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A 3-day Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar music festival is held annually in Thiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum), capital of Kerala state in September in commemoration with the birth anniversary celebrations of late music maestro Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, an exceptionally talented Carnatic musician from Chembai, Palakkad in Kerala. Organised by Sri Chembai Memorial trust in Thiruvananthapuram this annual festival holds performances of eminent Carnatic artists.
Chembai was born on September 1, 1896 to a family of Carnatic musicians. He lived in a period which was considered the golden era of Carnatic music. Chembai's powerful yet melodious voice could enthrall audience of his times. An ardent devotee of Sree Krishna he attributed all his success to Guruvayoorappan. He was the recipient of numerous honours and recognitions. Gayana Gandharva (1940), Sangita Kalanidhi title (1951), Sangeeta Natak Akademi award (1958), Padmabhushan from President of India (1973), Sangita Samrat title conferred on him by Swami Sivanandaw etc were some of the prestigious honours. He passed away on October 16th 1974, at 78 years, of a cardiac arrest just after giving a concert at a temple in Ottappalam.
Several music festivals are held in memory of the great music maestro, of which the ones held at Chembai, his birth place in February - March called Chembai Ekadashi music festival, the festival in Thiruvanthapuram in September and the Chembai Sangeetholsavam held at Sree Krishna temple at Guruvayoor in November are the most notable.
How to get thereAir
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport located at Valiyathura is 6kms from the city. Many international air carriers operate daily international flights to the Middle East, Male and Sri Lanka from Thiruvananthapuram. Indian Airlines has direct communications to Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. Jet Air (Gulf Air) has daily flights to Mumbai and Chennai.
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