January 2, 2023

Madras Music Season with Arjun Narayanan

This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to a returning guest, Arjun Narayanan, as we talk about the popular Madras Music season aka Chennai Music festival aka December Music Season or Margazhi music season!


Today's destination: Madras aka Chennai!

Nearest Airport: Chennai International airport (MAA)

Nearest Railway Station: Chennai Central Railway Station (MAS)

Prerequisites :  N/A

Packing : N/A

Time of the year : Nov - Jan

Length of the itinerary: 4-8 weeks

  • This week, we have a very special episode that talks all about the popular Madras Music Season - a city wide celebration of Indian classical performing arts covering carnatic music, dance (bharatanatyam) and drama. The episode is unique as it focuses on an event, a phenomenon, rather than an itinerary. 
  • We start off talking about the significance of month of Margazhi, it’s importance in the Hindu religion as well as the history of the music festival starting in the early 1900s
  • Arjun talks about the concept of Sabhas and kacheris as well as the popular sabhas in the city like Parthasarathy sabha, Brahma Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha, Madras Music Academy, Mylapore Fine arts club, Triplicane fine arts society among others. 
  • We also talk about the popular locations where the events are held - primarily T. Nagar, Triplicane, Mylapore, Adyar, the challenges in getting tickets and how to plan them as well as popular artists who are the crowd pullers 
  • The events include carnatic music performances, bharatanatyam dance performances, drama and plays. The performances include both renowned artists as well as up and coming artists. In addition to the performances, there are also lecture series provided by experts. There are free concerts by up and coming artists (usually during the noon sessions), as well as ticketed events by more popular artists. 
  • The instruments used in carnatic music include percussion instruments like mridangam, ghatam, violin, veena, mandolin etc. that are accompanied by vocalists. 
  • We also discuss the popular sabha saapad or sabha canteens that are popular for their meals and filter coffee.
  • Finally we wrap it with some places one can visit while covering the music season - these places include the popular temples in Triplicane like Parthasarthy temple, Wallajah mosque or big mosque of Triplicane, Kapaleshwar temple in Mylapore, Chepauk stadium and Chepauk palace, shopping for traditional jewellery and sarees among other things.



Arjun’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/madraswallah/

Arjun’s Instagram - Simply Stories Chennai - https://www.instagram.com/simplystorieschennai/

Arjun’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/madraswallah


Madraswallah podcast - https://madraswallah.com/category/podcasts-2/

Episode on Varanasi - https://themusafirstories.com/podcasts/varanasi-with-arjun-narayanan/

Episode on Thrissur - https://themusafirstories.com/podcasts/thrissur-with-arjun-narayanan/


Cover Photo by Ricky Singh - https://unsplash.com/photos/rTikKt6ir5g


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