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Mani Iyer

Popularized several Ragas

Mani Iyer was responsible for putting several rare Ragas on the musical map. Ragas such as Charukesi, Vachaspathi, Gowda Malhar, Vijayanagiri, Janaranjani, Kapi Narayani, Umabharanam etc owe their popularity to him. The list is as follows.

1. Charukesi 7. Gowda Malhar 13. Shudhaseemanthini 19. Ranjani
2. Lathangi 8. Mohanakalyani 14. Janaranjani 20. Hamsanandhi
3. Vachaspathi 9. Kapi Narayani 15. Jeyanthasena 21. Jaganmohini
4. Saraswathi 10. Vijayanagiri 16. Bahudari 22. Valaji
5. Saraswathi Manohari 11. ShudhaBangala 17. Umabharanam 23. Nalinakanti
6. Kannada Gowla 12. Ravichandrika 18. Kanada 24. Sarasangi

Often times he used to sing only one Kriti in a raga (Eg: ‘Nijamarmamu’ in Umabharanam , ‘Sarasa Sama’ in Kapi Narayani etc). But such was his genius that even a single Kriti was enough to propel the Raga into mainstream popularity.

Navagraha Kritis

Madurai Mani Iyer’s fondness for the Navagraha Kritis by Muthuswami Dikshithar stemmed from his great devotion to Navagrahas. He believed that the nine Planets had a strong influence over a person’s life and any problems can be overcome through their worship. Mani Iyer made it a routine to sing these Kritis every morning at home. He also sang these Kritis on the concert platform without fail during the final third of his career.

It can be said without an iota of doubt that he was single-handedly responsible for popularizing the Navagraha Kritis of Dikshithar. The Kritis are as follows.


1. Suryamurte, Raga- Sowrashtram
2. Chandram Bhaje, Raga- Asaveri
3. Angarakam Ashrayamyaham, Raga- Surutti
4. Budham Ashrayami, Raga- Natakurunji
5. Brihaspate, Raga- Atana
6. Sri Sukra Bhagavantham, Raga- Paraju
7. Diwakara Thanujam, Raga- Yadukula Kambhoji
8. Smaramyaham, Raga- Ramapriya
9. Mahasuram, Raga- Shanmukhapriya

Tamil songs

Madurai Mani Iyer also played an important role in creating interest in Tamil songs amongst the concert going public. Several of Papanasam Sivan’s songs owe their popularity solely to him. People in his concerts would wait with bated breath for Songs like ‘Kaana kan kodi vendum’ or ‘Paamalai ku inai undo’ to be rendered.

He also popularized Gopalakrishna Bharati’s songs like ‘Sabhapathikku’ and ‘Eppo Varuaro’. The Thukkuda items in his concerts would invariably be comprised of Tamil songs like ‘Kandan karunai’, ‘vellai thamarai’ or ‘paarukulle’.

Madurai Mani Iyer has contributed immensely to the cause of Tamil Isai. He used to sing many Tamil Kritis before the Tamil Isai Movement even gained traction. He had an unbroken stint with the Tamil Isai Sangam from when it was started in 1941, and was one of the earliest recipient of the Isai perarignar (1963) honor from the Sangam.

Following are the Tamil Kritis Popularised by Madurai Mani Iyer.

1. Thathvamariya - Reetigowla - Adhi - Papanasam Sivan
2. Kanakankodi - Kambhoji - Adhi - Papanasam Sivan
3. Maramanan - Hindolam - Rupakam - Papanasam Sivan
4. Andavane - Shanmukapriya - Rupakam - Papanasam Sivan
5. Paamaalaikinai - Harikambhoji - Adhi - Papanasam Sivan
6. Chidambaram - kalyani - Adhi - Papanasam Sivan
7. Kavava - Varali - Adhi - Papanasam Sivan
8. Iniorukanam - Shriranjani - Rupakam - Papanasam Sivan
9. Karunaisevai - Hamsadhvani - Adhi - Papanasam Sivan
10.Ganarasamudan - Begada - Rupakam - Papanasam Sivan
11.Orukaal Shivachidambaram - Arabhi - ADhi - Gopalakrishna Bharathi
12.Sabhapathiku - Aboghi - Rupakam - Gopalakrishna Bharathi
13.Thookiyathiruvadi - Shankarabharanam - Adhi - Marimuthapillai
14.Sevikkavendumayya - Andolika - Adhi - Marimuthapillai
15.Sadhanandha Thandavam - Bahudari - Adhi - Achutha Daasar
16.Eppovaruvaaro - Jhonpuri - Adhi - Gopalakrishna Bharathi
17.Raamanaikkannara - Mohanam - Adhi - Arunachalakavi
18.Thamizhmanam kamazhum - Manirangu - Adhi - PapanasamSivan
19.Kapali Karunainilavi - Mohanam - Adhi - Papanasam Sivan
20.Karpagame - Madhyamavathi - Adhi - Papanasam Sivan

Other Compositions popularized by Mani Iyer.

