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P.SURYA RAO
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Festival Mythological stories told with devotional fervour marked the seven-day festival of Harikathas. P.SURYA RAO

The Andhra Pradesh Department of Culture and G.V.R. Government College of Music and Dance, Vijayawada, jointly organised a week-long Harikatha festival which came as a treat to the large audience that gathered at Gokaraju Laila Gangaraju Kala Vedika each day during the festival to listen to the mythological stories rendered by reputed bhagavathars.

The seven-day festival was inaugurated by Sri Sri Kaivalyananda Saraswathi Swamy (well known bhagavathar Burra Sivaramakrishna Sarma in his p oorvasram ), a Harikatha exponent. Each day the katha kalakshepam was preceded by either a group singing or an instrumental ensemble presented by the students of the Music College. These programmes were conducted by staff members of the college, Manda Krishna Mohan and K.S. Govindarajan.

The first day's Harikatha — Sameekopakhyanam — was rendered by Kommu Subramanya Varaprasada Sastri of Akiveedu. On the second day, Bontalapati Yatiraja Bhagavatar of Kusumapuram (Srikakulam district) rendered his katha with great devotional fervour. One of the best kalakshepams was the story of Bhakta Prahlada rendered by Dhulipala Sivaramakrishna bhagavathar of Guntur. Gajendra Moksham was well rendered on the fourth day by Chandu Bhaskara Rao.

Vamana Charitra by Chirra Bramhananda Reddy bhagavathar and Sri Krishna Jananam presented by Tumuluri Lakshmana Sastri were also impressive. The grand finale of the week-long devotional treat came to a close with Rukmini Kalyanam rendered brilliantly by Muppavarapu Simhachala Sastri Bhagavatar of Tirupati.

P. Nageswara Rao and P.Anjaneyulu supported on violins and M. Vijayakumar, I. Anjaneya Sastri, G. Steven Raju and K. Jaganmohini gave support to the bhagavathars on mridangam. Principal of the Music College C. Munikumar and T.V. Subramanyam, a singer and retired MRO, conducted the festival.


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