KERALA INFO: Swathi Thirunal

Home > Kerala Info

Swathi Thirunal

by by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)  (Feedback)

Swati Tirunal is one of the greatest personalities in the history of the Karnatic system of music. He wrote eight works, six of them in Sanskrit and two in Malayalam. They are mostly hymns and commentaries. His greatest contribution was in music. His musical compositions are supposed to number over five hundred. He invited to his court  Kannayya, the disciple of Tyagaraja, the brothers Vadivelu, Meru Swami from Maharashtra, Lakshmana Das from Gwalior and Suleiman and Allauddin who were the exponents of the Hindustani music.

Swati composed songs in Sanskrit, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Besides 'Kritis', typical of the south, he has composed Dhrupads, Tappas and Khayals. One of his brilliant achievements is Ragamala on the ten incarnations of Vishnu. Each stanza is a different raga. The stabilization of classical music in daily and seasonal ritual was a historical stop in the evolution of Kerala's musical tradition. Swati introduced the Harikatha or sacred recital from Maharashtra with the help of Meruswami.

Swati has used the name of the family deity, Sri Padmanabha in each of his kritis. He brought in many Bharata Natya exponents from the neighbouring state, Tamil Nadu. Swati Tirunal also contributed to the dance tradition in Kerala by composing fifty padams in Malayalam.

Govinda Marar, one of the luminaries of Swati's court was an exceptionally brilliant singer. Parameswara Bhagavathar was another gifted singer of Swati's court. He was a composer too. His most famous work is the Varnam. Irayimman Thampy, a relative of Swati and a close associate in musical activities is the only musician who has composed all the three major forms of the Karnatic tradition, varnam, kirtanam and padam in Malayalam. His total output includes twenty eight kirtanams in Sanskrit and five in Malayalam, five varnams and twenty two padams, besides several Kathakali librettos and narrative poems. Some of the compositions are in very rare ragas like jangla, manchi and kakuba.

Kuttikunja Thankachi, daughter of 'Tampu', is a prolific litterateur and composer. She wrote three Kathakali and one Thullal librettos, one drama, three narrative poems for the traditional Tiruvathira dance, two poems on the kirata-arjuna and the Nala-Damayanti stories in the gypsy song mould and two others on the religious legends associated with Thiruvananthapuram and Vaikom. She wrote six kirtanams, two of them in Sanskrit. One of the kirtanams, a homage to goddess Kartyayani in Raga Kamboji, is a composition of great classical weight.

K.C.Kesava Pillai is another great composer of Kerala who has contributed an astonishing variety of three Kathakali librettos, a musical play and over seventy kirtanams for classical singers. Kandathil Varghese Mapilla composed several devotional songs which could be used by all who were truly religious. He also wrote a premier on music where he gave definitions of ragas and talas and prescriptions for the practice of singing in simple verses which could be easily memorized.

Kerala Info

Kerala Overview

The Geography of Kerala

The Climate of Kerala

The History of Kerala

The Government of Kerala

Agriculture in Kerala

Crafts of Kerala

Travels of Kerala

Education in Kerala

Art and Culture of Kerala

Kerala, About the Judiciary

Food and Recipes of Kerala

Government Departments

Irrigation Projects in Kerala

Kerala Business and Economy

Kerala Literary Works

Local Self Government

Malayalam, the official language

Population of Kerala

Rivers of Kerala

Kerala, the land of Ayurveda

Fairs and Festivals of Kerala


District Information















Kerala Dance & Music





Tribal Dance Forms

Folk Dance Forms







Neo-Classical Dances

More Kerala Dance Forms

Music of Kerala

Folk Songs of Kerala

Swathi Thirunal


Travel and Tourism

Alapuzha Travel

Ernakulam Travel

Idukki Travel

Kannur Travel

Kasargod Travel

Kollam Travel

Kottayam Travel

Kozhikode Travel

Malappuram Travel

Palakkad Travel

Pathanamthitta Travel


Thrissur Travel

Wayanad Travel

Information on States of India:

Andaman Nicobar | Andhra Pradesh | Assam | Bihar | Chandigarh | Chhattisgarh | Dadar Nagar Haveli | Daman Diu | Delhi | Goa | Gujarat | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu Kashmir | Jharkhand | Karnataka | Kerala | Lakshadweep | Madhya Pradesh | Maharashtra | Manipur | Meghalaya | Mizoram | Nagaland | Orissa | Pondicherry | Punjab | Rajasthan | Sikkim | Tamil Nadu | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh | Uttaranchal | West Bengal


Andhra Pradesh Travel Map | Bihar Travel Map | Goa Travel Map | Gujarat Travel Map | Haryana Travel Map | Himachal Pradesh Map | Karnataka Travel Map | Kerala Travel Map | Maharashtra Travel Map | Punjab Travel Map | Rajasthan Travel Map | Sikkim Travel Map | Tamil Nadu Travel Map | Uttar Pradesh Travel Map | West Bengal Travel Map |


Airports of India | Districts of India | India Pilgrim Centers | Tourism Map of India | National Highways in India | India Railway Routes |


Ahmadabad | Bangalore | Chennai | Coimbatore | Delhi | Hyderabad/Secunderabad | Kochi | Kolkata | Mumbai | Pondicherry | Pune | Surat |


Alappuzha | Ernakulam | Idukki | Kannur | Kasaragod | Kollam | Kottayam | Kozhikode | Malappuram | Palakkad | Pathanamthitta | Thiruvananthapuram | Thrissur | Wayanad |