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Muthuswami Dikshitar


Friday, 24 March, 1775 to Wednesday, 21 October, 1835


Muthuswami Dikshitar is one of the revered Trinities of carnatic music. His compositions bring out the essence of the raga in a style that stresses on the gamakas. There are around 500 of his compositions that are really popular and sung in carnatic concerts. Most of his compositions are in sanskrit.

Brief history: 

Muthuswami Dikshitar was born in Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu and was named after the local temple deity. Dikshitar's guru, Chidambaranatha Yogi, guided him in his musical and philosophical journey. With his guru, Dikshitar has travelled widely across India and reflected upon the various facets of life. During their stay at Varanasi (Kashi), Chidambaranatha Yogi left his mortal remains after presenting Dikshitar with a distinct veena.

After his Guru's death, Dikshitar travelled widely in South India visiting many holy places and composed many of his popular compositions. His first visit was to the Tiruttani temple where he composed the famous composition 'Shri Nathadi Guruguho'. Later his pilgrame included the holy cities of Kanchi, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram, Tirupathi and Kalahasthi. After his pilgrimage, he returned back to Tiruvarur.

Musical Journey: 

At Tiruvarur, he composed many compositions on the deities at the temple complex including the famous Kamalamba Navavarna Kritis. These compositions reflected Dikshitar's mastery over rare ragas including narayanagowla, Purvagowla and Chayagowla.

Dikshiar's famous desciples include the four dance masters - Sivanandam, Vadivelu, Chinnayya and Ponnayya. These desciples are the revered Tanjore Quartet, the main composers of music for bharatanatyam. 

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