The Tradition of Harikatha in the Southern States

‘Saṅkīrtana’ is the life of Harikatha which is predominantly a musical discourse. The Harikatha starts with a song and gets in tune with *padyam* (poem) and *vacanam* (text) in course. Tamiḷ ‘Kālakṣēpam’ and Karnāṭaka ‘Harikathā kālakṣēpam’ were influenced by Marāṭha-s’ Abhaṅgam. As Tamilians are music lovers there was more of music in **Tamiḷ ‘Kathā Kālakṣēpam’** (spending time listening to a story). Also there were supportive singers to the main narrator in ‘Kālakṣēpam.’ Tanjāvūr Krishṇa Bhāgavatār (1841-1903) can be mentioned as the *Pitāmaha* (architect) of the modern Kālakṣēpa tradition of Tamiḷ Nāḍu, which combined itself with the Mahāraṣtra tradition. He was original in his narration and kīrtana. Yet along with his kīrtana-s he used to sing Abhaṅga-s, Purandara Dās’ and Tyāgarāja’s compositions [^1] . He learnt a good number of Tyāgarāja’s compositions from Tillaisthānam Rāmu Iyyengār, a direct disciple of Tyāgarāja. We can thus elicit that the progress of Kathā

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