Njeralathu Rama Poduval, the doyen of Sopana music

The first human being in its true sense to make this art form public

Njeralathu Rama Poduval was an exponent of the Sopanam music form practiced in Kerala. The first human being in its true sense to make this art form public. Firstly he tried to explore life outside the boundaries of caste, creed and religion that existed in Kerala. This was not easy for a temple musician during those days.

Secondly he also developed his own recitation style of Sopanam rendition.  For instance rejuvenating the Sopanam style of traditional Kerala temple music, he entertained the music lovers of Kerala for decades.

Njeralathu Rama Poduval
Njeralathu Rama Poduval
Image source: facebook page of Sopana Sangeetham

Taking the art form to public

Shri Rama Poduval took the music out of temple premises. At a time, when the surroundings and circumstances around him were not ready for it. Knowingly or unknowingly he started a revolution which made the art popular among masses. He was later seen in movies of film makers such as G Aravindan, John Abraham etc. which later helped this art form.

Rama Poduval lead bohemian life without any external intoxication’s such as alcohol, marijuana etc.  He hailed from village called Thiruvaazhaamkunnu, near Mannarkkad in Palakkad. However he lived most of his life in Anagdipuram in Malappuram district. He was in a very intimate relationship with the village of Angadipuram and the famous Thirumanthamkunnu temple.

He is the disciple of famous Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, he also practiced Carnatic music. Njeralathu Rama Poduval is also recipient of various awards including Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar, Padma Shree etc.

Below a video of Ashatpadi rendition from the legend, enjoy!

Mayesh Babu