Tanjavur Quartet (Tanjore Quartet)

in Module
Published on: 07 June 2016

Tanjavur, a crowded, modern Indian town, has a rich past replete with legacies of kings, culture and architecture. The mediaval Chola kingdom that came to power in 848 CE made this fertile land their kingdom, and thus began its golden period in art, culture and architecture. The subsequent dynasties too contributed extensively, enthroning it as the cultural capital to which title it held on doggedly till the mid-20th century when the artists began a mass exodus to Chennai. To the golden period of Tanjavur belonged the four brothers who came to be known as Tanjore Quartet. The module has articles by bharatanatyam dancers, Lakshmi Viswanathan and Nandini Ramani, that give an an account of the Quartet and their contributions. Interviews with bharatanatyam gurus and choreographers, Herambanathan and K.P.K.Chandrasekhar provide insight into the now extinct devadasi culture of Tanjavur. Interviews with scholars Dr Rama Kausalya and B.M. Sundaram look at Tanjavur's rich cultural heritage and the contributions of different dynasties that ruled it. Image gallery has images sourced from K.P. Kittappa Pillai's family who are direct discendents of the Quartet.