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The Gems of Thanjavur:
Famous Personalities from Thanjavur

Thanjavur is blessed with several great personalities who contributed to the cultural and artistic heritage of not just Thanjavur, but also Tamil Nadu as a whole. And, perhaps even that of India.

Arunachala Kavi:

One of the Tamil Trinity, Arunachala Kavi was a Tamil poet and one of the earlier personalities that contributed profoundly to the growth of Carnatic music along with Muthu Thandavar and Marimutthu Pillai. Being fluent in three languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit, he wrote several poems and literary pieces such as Rama Natakam, which was a musical-drama inspired by the Indian epic Ramayana.

Dr. R. Nagaswamy:

One of the very famous people in Thanjavur, Dr. Nagaswamy is a historian, archaeologist and an epigraphist who constantly travels from one temple to another in Tamil Nadu to learn about their inscriptions and art history. He was the one who incepted the famous Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival in 1980. In recognition of his contribution towards the cultural welfare of Tamil Nadu and its temples, the Government of Tamil Nadu awarded him with the distinct honour of "Kalaimamani" award.

Govinda Dikshitar:

OA multifaceted personality, Govinda Dikshitar was a prominent musicologist, scholar, statesman and a philosopher. He served as a minister under both Raghunatha Nayak and Achuthappa Nayak. Being a great erudite, Govinda Dikshitar composed Sangitha Sudhanidh and Arivamsa Saracharitram. He also helped construct and repair the Thenupuriswarar Temple’s Amman shrine at Patteeswaram.

Tanjore Ramachandra Anantharaman:

One of the eminent material scientists and metallurgists, Anantharaman has been associated with some of the best and venerated universities and educational institutions across India. His contributions to the scientific society of India have amassed him wide accolades such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund, Indian Institute of Science Alumnus Award, Eminent Teacher of Metallurgy Award and Materials Science Prize of the Indian National Science Academy along with many other recognitions.

U. V. Swaminatha Iyer:

Born on February 9, 1855, Mr. Iyer was a person who found immense satisfaction in searching ancient scripts and learning the same. He was an ardent fan of the Jain way of living. He collected several scripts, collated them and created a clean book that has a definite conclusion. He later published a book about his works in the name ‘Cevaka Cintaman’. It was his efforts due to which many handwritten, palm-leaf manuscripts that had been gathering dust could see the light.

Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer:

A great Carnatic vocalist, Mr. Iyer was born in the year 1908. He is also the youngest person to receive the honour of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Award in 1947 presented by the Music Academy. Considered to be the"Pitamaha" of the modern Carnatic Music, Mr. Iyer was widely recognized as a master vocalist specialized in concerts. He was admired by lovers of classical music everywhere, and his ardent fans used to come even from several foreign countries to listen to his concerts.

These are only a few of the great personalities of Thanjavur, and the list goes on.

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