International interest in Kerala increases year by year; the number of cultural tourists
shows a proportionate increase. Apart from the geographical peculiarities, scenic beauty
and varied cuisines, they, as a rule, show particular interest in the cultural heritage of the
region. And the Department of Information and Public Relations has been sensitivised to this
growing demand, and has taken active steps to document our rich heritage. A series of books
and records in the audio-visual media, depicting the various aspects of our culture and its
impact and reflection in art, fine arts, performing arts, architecture, is in the pipeline, and this
is a part of the series. The Department has no tall claim that this is a complete, comprehensive
or exhaustive work. Here the author concentrates on the contributions of Travancore, especially royal household, to Karnatic music: Of course there are some passing references to
those from other parts of Kerala. The valuable contributions of the great artists and patrons of
art from Kochi and Malabar region will be compiled and published shortly. By the time Kerala
and the Information and Public Relations Department turn fifty in 2006, we sincerely hope that
books detailing all the different aspects of our rich tradition and cultural heritage can be
published. We wholeheartedly welcome constructive criticism, valuable suggestions and realistic comments on this work.
Kerala, the beautiful land of music, dance, folklore, drama and other art forms possesses a rich cultural
heritage and tradition. Generation after generation, Travancore royal household extended patronage
for art forms of Kerala. They dedicated themselves for the promotion of art forms, especially music and dance.
The book titled 'Contribution of Travancore to Karnatic Music' deals with the style of music prevalent in
Travancore. The origin and development of music such as temple music and Karnatic music in Kerala and the influence of temples on Karnatic music are brought to the lime light.
The book concentrates on the contributions of kings of Travancore to the propagation of music and
dance in Travancore. More importance is given to His Highness Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma, Swathi Thirunal Rama
Varma Maharaia and other prominent kings. Contributions made by lrayimman Thampi, Kurtikunju Thankachi and K.C. Kesava Pillai are also being dealt with.
Further, the invaluable contributions of the scholars, often qualified as the gems of the royal court of His
Highness Swathi Thirunal Maharaja are also mentioned.
The work is concluded with brief descriptions of modern composers and musicians who have played a prominent role in the development and propagation of Karnatic music in Travancore.
I would like to express my gratitude and sincere thanks to my gurus, teachers and scholars whose books and
articles I have used for reference. I also express my sincere thanks to the Secretary and Director, Information & Public Relations Department, Government of Kerala for this assignment.
Last but not least, I am thankful to all music lovers and promoters of Karnatic music who have come forward
with valuable suggestions.
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