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Irayimman Thampi

Ravi Varman Thampi, better known as Irayimman Thampi (1782–1856), was a Carnatic musician as well as a music composer from Travancore, India. He was a vocalist in the court of Swathi Thirunal. His compositions include the lullaby Omanathinkal Kidavo.


  • Life 1
  • Compositions 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Ravi Varman Thampi was named after his grandfather. He was born in 1783 to Kerala Varma Thampuran, of the royal family of Cherthala, and Parvathi Pillai Thankachi of the Puthumana Ammaveedu Thampi family, daughter of Prince Makayiram Thirunal Ravi Varma and niece of the Maharajah Dharma Raja of Travancore. (Prince Makayiram Thirunal was the younger brother of Dharma Raja). His name was popularised as Irayimman Thampi. Thampi was brought up at a house called Kizhake Madhom by his parents. His early education was from his father but later he went under the tutorship of Shankaran Elayathu in grammar, linguistics and Sanskrit literature. He wrote his first poem when he was 14 and dedicated it to Karthika Thirunal Dharma Raja of Travancore. Thereafter he occupied an enviable position in the Travancore court.

Irayiman Thampi married Kalli Pillai Thankachi, daughter of his maternal uncle Puthumana Krishnan Thampi, and together they had seven children including a daughter who continued her father's artistic and poetic legacy, Lakshmi Kutty Pillai Thankachi, better known as Kutty Kunju Thankachi (1820–1914). She grew into a prominent poetess and got many rewards from her cousin and king Swathi Thirunal. Another daughter of Thampi was married by Sri Narayanan Thampi of Arumana, son of Maharajah Visakham Thirunal. Irayimman Thampi was already thirty one years of age when Swathi Thirunal Maharajah was born.

Irayimman Thampi wrote the lullaby Omanathinkal Kidavo for Swathi Thirunal. He died in 1856.

Swathi Thirunal referred to Ravi Varman Thampi as Thampi maman (uncle Thampi). He had the occasion to write a lullaby for Swathi Thirunal and ironically also wrote a charama sloka for Swathi in 1848.


Some of his Kritis (compositions) are

  • Omanathinkal Kidavo - set in Rāga Neelambari
  • Karuna Cheyvan - set in Shree ragam
  • Somapoma - set in Rāga Saveri
  • Aarodu Cholvene - set in Rāga Nadamakriya
  • Adimalar - set in Rāga Mukhari
  • Ambā gauri girikanyē - stava varNam - Ārabhi
  • Pāhimām giritanayē - sāvērī - miśra cāpu
  • Nityamāśrayē - rītigauḷa - Ādi
  • Kamalādikalām - khāmbhōji
  • prananadhan enikku nalkiya


External links

  • Irayimman Thampi's works Vaikhari Digital Archive-Carnatic Music Section
  • About Irayimman Thampi
  • Irayimman Thampi Biography
  • Govt of Kerala
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