Muthiah Bhagavatar

  • Published By: The Sruti Foundation
  • Issue: 242

The House In Bunder Street

Continuing our tour of George Town, that lovely old part of Madras, we now come to the travels of Tyagaraja, the most
prolific composer among the Carnatic Trinity.

Tyagaraja, unlike his younger contemporary Muthuswami Dikshitar, did not travel much. His was a life devoted to Rama and he chose to spend most of it in his native Tiruvaiyaru, no matter the troubles his brother inflicted on him. But his disciples had already begun to spread far and wide and it was not long before his fame had spread far beyond the confines of Tiruvaiyaru. Thus Venkataramana Bhagavatar had established himself at Wallajapet, Subbaraya Sastry had become the asthana vidwan at Udayarpalayam and Veenai Kuppayyar had come to Madras, where he secured the patronage of Kovur Sundaresa Mudaliar, one of the rich dubashes of the city.

Kuppayyar was to become well known as Muthialpet Kuppayyar, for he lived in Muthialpet, which along with Peddanaickenpet constitutes the two halves of old Black Town (present day George Town), with Broadway dividing them. Where his house was we do not know, but most intriguingly there is a Kuppayyar Street in that area. There is also a Tyagayyar Street. Were they named after the sishya and the guru? We can only guess at this point in time, unless someone ransacks the Tamil Nadu Archives and sees if there is any authentic information on whom the two streets are named after.

A Series For Youngster
Stamp On Surdas

The stamp on Surdas is the fourth in the series of commemorative stamps on saints and poets. It was issued on 1 October 1952 by the Department of Posts. The stamp is in the denomination of four annas (4A); colour bright blue; watermark multistar; perf. 14; and was printed in the India Security Press at Nasik.

A Special Cover with a picture of Surdas was later issued on 12 February 1978 on the occasion of the Agra Philatelic Exhibition—AGRAPEX-78.