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Gana Saraswathi (D.K. Pattammal: Dimensions of a Divine Songster)

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Item Code: IDK798
Author: Nithya Raj
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Edition: 2007
Pages: 128 (Illustrated Throughout In Full Colour and B/W)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.7" X 7.4"
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Book Description
From the Jacket

It was the year 1938 and the freedom struggle was at its peak. K.M. Munshi, a close disciple of Mahatma Gandhi, felt that freedom for India would come sooner or later. What was required was to prepare India for its post independent era by nourishing and rejuvenating its culture. The ancient wisdom of Bharat had to reintegrated to modern times. It was with this noble mission that Kulapati K.M. Munshi founded the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan with the Blessings of Mahatma Gandhi.

Right from its inception, Bhavan has always had the association of spiritual masters and great national leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Pujyasri Rajaji, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. From a small beginning, Bhavan has steadily expanded and today has a truly pan India coverage with as many as 112 Kendras. Its international presence is augmented by its seven overseas centers including the ones at London and New York.

Bhavan today has over 361 educational institutions from pre-primary to doctoral level, imparting quality education and fundamental values of Indian Culture to over 3 lakh students. Among its other notable activities is the Bhavan Book University, the only one of its kind. Till date, over 1750 titles have been brought out.

Coimbatore Kendra

The Coimbatore Kendra of the Bhavan was founded in the year 1964 by Shri G.K. Sundaram, Chairman of the Lakshmi Mills Company Ltd.

Dr.B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar has been the Chairman of the Coimbatore Kendra since 1990. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is the recipient of many awards. Notable among them are

·Rajiv Gandhi Award for National Integration, 1992

·Govt. of India's Communal Harmony Award, 1999

·Govt. of India's International Gandhi Peace Prize, 2002

·Educational Institution of National Eminence

Dr. B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar

Dr.B.K. Krinhnaraj Vanavarayar is the chairman of the Coimbatore Kendra, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Under his stewardship, the Kendra has done much to propagate arts and culture in Coimbatore. He has shown great interest in getting this book on D.K.Pattammal published. Be it coordinating with senior musicians, gathering the required material or providing infrastructural assistance, his involvement has been phenomenal. It can be said that his constant encouragement and support have steered the project in the right direction.

Sri. C.R. Gopinathan

"You are blessed with a good ear for music, Gopi" remarked D.K. Pattammal. True to her belief, Sri. C.R. Gopinathan has become an eminent connoisseur of Music and fine arts in Coimbatore. He is the Director of Kalalaya, USA and Coordinator of many Sabhas in Coimbatore. He has been instrumental in arranging for the concerts of musicians in the city for many years and there is hardly any musician who has not enjoyed his hospitality Having got introduced to Pattammal as the classmate of her son I. Sivakumar, Sri. C.R. Gopinathan shares an enduring relationship with her and her family for the past 40 years. It has been the ambition of his lifeline to bring out a book an Amma, the person he reveres the most.

Sri. R. Raveendran

Sri. R. Raveendran is an industrialist and executive member of several non profit organizations in Coimbatore. He also serves as an Advisor to Rasanai, a monthly magazine an aesthetics. His boundless enthusiasm for music, the close relationship he shares with Sri. C.R. Gopinathan and the reverence he has for D.K.Pattammal has led him to associate himself with the publication of this book. Working tirelessly, he has invested significant amount of his time and energy in overseeing the book from its start to finish.

Sri. S. Vaidyanatha Krishnan

Sri. S. Vaidyanatha Krishnan is an eminent musicologist. He is the Director, Faculty of Fine Arts at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore Kendra. He has been instrumental in conducting the Thyagaraja Brahma Aradhana celebrations in Coimbatore for the past 55 years. His valuable insights on music and musicians have added luster to the book.

