudi, a town in the Karaikudi district, present-day Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu, South India, on 19 May 1890. He studied under Pudukottai Malayappa Iyer and Namakkal Narasimha Iyengar in his early years.[citation needed] Later he studied for several years under Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar, who was the senior most disciple of Patnam Subramania Iyer.[citation needed]


He made his debut at Tyagaraja Aradhana in 1918.


Ariyakudi's famous disciples include K V Narayanaswamy, B Rajam Iyer, Alappuzha Venkatesan and Madurai N. Krishnan.[6] He also had regular interactions with the "Queen of Music", M.S. Subbulakshmi and shaped her musical interests.



  • Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyenkar Day. Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar Trust. 1984.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sangeeta Sangadhigal - 28 (Tamil)
  2. ^ Lakshmi Subramanian (1 January 2008). New Mansions for Music: Performance, Pedagogy and Criticism. Berghahn Books. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-81-87358-34-3. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  3. ^ Semmangudi's comments on Ariyakudi - Frontline Interview Archived 2008-12-29 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ THE WONDER BOX - An article by Allepey P Venkatesan on Ariyakudi and Palghat Mani Iyer
  5. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  6. ^ User, Super (25 November 2018). "Vidwan Madurai N. Krishnan passes away". Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Sangita Kalanidhi recipients". Madras Music Academy website. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012.
  8. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees". Sangeet Natak Akademi Official website. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016.
  9. ^ "SNA: List of Sangeet Natak Akademi Ratna Puraskarwinners (Akademi Fellows)". SNA Official website. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  10. ^ a b c Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyenkar Day. Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar Trust. 1984.
  11. ^ "Awardees of Sangeetha Kalasikhamani". The Indian Fine Arts Society. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2013.

External links[edit]