|Sri Parthasarathy na (Sudda Danyasi) : 'Oh Parthasarathy! your flute-play enchants gopis; beloved of Rukmini, your boons wipe out the miseries of the world. (Sri Parthasarathy of Thiruvallikeni in Madras) is the Lord who expounded the Bhagawad Gita for the salvation of Arjuna and the world.) - Dikshitar|
In 1896, Mani Tirumalachariar started the organisation to foster all aspects of Indian culture. It ws originally named Sangeetha Vidwat Sabha. In 1900, the sabha was registered and renamed Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha. From 1900 to 1905, the programmes were held in the residence of Tirumalachariar. This is the oldest sabha in South India.
Harikathas were the most popular feature of the programmes in this sabha. Veterans in the field - Sri Krishna Bhagavathar, Sri Panchapakesa Sastrigal and Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar were regular performers in the sabha. almost all the leading musicians of the period have performed in this sabha and the list is really impressive - Bidaram Krishnappa, Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar, Flute Sarabha Sastrigal, Tirukkodikarai Krishna Iyer, Konerrirajapuram Vaidyanatha Iyer, Madurai Pushpavanam, Malaikottai Govindaswamy Pillai, Kancheepuram Naina Pillai, Azhaganambi, Dakshinamurthy... Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar had given more than 100 recitals here.
Dramas were greatly patronised by people in those days. Nawab Rajamanickam Pillai staged his epic dramas for 10 consecutive days. Later several drama troupes - Manohar, Major Suderajan and others followed. The sabha has been organising its concerts in various venues within the Triplicane area. Since 1958, an arrangement for lease of place at 150, Venkatarangam Pillai Street, Triplicane was made. The first woman to perform on stage was Balasaraswati in the fifties.
In 1962, an open air theatre was opened. The sabha now conducts 2 festivals each year, one in February and another in December. Two titles are conferred annually - 'Sangeetha Kala Sarathy' for a musician & 'Nataka Kala Sarathy' for a drama artiste.
19, T.P. Koil,
Street, Triplicane, Chennai-5
Ph: 94447 01446
Programmes at Vidya Bharathi, 55, Bheemasena Garden Road, (Near Jammi Building), Mylapore, Chennai-4