Bhadrachala Ramadasu Jayanthi Utsavam
The famous Sri Sitaramachandra swamy shrine at Bhadrachalam and Bhakta Ramadasu are inseparable in minds of all. Born as Kancharla Gopanna in the 17th century, Bhakta Ramadasu was instrumental in construction of the temple complex with gopura and mandapam. His devotion to Lord Rama resulted in an outpouring of musical and compositional genius in the form of Dasaradhi Satakam of 103 padyams, dandakam, churnika and over 100 kirtanas in Telugu and Sanskrit.
Ramadasa’s kirtanas are rich in bhakti bhava. Saint Thyagaraja himself praised Ramadasa in Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam, placing him amongst greats like Narada, Parasara, Thumburu and Prahlada. Kirtanas of Ramadasa are sung even today with fervent devotion in tunes passed on to us through Bhajana Sampradaya. Every year, on the occasion of Sri Ramadasa Jayanthi, in Magha Masam Poorva Bhadhra Nakshatram, people from all over gather at Bhadrachalam to participate in Gosti Ganam of Navaratna Kirtanas of Ramadasa set to tune by Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. Sri Nedunuri Krishna Murthy.
This Year's Utsavam (381st Jayanthi, Feb 2014)
The celebration this year will be from Feb 3rd 2014 to Feb 7th 2014 with the Gosti ganam on Feb 3rd telecast live on SVBC. The cultural programs will be inaugurated this year by a panel of eminent personalities at 9:00 AM followed by the Gosti ganam at 10:30 AM.
This year we have scheduled 46 concerts in the first two days of the festival organized by Alivelumanga Sarvaiah Charitable Trust. More than 125 artists performing (Vocal, Veena, Violin, Nadaswaram, Tavil, Flute, Mrudangam, Ghatam, Tabala, Kanjira, Morsing). Bhajana and nadaswaram performances are included again this year. Instrumental solos of Veena, Violin and Flute are included too. This year's highlight is artists coming from Bahrain. Artists are also joining from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Vizag, Bhadrachalam, Mumbai, Chennai, Kakinada, Tirupathi, Bangalore and other cities. Over 400 artists expected for Gosti Ganam on 3rd morning. All are invited for the 380th Sri Bhakta Ramadasu Jayanthi Utsavam at Bhadrachalam!
Last Year's Utsavam (380th Jayanthi in 2013)
As the number of artists who are eager to perform in the presence of Lord Sri Seetaramachandraswamy increasing every year, this year the utsavam duration is increased to three (3) days of five day vaggeyakara utsavam. The celebration will start on 12th February 2013 and end on 16th February 2013.
This year we have scheduled 63 concerts in three days, with more than 150 artists performing (Vocal, Veena, Violin, Flute, Mrudangam, Ghatam, Tabala, Kanjira, Morsing). Bhajana and Harikatha performances are added this year. Instrumental solos of Veena, Violin and Flute are included too. Artists from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Vizag, Bhadrachalam, Mumbai, Chennai, Kakinada, Tirupathi, Varanasi, Ernakulam, Bangalore and other cities are attending. Over 450 artists expected for Gosti Ganam on 12th morning. Live telecast on SVBC 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM. Many other channels covering the event. All are invited for the 380th Sri Bhakta Ramadasu Jayanthi Utsavam at Bhadrachalam!
This year the Jayanthi celebrations have gone international. This Jan 28th Sydney (Australia) celebrates the 380th Jayanthi utsavam with Gosti Ganam of Navaratha Keertanas and concerts with singing of Ramadasu Keethanas.
379th Jayanthi celebrated in 2012
With 150 artists from all over South India (some even from Mumbai) performing, and over 400 artists participating in the Navaratna Kirtana Gosti Ganam, the 379th Jayanthi Utsavam continued the trend from the past six years of getting stronger every year.
Participating in the two day event has become an annual pilgrimage for most artists, music lovers and Rama bhaktas who attend this event every year without fail. The participation is rapidly increasing in number, with hundreds pouring into the temple town by buses and trains. Students from music colleges, professional artists, amateurs, young and old alike, congregrating at the grand Chitrakuta Mandapam for two days, immersing themselves in Ramadasa kirtanas morning to evening.
Hospitality arrangements made by Sri Chakra Cement Ltd (under leadership of Sri Kapilavai Vijay Kumar) creating a wedding like atmosphere help memories linger the whole year until its time for the next utsavam. With the Sitaramachandraswamy devasthanam of Bhadrachalam, Alivelumanga Sarvaiah Charitable Trust, Sri Chakra Cement Ltd, Nadasudha Tarangini and Samagana Lahari Cultural trust joining hands in conducting of this event, its no wonder that the event has grown immenseley in stature making it one of the most important music festivals in the state of Andhra Pradesh today, bringing to mind comparisions with the Thiruvaiyaru Thyagaraja Aradhana in Tamilnadu (which is a much larger event and an older tradition).
This year's performances included those by Sri Nedunuri Krishna Murthy, Kum. A. Kanyakumari, Sri Malladi Suribabu, Malladi Brothers Sri Sriramprasad and Sri Ravikumar, Smt. Lalitha Madhav, Smt. Sangita Kala, Sri Akondi Srinivasa Raja Rao, Smt. Swetha Prasad, Sri Vasa Gopinadha Rao, Smt. Sundari Janakiraman, Smt. Neeta Chandrasekhar, Smt. Umadevi, Smt. Ramaprabha, and other eminent artists. Well known artists like Sri Achibabu (Clarinet), Sri Dattatrey (Flute) participated in the Gosti Ganam.