Vid Dev

Musings of a music student


ambi dikshitar

Kalyana Vasantham – Ragapedia 3

Kalyana Vasantham, a janyam of the melakartha Keeravani, is a pentatonic-septatonic raga with the scale…

Aarohanam – S G2 M2 D1 N3 S

Avarohanam – S N3 D1 P M1 G2 R2 S

Carnatic Compositions

  • Sri Venkatesham by Ambi Dikshitar (there is a conflict if the composer was Muthuswamy Dikshitar; as grandfather and grandson usedthesame signature guruguha)
  • Nadhaloludai, Kanula Thakani by Thyagaraja
  • Innudaya Bharathe by Purandaradasa
  • Deva Jagannatha by Gopalakrishna Bharathi
  • Annalin Aanai varnam which can be found in Panchapakesa Iyer’s varnam book (there are articles that claim this song to be Panchapakesa Iyer’s own, but the varnam book does not list a composer name for this varnam)


Listen to Sri Venkatesham of Ambi Dikshitar in Kalyana Vasantham. This krithi was popularized by Maharajapuram Santhanam.


Used in Movies

Bharathi’s song ninnaye rathi endru is presented in the raga Kalyana Vasantham in the movie Kanne Kaniyamudhe; so is the song Kanchi Pattuduthi from Vayasu Ponnu. However, the biggest challenge in identifying movie songs in this raga is to not mis-identify songs in raga Chandrakauns as Kalyana Vasantham. Note that Kalyana Vasantham’s ascending swaras if used in the avarohanam too, makes it sound like Chandrakauns.

l am leaving you with Kadri Gopalath’s saxophone play at the start of the movie Duet, which is an obvious Kalyana Vasantham.


Until next,

Vid 🙂

Ambi Dikshitar

Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s adopted son, Subbarama Dikshitar named his son also as Muthuswamy Dikshitar, after his father and revered composer. The kid later came to be popularly known as Ambi Dikshitar (1863-1936), in the same lineage.


Ambi predominantly helped propagate his grandfather’s songs during his stay in as court musician in Ettayapuram and later when he migrated to Madras. However, he has also composed a few songs which include:

  • gananathaya in gowlai
  • ganapathi sodaram  in arabhi
  • varasidhi vinayakam in nattai
  • sri venkatesam bhajami in kalyana vasantham

Listen to…

Sri Venkatesam Bhajami in Kalyana Vasantham in the voice of Maharajapuram Santhanam who made this song popular by singing it in many of his concerts. Though I haven’t listened to one in person, I remember the cassette recordings and my dad’s splitting reproduction of this song, as I grew up. The YouTube video title is ambiguous and says Muthuswamy Dikshitar, but sources confirm this is an Ambi Dikshitar composition.



Ambi Dikshitar initiated the music learning of DK Pattamal, S Rajam, Ananthakrishna Iyer, to name a few. He and his disciples made it their life mission to preserve and propagate Muthuswamy Dikshitar kritis in their pristine purity. The Dikshitar lineage was followed by Ambi’s son Baluswami Dikshitar.

References: google images,sreenivasarao’s blog, karnatik

Until next,

Vid 🙂

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