For connoisseurs of Carnatic classical music, Ramanavami heralds a season of plenty as various organisations organise music festivals.

A longstanding tradition is the music festival organised at Sri Bidaram Krishnappa's Prasanna Sitarama Mandira. So much so that the temple, which is also the venue for the concerts, is recognised as a heritage centre and has drawn artistes from across the country since the last 94 years.

The temple has an interesting history associated with renowned musician Bidaram Krishnappa, who was instrumental in constructing it with the objective of developing it as a cultural centre to promote classical music.

Krishnappa spared no efforts and channelised all his earnings, including family jewellery, to achieve his dream.

While the temple was completed in 1928, music concerts have been a regular feature on the premises since 1918. Legendary artistes, including Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Patnam Subramanya Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M.S. Subbulakshmi, S. Ramanathan, Namagiri Krishnan, M.D. Ramanathan, T. Chowdaiah, Mysore Vasudevacharya, Doreswamy Iyengar and Veene Seshanna have performed here regularly during Ramanavmi.

Reckoned to provide a spiritual ambience for the artistes, the hall where concerts are held is adorned with nearly 40 portraits of musical greats of yesteryears besides a painting depicting Sri Rama Pattabhisheka.

These paintings are part of the city's heritage and were restored only two years ago.

Over the last few decades the music festival has grown in size and is held for nearly two weeks. And this year, the Ramanavami music festival, which commenced on Wednesday, will conclude on April 9. Among the musicians slated to perform are Sukanya Prabhakar, T.V. Shankarnarayan, Hyderbad brothers and O.S. Tyagarajan.

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