Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala

Shatkala Govinda Marar Memorial Art Society

Shatkala Govinda Marar was a renowned Carnatic musician who lived in the 19th century. He was one among the astan vidwans (eight scholars) in Sree Swathi Thirunals court/music circuit. There is a story of how Govinda Marar became Shatkala Govinda Marar. With his special Thamburu which had seven strings, he could traverse all octaves from ativilambaram to the highest or sixth speed, atidrutham. This extraordinary feat earned him the title “shatkala” (prefixed to his name). He was showered with praise by none other than his contemporary and the king of Carnatic music, Tyagaraja Swami.

In recognition of his genius, a memorial has been built in his native place, Mamangalam in Marar Kala Samithi. This memorial was put up under the guidance and supervision of Prof. M.P. Manmadhan, a noted Gandhian and social reformer in 1980. The Samithi engages in the promotion and study of traditional music and temple arts. A music festival, Shatkala Govinda Marar Sangeetholsavam is conducted every year under the ages of the Samithi and the Kerala State Sangeet Natak Akademi.  The festival was inaugurated in 1993. Musicians and artistes from across the borders make it a point to participate in the festival.

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