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Sri Kamakshi Mandali & Sri Geetha Govinda Mandali, Perambur

In modern world, the Kaliyuga, very few Avatara Purushas appear to emancipate and elevate the suffering human beings. Foremost among them in recent times is the Maha Periyava (Paramacharyal) who strode India like a colossus for a full century as the head of the hoary Kanchi Sankara Mutt. At the behest of Maha Periyava, Sri Kamakshi Mandali was started in the year 1967 in Perambur to chant Slokas dedicated to the Gods of Hindu Pantheon in an orderly manner and set to the scales of popular ragas. Ladies of Perambur started congregating between 10 and 11:30 AM every day to musically chant slokas dedicated to Guru, Ganesha, Saraswati, Subramanya, Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu, Rama, Krishna, Mahalakshmi, Tulasi, Navagraha, Ayyappa and Anchaneya in an orderly sequence. Even as the chanting of Slokas was being conducted with vigor and devotion, the musical inclination of some key participants gave birth to the idea of also rendering Bhajans. Thus Sri Geetha Govinda Mandali was born in 1976. The participants of both Sri Kamakshi Mandali and Sri Geetha Govinda Mandali were almost the same and they enjoyed and reveled in singing Bhajans, Ashtapadi, Tarangam, Abhang, etc. The enthusiastic lady-members of both the Mandalis decided to adhere to a more taxing but rewarding schedule - They dedicated 9:30 to 10:30 AM for Slokas chanting (Sri Kamakshi Mandali) and 10:30 AM to 12:00 Noon for Bhajans singing (Sri Geetha Govinda Mandali). While the slokas rendition was predominantly steeped in Bhakti rasa, the Bhajans and Ashtapadi singing set to various Rags was also imbued with Kala rasa, an artistic flavor!

Today, both Sri Kamakshi Mandali and Sri Geetha Govinda Mandali of Perambur have earned stellar reputation across the country among bhakthas and rasikas. The women of Perambur (mostly house-wives) have proven that they can meaningfully and successfully create and run such institutions with hardly much help from men!