Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Parassala Ponnammal is a living legend of Carnatic music who is hailing from Parassala  of
Trivandrum district and was born in the year 1924.She is having seven decades of experience 
as a Carnatic vocalist and 38 years of teaching experience.Several of her students are well
famed professionals at present.
She was initiated to music by Paramu Pillai Bhagavathar and afterwards taught by
 Ramaswamy Bhagavathar who instucted her parents to select music as her main subject  for
higher studies.While she was studying music under Vaidyanatha Aiyer she won a gold medal 
held to mark the birthday celebration of Chithira Thirunal Maharajah.Thus she was allowed

 to join Swathi Thirunal Music Academy of Trivandrum.She became the first woman to pass out Gana Bhooshanam course from the Music Academy.In between her studies there she had
already joined as a teacher at Govt.Cotton Hill High  School Trivandrum.
In 1952 Ponnamma joined Swathi Thirunal Music Academy as a Teacher and she was the first 
woman in that category there.In 1970 she was appointed as Principal of RLV College of Music and Fine Arts,Tripunithura where she served in that post up to 1980 till retirement.
Ponnamma used to sing for All India Radio and Door Darshan and she  is an A grade artist there.
She is 'A' grade artiste of All India Radio for the last fifty years.
Her outstanding classical renditioins includes 'Guruvayoor Puresa Suprabhatham', 'Thrissiva Peroor Suprabhatham', 'Ulsava Prabandham,Navaratri Kriti,Meenambika Sthothram, and

also Composition of Irayimman Thampi and K.C.Kesava Pillai'.Her rendition further includes
Shri Padmanabha Shathakam of Shri Swathi Thirunal.
She is recipient of several awards.She is conferred the title 'Gayaka Ratnam' by Princess
Karthika Thirunal in 1996.
She received Kerala  Government Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award in 1976 and Fellowship in 2002.
She received 'Acharya Kala Bharati Award'from Chennai in 2008.
She was given 'Acharya Ratnakara Award' from Cleveland Thyagaraja Ulsavam in the USA
in the year 2009.
In 2010 she received 'Swathi Puraskaram,Guruvayoorappan Chembai Puraskaram,
Central Government Sangeeta Nataka Academy Award' and many more.
In 2006 Ponnammal became the first woman to perform at the Navarathri Mandapam

during the Navarathri festivals at Thruvananthapuram which is annually held for the 
last 177 years.
Her significant hard work,devotion,and utmost commitment for the uplift of her profession
is looked upon by youngsters with deep admiration.The veteran singer still conducts 
music concerts and maintains the traditional aspects of the art.

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