Uday Shankar, the famous dancer and the elder brother of Ravi Shankar had taken over the lovely mansion 'Hermitage' on D'Silva Rd (in Chennai) for filming his magnum opus 'Kalpana.' Every morning, we would see a crowd of men and women walking past our house towards D'Silva Rd for the day's shooting. This included the famous Travancore Sisters, Lalitha and Padmini, who then lived in a small house on Luz Church St. across the road from where the Telephone Exchange now stands.
(Indukanth Ragade in 'Luz Church Road Chronicles,' Mylapore Times, July 5 11, 2008)

Manikkavachakar, meaning "one whose words are like gems," was born in the 14th century in Vadavur in Thanjavur district and hence known as Vadavurar. He had no formal training in music. He composed the 'Thiruvachakam' that comprises 3 works namely Thiruvembavai, Kuyirpattu and Thirupalliyezhuchi that contain 700 songs.

The 4 deities in whose praise composers Thayagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri composed are Devi Kamakshi (Kanchipuram), Sri Varadaraja (Kanchipuram), Devi Dharmasamvarddhani (Thiruvayyaru) and Devi Nilayatakshi (Nagapattinam).


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