Book Description

“The death of the Rajah of Travancore has excited far more, both attention and regret, than usually follows the decease of a native prince. Both intellectually and morally, he was indeed far beyond his country and equals in rank, in both respects he might have taken a high place among the most enlightened of European Sovereigns had his destiny been so cast. ”
Thus ran an obit in the Western Press. The ruler in focus was the king & composer Maharaja Swati Tirunal who passed away at the age of thirty-three.
He left behind a lasting legacy in a short span. Endowed with prodigious talent, he equipped himself with incredible scholarship in multifarious genres at a very young age. This enabled him to straddle the twin fields of art and administration with awe-inspiring proficiency. He ascended the throne at the age of sixteen. In the next sixteen years that marked the period of his reign, he initiated a series of path-breaking reforms for the betterment of Travancore, braving the opposition of the British. For all the stress and pressure he was under as a Head of State, it was truly remarkable that he enriched the coffers of Classical music with an incredible corpus of compositions numbering approximately five hundred! Among them were a few in the genre of Hindustani music too. Never before in the history of Carnatic music, had a musician composed in both these classical styles. Swati Tirunal was as much at ease with Dhrupads and Khyals as he was with varnams and kritis. The gushing surge of his creativity also took the form of several literary works. The poetic and musical worth of his compositions have long captured the interest of scholars and musicians, and remain very much in vogue today.

“Maharaja Swati Tirunal—A King and a Composer” is the world’s first graphic biography of one of India’s greatest king-composers. It gives a kaleidoscopic view of his life and contributions as well as the developments that culminated in his premature death. The controversy that surfaced within a hundred years of his demise completes the tragic story of this unsurpassed monarch. This book is a Collector’s edition, with authentic photographs, an autographed poster and graphic depictions that portray with remarkable accuracy the feel of the times. The script has been thoroughly researched and this tight 24 page edition is complete in all respects, as has been endorsed whole-heartedly by Prince Rama Varma, descendent of Maharaja Swati Tirunal and a performing musician himself as well as by Prof. Dr. Achuthsankar S. Nair, a well respected scholar in the subject.

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Note:Copies available in all leading book stores & online portals.

mahar sw

“Thoroughly-researched and meticulously-prepared graphic biography on the Maharaja.”

Prince Aswathi Tirunal Rama Varma ( Musician and Musicologist
Descendant of Maharaja Swati Tirunal )

s nair

“Lakshmi’s eye for detail and rigour in factual verification lend this seemingly light book impressive depth.”

Prof.Dr.Achuthsankar S.Nair
( Musicologist and Researcher on Swati Tirunal )