History of Chembai Music Festival
This festival was started to commemorate the memory of Chembai Vaidyanath Bhagawathar, an ardent devotee of Lord Sree Guruvayurappan. Sri Chembai Memorial trust organizes the eleven days long festival at Thiruvananthpuram, the capital of the state of Kerala, India. More than 2000 Carnatic musicians attend this festival and for five nights, the city echoes with the enthralling performances in Indian classical music. New as well as old melodies combine to create an atmosphere of composure and serenity. One of the main attractions of Chembai Music Festival comprises of the songs of saint Thyagaraja's 'Pancharatna Krithis', sung on the tenth day of the festival.
Spread of the Chembai Music Festival
The festival comes to an end with the group concert on 11th day. On this day one can hear the five most favourite songs of Chembai, namely 'Vadapiganapatim' on raag Hamsadhwani, Mamavasadaajanani on raag Kanada, 'Rakshmamsaranagatam' on raag Natta, Karuna Cheivanentuthamasam Krishna on raag Yadukulakamboji, and Paavanagurupavanapuradeeswara on raag Hamsanandi. Along with popular and established artists, young budding musicians also perform at the Chembai Music Festival. Some of the big names who perform in this festival are Mandolin U. Srinivas, K.G. Jayan, Aymanam Pradeep, Aymanam Sajeev, Kumarakom Ganesh Gopal, Kottayam Murali, Thrissur V.R. Dileep Kumar, Krishna Mohan, Ramkumar Mohan, S. Eswara Varma, Vaikom P.S. Venugopal, Elanjimel Susil Kumar, S. R. Vinu, Thiruvananthapuram Surendran and Attingal M. R. Madhu.
This music event attracts many music lover and music enthusiasts from all across India and from foreign land as well. For a span of 11 days the place becomes an abode for music lovers. In no other place, Carnatic music is loved, experimented and enjoyed more as it is done in Chembai Music Festival. It is a week of celebration and joy of human abilities. Not only does the place serve as a place for renowned and masters of Carnatic music display their art but youth of today, the amateurs too get a platform to perform and get a wide exposure. Hence, Chembai Music Festival becomes a bag of opportunities for many aspiring musicians and a delightful experience for those who come to enjoy the scintillating performances.