RUDRAPATNA - A Village of Music and Culture

Several maestros of music and knowledge have brought accolades to this tiny village called Rudrapatna on the banks of Kaveri River in Arakalgud taluk of Hassan district in Karnataka. Vidwan Shankar Bhat treads down the memory lane. Rudrapatna is known for its rich musical heritage. According to renowned Carnatic Vocalist Sri R.K. Padmanaabha, Rudrapatna is a hub of Veda, Nada and Taranga. Rudramantapa has contributed several distinguished musicians in Carnatic style. Residents of this village originally migrated from Sengottai in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. They came in two groups. While one group settled down at Koushik, another village in Hassan, another group landed in Bettadapura from where they slowly started living in villages situated on the banks of Kaveri River. One such village was Rudrapatna. Sanketis, as they were known, practised Vedas and music. While Dikhitars and Somayajis performed Yajnas and Yagas, others focussed on learning Shatavadhana, chanting of Vedic hymns and learning music. Several Ghanapathis, Shatavadhanis, Ashtavadahanis and musicians from this village have made permanent marks here. Sri Channakeshava temple in this village is more than a thousand years old.

Sri Padhamanabha recalls that some years ago a mass desertion of the village occurred due to outbreak of plague. He claims that nearly 60 per cent of musicians in Carnatic style across Karnataka hail from Rudrapatna. R.S. Keshvamurthy, R.K. Ramanathan, R.K. Srikanthan, R.K. Srinivasamurthy, R.K. Suryanarayana, R.N. Taranathan (also known as Rudrapatnam Brothers), R.K. Raghavan, R.K. Prakash, R.K. Prasanna Kumar, R.K. Padmanabha, R.S. Ramakanth, R.N. Sreelatha and Ratnamala Prakash, who have carved a niche for themselves in the annals Carnatic music, hail from Rudrapatna. R.K. Krishna Shastry was another noted vocalist and Harikatha Vidwan from Rudrapatana. Venkataramaiah, renowned as Thimmappa, was a great Veena Vidwan. Shatavadhani Venkataraya was also a popular Veena Vidwan. Veena Ranganath and R.S. Keshava Murthy, who was a disciple of the legendary Veene Subbanna, are from Rudrapatana. Music critic Mysore V. Subrahmanya pays rich tribute to several musicians and scholars, including Veena Ranga Shastry, who was a court