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Monday, January 10, 2011

Thiruvallikkeni Thiruvizha – Namma Thiruvizha (09-01-2011)

9th Jan 2011 ~   was a great evening providing a remarkable experience thanks to SANSKAR.

Thiruvallikkeni  (Triplicane)  is perhaps more ancient than the city of Madras.  The city has been celebrating its birthday in the recent few years.

Triplicane has a glorious past, a tradition and culture still existent and surviving in the present and has great hopes of sustenance in future.  

This is the place located strategically closer (less than half a km) from the Marina beach off the Bay of Bengal.  It owes its  It owes its its name to the sacred Lily pond (Thiru alli (lily) keni (pond) of Sri Parthasarathi Swami Temple, a great Vaishnavaite centre – brundaranya kshetram of the puranic scriptures.

It has had great personalities and contributed to the freedom struggle – Dheerar Sathyamurthi, Mahakavi Subramaniya Barathiyar lived here.   Thilagar Thidal was the place where great leaders like Subhrahmanya Siva, Bharathiyar, VOC, Nethaji and Gandhiji had all delivered lectures.  It had produced Mathematics genius S Ramanujam, Writer Sujatha, Cricketers, MJ Gopalan, WV Raman.  MJ Gopalan was a double international, representing India in Hockey and Cricket.  In 1935, he toured Newzealand with Hockey team and was selected for the Berlin Olympics but chose to play cricket in England.  Nobel Laureate Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar had attended Hindu High School.   There are many great temples around this place each fostering the great tradition, art and culture of the Nation.

SANSKAR Cultural Organisation – thought it fit to celebrate the spirit of Triplicane with tagline “ Thiruvallikkeni Thiruvizha – Namma Thiruvizha”.  The event was greatly organised by the Committee headed by the effervescent Vittal Narayanan, Project Director of SANSKAR.  Soundarya Rathnamala Volunteers were at hand, as usual in helping the event a success.

There were stalls – there was competition for drawing kolam on the streets – a procession highlighting the culture and SANSKAR chose to honour some who had brought laurels to Triplicane.  A thoughtfully decorated podium was erected in front of the Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple.   On the podium were : Mr  Jayaraman,  Dy commissioner of Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple, S ve Sekhar, Vikku Vinayakram – the gadam vidwan, Dr.  MA Venkatakrishnan, DGP R Natraj,  the great tamil scholar Vaidyanatha Iyer,   Mrs Ranganayaki Jayaraman of Saraswathi Gana Nilayam, Vizha vendhan NKT Muthu (patron of tamil drama) and myself representing SYMA.

Though it would not require a lengthier introduction, here is something on those who were honoured and the Chief Guests.

Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram (1942]  also known as Vikku Vinayakram is a Grammy award winning Indian percussionist.   He started playing Ghatam from his young age of  13  and has accompanied many famous vocalists in Carnatic music at the time, including Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, G. N. Balasubramaniam, Madurai Mani Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M. S. Subbulakshmi and Maharajapuram Santhanam.  He has been conferred many awards  including :  Hafiz Ali Khan Award for “unmatched contribution in the field of music” in the year 2000.

Saraswati Gana Nilayam, is the  prestigious institution dedicated to Bharatanatyam, Veena and classical music  founded in 1939.  Mrs Ranganayaki Jayaraman is upholding the high   traditions for over 50 years now.

Mr Vaidyanatha Iyer is 93 now and still retains his extraordinary memory.  A great tamil scholar, he taught and guided many triplicanites for many decades at NKT Insitutions, having learnt tamil from Tamil thatha  U.V. Swaminatha Iyer. 

Mr. Muthu is fondly known as Vizha vendhan NKT Muthu and is a known patron of Arts,  especially the Stage dramas at NKT Kalai arangam.

Dr MA Venkatakrishnan is so well known in Triplicane as  Upanyasakar and Adhyapakar of  Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple.  Born in 1954, he is a descendant of Anandalwan, a disciple of Swami Ramanuja.  Dr MAV worked as Asst Prof of Sanskrit in Vivekananda College, did   his  M.Phil & Ph.D and is presently with the Department of Sri Vaishnavism at Madras  University.  He is an erudite scholar in Sanskrit and Tamil and has been running a Srivaishnava  monthly journal “Geethacharyan” for over 3 decades.  He has written many books.   I had the  fortune of learning "Nalayira Divyaprabandham' from him alongwith scores of others.

Sattanathapuram Venkataraman Shekher  (S Ve Shekher)  is a Tamil playwright and film actor known best for his slapstick humor and for his public welfare initiatives.   Presently he represents Mylapore constituency.  He was born in Triplicane

Shri R Nataraj  DGP Fire and Rescue Services Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu is  a sincere and dedicated Officer known for his endeavours in uplifting and setting high benchmarks wherever he has worked.  A great writer, he studied in Hindu High School

Alongside, these great and eminent persons, Srinivas Youngmens Association (SYMA) was also recognized for their unstinting role in social service from 1977.  It was a great honour and a proud moment for me, to represent SYMA as its Secretary and receive the award on the podium.  A significant moment in my life.
After the celebrations, there was a performance by the students of  Vikku Vinayakram.  Students of Saraswathi Gana Nilayam performed a dance drama. Then there was a great rendition of devotional songs by Raghu better known as “Veeramani Dhasan”.  Hundreds heard him with rapt attention chanting the name of God and joining his troupe in singing devotional songs.  To conclude there was a great dance drama of Bhagavatham in a traditional way by the troupe from ‘Uthiraamerur’.  A great day for Triplicane itself.  

Kudos to Vittal Narayanan, his group  and SANSKAR Cultural Organisation for this wonderful show and in recognizing those who had made significant contributions to Triplicane.

With regards
S. Sampathkumar

Secretary- SYMA

PS:  Electorally, Triplicane is affected by the notification of Delimitation commission of India and is now ‘Chepauk- Thiruvallikkeni’ constituency consisting of  ward nos.79, 81 to 93, 95 and 111.  It is now form part of Chennai Central Parliamentary constituency as against the South Madras earlier.  We can draw solace from the fact that the name still lingers on and interestingly; the Commission has mentioned the name as Tiruvallikkeni (in Tamil) and not  as Triplicane.


  1. thanks sampath for this article. Kudos to Vittal Naryanan for organising 'Namma vizha' year after year. he plays an important role in preserving triplicane's heritage and culture.

    Congratulations to office-bearers and members of SYMA for this deserving award.

    look forward to articles on kulakarai kutcheris and forthcoming chennai sangamam -kannan

  2. Nice one Sampath - Raghu

  3. happy to read about Thiruvallikkeni, where I lived many decades ago - kudos to the organisers highlighting the performers - Shankar mahadevan