Songs of Prilgrimage - The Music of Muthuswami Dikshitar

Songs of Prilgrimage - The Music of Muthuswami Dikshitar

Known for their majesty and contemplative nature, the compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar are beloved for their ability to capture the essence of the ragas, or melodic modes. So important are his songs in carnatic music that he is renowned as one of the ‘musical trinity of carnatic music’, along with Tyagaraja and Syama Sastri. Dikshitar’s journey is remarkable. When he was still in his teens, he was sent on a pilgrimage with a wandering monk to expand his musical knowledge. It was a feat at that time, as he travelled over 1,800km across India, to some of the most important temples in Southern India, including Kasi, Kanchi, Chidambaram, Tirupathi and Tiruvannamalai. There, he composed some of his celebrated pieces, many of which are still widely sung and performed in carnatic concerts. These compositions are known to contain details about temples, the deities within them, and festivals or occasions celebrated there.