Memorial eludes Saint Thyagaraja in his ancestral village

Land for the purpose reportedly locked in litigation

A befitting memorial for saint-composer Thyagaraja remains elusive in his ancestral Kakarla village, near Markapur, in Prakasam district, which has all the potential to emerge as another Thiruvaiyar.

Though the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams had evinced keen interest in collaborating with the local Thyagaraja Peetam in building a beautiful “Smaraka Mandiram” for the 18th Century music composer, the project had not taken off yet as the land in question has been locked in litigation.

Thyagaraja Peetam has already transferred 4.60 acres of land in the village to the TTD, says its managing trustee G. Thyagarayulu.

Except for a cow shed, nothing is there to cherish the memory of Thyagaraja in his ancestral village, as some persons had allegedly encroached part of the land in the absence of the members of the Thyagayya Memorial Construction Committee locally, as most of them lived in far away places. Though the district administration had directed the local revenue officials to file a report long back, the issue remained unsettled, he laments in a conversation with The Hindu.

It is a matter of pride that ancestors of two of the trinity of Carnatic music, Thyagaraja and Shyama Sastry, hail from Prakasam district. While Thyagaraja, who had composed songs extolling Lord Rama, had his roots in Kakarla, ancestors of Shyama Sastry, who had composed songs in praise of mother godddess Kamakshi, was from Cumbum, seven km away from the village.

Due to lack of patronage locally, their families had migrated to Thanjavur in present day Tamil Nadu, the cradle of fine arts for centuries.

But for organising Aradhana festival on birth and death anniversaries, by musicians from Tirupati, Vijayawada and other places singing of the famous “Pancharatna Kritis” (five gems), not much activity has been witnessed in the non-descript village close to Nallamalasagar.

A music college proposed at the native village of Tyagaraja, who has also been credited with two musical plays in Telugu, the “Prahalada Bhakti Vijayam” and the “Nauka Charitam”, has not taken shape either.

It is time the revenue authorities cleared the decks for the memorial to perpetuate the memory of the saint-composer, feel his admirers, who have also sought the intervention of YSR Congress Party MLA from Gidddalur Anna Ram Babu and TTD Chairman Y.V.Subba Reddy, also former MP from Ongole.

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