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Sopana sangeetham (music), as the very name suggests, is sung by the side of the holy steps (sopanam) leading to the sanctum sanctorum of a shrine. It is sung, typically employing plain notes, to the accompaniment of the small, hourglass-shaped ethnic drum called 'edakka' or idakka, besides the chengila or the handy metallic gong to sound the beats. Sopanam is traditionally sung by men of the Marar and Pothuval castes of Ambalavasi (semi-Brahmin) community, engaged to do it as their hereditary profession.
The late Njeralattu Rama Poduval of Thirumandhamkunnu bani, Janardhanan Nedungadi of Guruvayoor, Sri Jyothidas Guruvayoordasan, Damodara Marar, a practitioner of the temple art called Mudiyettu, from Pazhoor and Sadanam Divakara Marar, master percussionist.