Vocal recital and bhajans marked the celebration of Vasantha Panchami held in Coimbatore recently.

Coimbatore has been celebrating ‘Vasantha panchami’, since last year, with music concerts. The birthday of Goddess Saraswathi is celebrated on the fifth day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Magh/Masi.

This year’s celebrations featured the vocal concert of N. Vijay Siva in the morning and bhajans by the members of Nadha Yagna Bhajan Mandali (Winners of the Bhajan Samrat-Coimbatore Region) at the Veda Patashala, Annapoorneshwari Temple, Coimbatore.

The ambience was divine, with the beautifully decorated presiding deity, Annapoorani, and other exquisitely sculpted statuettes on the side walls. Young boys with small tufts of hair sat in the front rows and recited a sloka on Saraswati.

Vijay Siva began with the sloka on Ganesha, ‘Sadha Baala Roopaa,’ and followed it with ‘Vinnaga Thevarum Nannavum Maattar,’ the Tiruppalliyezhuchi by Manickavachagar. Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s first kriti, ‘Sri Naataadhi Guruguho Jayathi Jayathi,’ in Mayamalavagowla filled the hall with its majesty. ‘Hey Kaamaakshi Ekaamreshwari,’ in Yadhukula Khambodi by Andavan Pichai was a delight to listen to, with its rich sahitya.

‘Sariyevvarunnaarammaa’ in Bhairavi by Syama Sastri was rendered as the main piece with an elaborate alapana, niraval and swaraprastharas. ‘Vaachaamagocharame’ in Kaikavasi (Tyagaraja), the ragamalika virutham, ‘Un Manam Kallo,’ and ‘Thillai Stalam Endru’ were impressive. Siva concluded with the soul-stirring ‘Nirvana Dasakam’ (Na Bhoomir Na Toyam) and ‘Kandaranubhuthi’.

Chandramouli’s violin was fluid, firm and mellifluous. Manoj Siva’s subtle and subdued mridangam added to the devout mood. The concert was slated for 7 a.m. and the crowd was just enough to fill the compact hall. The steaming ‘kesari’ and ‘vennpongal’ served as ‘prasadam’ following the concert were an additional treat.

The event was organised by South Indian Art and Heritage Conservation Trust and Coimbatore Music Academy.