Ms. Nithya Raj

A postgraduate in Mass Communication, Nithya Raj works as a freelance copywriter for leading advertising agencies. Her passion for writing and endless fascination with language has led her to explore writing as a carrier. Aesthetics and art appeal to her sensitive nature. She considers the opportunity of writing this book and the blessings she obtained from D.K. Pattammal before the onset of this project as the greatest gift in her life.


Dr. B.K.Krishnaraj Vanavarayar

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, founded by Kulapati Munshi with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi in 1938, stands for the reintegration of the ancient wisdom of Bharat to the modern times. Some of the noblest sons of India like Pandit Nehru, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Pujya Rajaji, Sardar Patel and Dr. S. Radhakrishnan were the founder members of this organization. From very humble beginnings, the Bhavan in the last eight decades has grown to be a mighty organization of national eminence.

The Vedic Vision, the pride of India, has manifested itself in various forms. The Bakthi marga has spread the quintessence of the Vision through the classical art forms of India. Carnatic music is one such discipline which is a rare combination of astounding technical expertise and soulful lyricism in its content.

Carnatic music has the rare distinction of getting perfected over the centuries by great saints, scholars and eminent musicians. In that order, comes the legend Gana Saraswathi Smt. D.K. Pattammal who is credited to be the first female artist from a family background to give a public concert as early as in 1929 at the age of ten.

A colossus who has dominated the Carnatic music scene for over three score years, Smt. Pattammal has preserved the great tradition, keeping the sanctity of the Sangeetha Sastra, always keeping in mind the essential features of Raga, laya, bhava and gamaka. She has maintained a high standard of acceptability all through her performances, with emphasis on clarity of diction without splitting the sahitya by mutilating the works. Her forte has always been the aesthetic prayoga of brigas, appropriately making use of the gamakas.

A vigorous and disciplined sadakam has enabled Smt. Pattammal to maintain voice culture and melody a voice culture which keeps constant under all conditions. Always an ardent student, she never gave up learning new songs and consequently her repertoire has been immense and there is never a dull moment in her concerts. Without swerving from the path of sampradaya, she has catered to the needs of audiences and it is no wonder she has held the field for over sixty years. She is one of those who has risen to fame and has stayed at the top even at the evening of her career.

Among the many honours bestowed on Smt. Pattammal, mention may be made of the highest honour of the music Academy, Madras, ' Sangeetha Kalanidhi'. She is the recipient of the President's national award for vocal music – 'Padmabhushan'. The one honour which she cherishes most in the one awarded by the grandsire of Carnatic music, Tiger Varadachariar, 'Gana Saraswathi'.

Smt. D.K. Pattammal has been closely associated with the Bhavan since its inception. In 1997, the Coimbatore Kendra of Bhavan had the privilege to confer the title of 'Sangeeth Samrat' on her.

This book 'Gana Saraswathi D.K.P.'is an endeavour to capture the essence of her ninety years of unparalleled contributions to the world of music. Her devotion, discipline and dedication will be a source of inspiration to the aspirants of Carnatic music.

This book would not have been possible but for the enthusiastic participation of D.K.P's friends, admirers, well-wishers and family members who shared their valuable reminiscences of D.K.P. I thank them all for their valuable contribution. Many in our Kendra and outside have also helped us in many ways for bringing out this book.

A special mention needs to be made of Sri C.R.Gopinathan, an ardent music lover and a close associate of Smt. Pattammal and her family, who was instrumental in initiating this venture. Again, I wish to place on record the contributions made by Sri S. Vaidyanathakrishnan, Sri R. Raveendran, Ms. Nithya Raj and Sri. Sudesamithiran who have as a team worked in bringing out this book.


1.Nagareshu Knchi10
2.Moments to Cherish12
3.Herald of Change18
4.Odyssey of Music30
5.Knot of Destiny48
6.Melody of the Soul62
7.Lessons of Love74
8.Through the Looking Glass96
9.Poignant Musings112
10.Laurels All the Way124
**Sample Pages**

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