Where the Trinity reverberate                                             Sukanya Sankar

Tiruvarur is the birthplace of the Carnatic music Trinity— Syama Sastry (17621827), Tyagaraja (1767-1847) and Muttuswami Dikshitar (1775-1835). When Sriram V announced his tour to Tiruvarur—A Dikshitar Trail, I jumped in and signed up. Thirty enthusiastic participants, an overnight train journey with endless chatter, reliving Dikshitar’s life and times through Sriram’s anecdotes and Amritha Murali’s music—what more could one ask!

Our first stop after breakfast was the Tiruvarur main temple or Peria Kovil. The temple trust is one of the largest individual landholders in India. If the temple sprawls over 30 acres, the temple tank occupies an equal area. Before we entered the main temple, we stopped at the Matruraitta Pillaiyar (situated on the banks of the Kamalalayam or temple tank, on whom Dikshitar has composed Sree Mahaganapati ravatumam (Gaula). Sriram narrated the legend behind the temple and drew our attention to the line Swarnakarshana vighnarajo, of how lord Tyagaraja helped Sundaramoorti Nayanar by testing the quality of the gold he gifted to Paravai Nachiar. Our walk began with an auspicious start, with Amritha rendering a beautiful Gaula. [See Sruti 240 for more details on the Tiruvarur temple].