The Neelotpalambal of Carnatic Music

Not until three years of learning under my guru, Sangita Kala Acharya Neela Ramgopal, was I to know that her name was, in fact, short for Neelotpalambal, the presiding goddess of the Tiruvarur temple. Neela Mami was singing a beautiful ‘Neelotpalanayike’ in Kannadagoula, when she quietly mentioned that she was born ‘Neelotopalambal’. No surprise then, that Mami’s music is so divine and spiritual.