Irayimman Thampi

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Ravi Varman Thampi, better known as Irayimman Thampi (1782–1856), was a Carnatic musician as well as a music composer from Travancore, India. He was a vocalist in the court of Swathi Thirunal. His compositions include the lullaby Omanathinkal Kidavo.


Ravi Varman Thampi was named after his grandfather. He was born in 1783 to Kerala Varma Thampuran, of the royal family of Cherthala, and Parvathi Pillai Thankachi of the Puthumana Ammaveedu Thampi family, daughter of Prince Makayiram Thirunal Ravi Varma and niece of the Maharajah Dharma Raja of Travancore. (Prince Makayiram Thirunal was the younger brother of Dharma Raja). His name was popularised as Irayimman Thampi. Thampi was brought up at a house called Kizhake Madhom by his parents. His early education was from his father but later he went under the tutorship of Shankaran Elayathu in grammar, linguistics and Sanskrit literature. He wrote his first poem when he was 14 and dedicated it to Karthika Thirunal Dharma Raja of Travancore. Thereafter he occupied an enviable position in the Travancore court.

Irayiman Thampi married Kalli Pillai Thankachi, daughter of his maternal uncle Puthumana Krishnan Thampi, and together they had seven children including a daughter who continued her father's artistic and poetic legacy, Lakshmi Kutty Pillai Thankachi, better known as Kutty Kunju Thankachi (1820–1914). She grew into a prominent poet and got many rewards from her cousin and king Swathi Thirunal. Another daughter of Thampi was married by Sri Narayanan Thampi of Arumana, son of Maharajah Visakham Thirunal. Irayimman Thampi was already thirty one years of age when Swathi Thirunal Maharajah was born, but outlived him for a decade.

Irayimman Thampi wrote the lullaby Omanathinkal Kidavo for Swathi Thirunal. He died in 1856.

Swathi Thirunal referred to Ravi Varman Thampi as Thampi maman (uncle Thampi).[citation needed] He had the occasion to write a lullaby for Swathi Thirunal and ironically also wrote a charama sloka for Swathi in 1847.


Some of his Kritis (compositions) are


Thampi’s contributions include

1) Kichakavatham Attakatha

2) Utharaswayamvaram Attakatha,

3) Dakshayagam Attakatha

4) Subhadraharanam Kaikottikalippattu

5) Murajapa Pana

6) Navarathri prabandham

7) Omana thinkal kidavo Tharattu

8) Vasishtam killippattu

9) Rasakrida, and

10) Rajasevakramam Manipravalam in addition to a number of verses and songs.

Thampi composed a good number of padas and kirtanas also. Some famous pieces are these:

Malayala kirtanas

1 Neelavarna pahimam (surutti - chempata)

2 Pahimamgirithanaye (saveri - chempata)

3 Karunacheyvan enthuthamasam (saveri - chempata)

4 Adimalarinnathanne (Mukhari - chempata)


1 Amba Gouri (Arabhi - Atanta)

2 Manasi parithapam dussaham ayyo (Sankarabharanam - chempata)


1 Aroducholvan Azhalullathellam (indisa - Jhampa)

2 Kamaladikalam Narumalarellam (Kamodari - chempata)

3 Enthujnanihacheyvu (Neelambari - chempata)

4 Prananathanenikkunalkiya (Kamodari - chempata)

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