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A rare tamburi in his possession

T.S. Ranganna

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Antique:B. Sathyanarayanachar with the tamburi.

Bangalore: The tamburi has been synonymous with Haridasas of Karnataka — Purandaradasa, Kanakadasa, Vaikunthadasa, Vijayadasa, Jagannathadasa, Gopaladasa and Srida Vithaladasa.

A rare Bhrungi tamburi (Surashruta Veena), dating back to 18th century and used by legendary Jagannathadasa and Srida Vithaladasa, is now in possession of a retired bureaucrat-turned-Haridasa scholar B. Sathyanarayanachar.

In bad shape

“It was in 1995 that I got this tamburi from Raghavendra Swamy Math on Dixit Galli in Davangere. It was in a bad condition as it had changed several hands before being kept in the math,” Mr. Sathyanarayanachar, former Registrar of the Public Works Department, told The Hindu.

“There is a belief that this stringed instrument, over the years, has acquired mystic powers, and requires some rituals to be performed daily. Bheemacharya Katti of Kumarapatna, near Harihar, a friend of mine, had donated this tamburi to the math,” he added.

Gift

Srida Vithaladasa was a disciple of Jagannathadasa, the author of magnum opus Harikathamruthasara. Jagannathadasa gifted this tamburi to his favourite disciple, Srida Vithaladasa, in 1780. Srida Vithaladasa, who was earlier known as Dasappa and worked as a village accountant (‘shanbhoga'), came from Karjigi village in the present-day Haveri district.

The tamburi changed hands when Srida Vithaladasa gifted it to Karadagi Narayanachar, days before his death.

“Interestingly, Mr. Katti got the tamburi from Narayanachar's descendants. It took me almost a week to reassemble the tamburi,” said Mr. Sathyanarayanachar, who heads Sri Poorjaprajna Tatvajnana Prachara Sabha, here.

Mr. Sathyanarayanachar, a composer of kirtanas, carries this tamburi across the State whenever Dasa Sahitya aficionados request him. He can be contacted on 080-32712716.

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