Mysore, Dec 1: A small village on the banks of the River Cauvery in Hassan District of Karnataka has produced some of the best musicians of the country.
'Rudrapatna' or 'Sangeetha Grama'(Music Village) has 600 houses, of which 150 belong to musicians.
Prominent among them include Veena Ranga Sastry, Shama Sastri, K R N Guduramiah, R N Srikanta Kumraswamy, R L Anantharamiah, Veene Rangappa, Veene Venkatramiah, Veene Subbanna, Gurikar Ramaswamaiah, R K Venkatarama Sastri, R K Padamabha, Lakshmma, Veene R S Subramanya and R S Rangappa.
The village has contributed not only to music, but also to science, technology and education.
Once, its popularity was so much that if any renowed person had 'R' as his initial, it was assumed he hailed from Rudrapatna.
The picturesque village borders the scenic Kodagu District that has Western Ghats in the background.
The Cauvery flows in the east and the north. Access to the village is mostly through a ferry across the river. It looks like an island.
The river flowing from Kodagu to Hassan passes through the village.
When this reporter went round the village, he found some roads named after musicians like Veene Rangappa Road, R K Srikantan Road and Veene Seshanna Road.
The villagers told UNI the ancestral house of well-known Carnatic Musician R K Srikantan needed attention. The house could be converted into a memorial, they suggested.
. The original residents of this village were called 'Sankethi' (experts of Vedas), who were disciples of Adi Shankara. They spoke Kannada, Tulu, Tamil, Telugu and Mayalam, but their mother tongue was Kannada. The Cauvery became their lifeline as their activities surrounded the river. They built Rudrapatna systematically and learnt music.
Womenfolk sang while crushing and grinding food grains.
The people of this village are known for their proficiency in music. But, a number of them have done well in other fields also.
Rudrapatna Shayam Sastry was a post grduate in Economics and served as Professor of Mysore University. He was the first person to translate Kautilya's 'Arthasastra' from Sanskirt to English.
R Venktaramiah was the first Chief Justice of Mysore State High Court. R G Vaidyanath, who joined as Magistrate,later become Chief Justice of the Mumbai High Court. He is now heading an enquiry commission.
R V Ramanth, after his Engineering Degree, went to the US and joined NASA 50 years ago.
When NASA sent a rocket to the moon 30 years ago, it was Ramanth who built the Solar Machine that was fitted to the rocket.
He was also an expert in preparing Tennis Courts and his service was sought throughout the world.
R V Krishna Murthy of the village became CEO of Indian Oil Corporation, the first Kannadiga to occupy the post.
Meanwhile, musicians from this village have formed the Rudrapatna Sangeethotsava Samithi Trust under the leadership of R K Padamanbha and through this trust, have been conducting an annual music festival every year since 2001.
On this occasion, the musicians (who are living in all parts of the world) assemble in the village and give their best. They stay here for five days and treat the people to a music feast.
They also pay homage to their ancestors. On the fifth day, it would be 24 hours non-stop music.
Musicians pooled their own funds and constructed the Tambura- shaped Sapatasawara Sangeetaha Mandira at a cost of Rs one crore in the village.