Thyagaraja Krithis

1. Sarasamadhana - Kapinarayani - Adhi - Thyagaraja
2. Thelisirama - Poornachandrika - Adhi - Thyagaraja
3. Sri Ragukula - Hamsadhvani - Adhi - Thyagaraja
4. Marukelara - Jayanthasri - Adhi - Thyagaraja (This krithi later became a GNB favourite)
5. Samajavara - Hindolam - Adhi - Thyagaraja
6. Rarama Inti - Asaveri - Adhi - Thyagaraja
7. Nirvadhisukha - Ravichandrika - Adhi - Thyagaraja
8. Ramabhakthi - Shudhabangala - Adhi - Thyagaraja
9. Sukhi Evaro - Kanada - Adhi - Thyagaraja
10.Seethamma - Vasantha - Rupakam - Thyagaraja
11.Orajupu - Kannadagowla - Rupakam - Thyagaraja
12.Sogasujooda - Kannadagowla -Rupakam - Thyagaraja
13.Sogasugamridanga - Sriranjani - Rupakam - Thyagaraja
14.Seethapathe - Kamas - Adhi - Thyagaraja
15.Manasunilpa - Abhoghi - Adhi - Thyagaraja
16.Dunmargachara - Ranjani - Rupakam - Thyagaraja
17.Nijamarma - Umabharanam - Adhi - Thyagaraja
18.Majanaki - Kambhoji - Adhi - Thyagaraja
19.Adamodigalathe - Charukesi - Adhi - Thyagaraja
20.Anuragamule - Saraswathi - Rupakam - Thyagaraja
21.Brovabarama - Bahudari - Adhi - Thyagaraja
22.Nannupalimpa - Mohanam - Adhi - Thyagaraja
23.Chakkaniraja - Karaharapriya - Adhi - Thyagaraja
24.Seethavara - Devagandhari - Adhi - Thyagaraja
25.Vinathasutha - Jeyanthasena - Adhi - Thyagaraja
26.Vidajaladhura - Janaranjani - Adhi - Thyagaraja
27.Nenarunchi - Malavi - Adhi - Thyagaraja
28.Apparama - Pantuvarali - Rupakam - Thyagaraja
29.Ninnunera - Pantuvarali - Rupakam - Thyagaraja
30.Naradaganalola - Atana - Rupakam - Thyagaraja
31.Endukupeddala - Shankarabharanam - Adhi - Thyagaraja
32.Inthakannananda - Bilahari - Rupakam - Thyagaraja
33.Aparadhamula - Rasali - Adhi - Thyagaraja
34.Koluvai - Bhairavi - Adhi - Thyagaraja
35.Dharini Thelusu - Shudhasaveri - Adhi - Thyagaraja (This krithi was a Madurai Pushpavanam Iyer favourite)

Muthuswami Dikshithar Krithis popularised by Mani Iyer

1. Kamalambam - Kalyani - Adhi
2. Kamalamba - Anandhabhairavi - Misrachapu
3. Kamalambikam - Kambhoji - Ata
4. Kamalambike - Thodi - Rupakam
5. Shrikamalambika - Sahana - Ata
6. ShriKamalambaya - Bhairavi - Matyam
7. Shrikamalambikaya - Shankarabharanam - Rupakam
8. Sooryamoorthe - Saurashtram
9. Chandrambhaja - Asaveri
10.Angarakam - Surutti
11.Budhamashrayami - Nattakurinji
12.Brihaspathe - Atana
13.Shrishukra - Paras
14.Diwakarathanujam - Yadhukulakambhoji
15.Smaraamyaham - Ramapriya
16.Mahaasuram - Shanmukapriya
17.Thyagarajaya - Begada - Rupakam
18.Mahaganapathim - Thodi - Rupakam
19.Subramanyena - Shudhadhanyasi - Adhi
20.Venkatachalapathe - Karnatakakapi - Adhi
21.Maye - Tharangini - Adhi
22.Meenakshimemudam - Poorvikalyani - Adhi
23.Shri Mathrubootham - Kannada - Misrachapu
24.Chethashri Balakrishnam - Dwijavanthi - Rupakam

 

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