Saint Thyagaraja

A well known composer of Carnatic music, Thyagaraja forms the trinity of the composers of Carnatic music, the other two contemporaries being Muthuswami

Dikshitar and Syama Sastri. He made an immense contribution in the development of South Indian classical music. He has given absolutely new dimension to the Carnatic music. He was popularly known as saint Thyagaraja. Well, in this article, we have provided the biography of the renowned South Indian classical musician Tyagaraja that will give you a valuable insight into the life history of this great personality.


He was born in Thiruvarur, a small town in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, on May 4, 1767 as the son of Kakarla Ramabrahmam and Seethamma. He derived his name Tyagaraja after the presiding deity Tyagaraja of the Thiruvarur temple. His maternal grandfather Giriraja Kavi was a music composer cum poet in the court of the Thanjavurkingdom.

At a very early age, the wedding knots of Tyagaraja were tied to a woman named Parvatamma. Unfornately, she died soon after her marriage. After sometime, he was married to a lady named Kamalamba and the couple was blessed with a daughter named Seethalakshmi. They lived their lives happily.

Tyagaraja left for his heavenly abode in the year 1847 on the 6th of January.


Thyagaraja was instrumental in the composition of devotional songs. Most of his songs were dedicated to the Hindu God Rama. Out of his works, there are five compositions, which are more popularly referred to as the “five gems” or the Pancharatna Krithis. These five gems are among his best works and have gained appreciation from all over. Well, he began his musical training under the guidance of Sonti Venkataramanayya, a prominent music scholar.

For Thyagaraj, music was the best means to reach God and finally attain Moksha. When he sung, he did not do so for the sake of exhibiting his talent to people, but it was primarily for spiritual reasons. At the tender age of 8, he composed Namo Namo Raghavaya Anisham in raga Desikathodi, which was truly noteworthy.


To pay tribute to Thyagaraja and acknowledge his great efforts, Sri Thyagaraja’s festival is celebrated every year at Tiruvayur, the same place where saint Thyagaraj used to compose his songs. Leading singers from all   over the country assemble here to be a part of this festivity.