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Place: Guruvayur, Kerala
As part of the Ekadasi day, a 14-day Chembai Sangeetholsavam is held annually at the Sree Krishna temple at Guruvayur in November organised by the Guruvayur Devaswom board. Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, an exceptionally talented Carnatic musician from Chembai, Palakkad in Kerala born on September 1st 1896 enthralled music lovers in his lifetime with his powerful yet melodious renditions. An ardent devotee of Sree Krishna, Chembai attributed all his success to Guruvayoorappan. The maestro himself used to conduct the festival in the temple town during his lifetime. After his death in 1974 the Guruvayur Devaswom board took charge and aptly named the festival Chembai Sangeetholsavam in his memory.
The festival which was held for three days in the beginning has been gaining popularity over the years, and is now held for two weeks, and attracts more than 2000 Carnatic musicians.
A group concert mark the end of the festival on the night of Ekadasi. This includes five of Chembai's most favourite songs 'Vathapi ganapatim' (Hamsadhwani), 'Rakshmam saranagatam' (Natta)', Paavanaguru pavanapuradeeswara'(Hamsanandi)', Mamava sadaajanani' (Kanada) and' Karuna Cheivan entu thamasam Krishna' (Yadukula kamboji). The highlight of the festival is group singing of saint Thyagaraja’s 'Pancharatna Krithis' on Dasami day by several leading artists.
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 Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar music festival held in Thiruvanthapuram in September and the Chembai Sangeetholsavam at Sree Krishna temple, Guruvayur in November are the most notable.
Phone : 0487 - 255 6335, 255 6347, 255 6538, 255 6670, 255 6672
How to get thereAir
The nearest airport is Kochi international airport (Nedumbassery), 80 kms from Guruvayur. Calicut airport is 100 kms away.
Guruvayur has got a railway station towards the east of the temple which is connected to the Madras-Mangalore main line at Thrissur.
Guruvayur is well connected with the other parts of the country by road and rail. The National highway is passing through Kunnamkulam which is just 8 kms away from Guruvayur. Thrissur is half an hour drive by car from Guruvayur and there are buses every 5 minutes from Thrissur to Guruvayur.