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Arunachala Kavi (Tamil: அருணாசல கவி) (?1711 - ?1788) was a Tamil poet and a composer of Carnatic music. He was born in Tillaiyadi in Tanjavur district in Tamil Nadu. The three Tamil composers Arunachala Kavi, Muthu Thandavar and Marimutthu Pillai are considered the Tamil Trinity, who contributed to the evolution of Carnatic music.


Arunachala Kavi was fluent in Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit. He wrote Rama Natakam, a musical drama based on the Ramayana. The music for this musical was composed by two of Arunachala Kavi's disciples, Kothandarama Iyer and Venkatarama Iyer. The songs contain many Tamil proverbs and sayings.

This musical drama was first performed at the Srirangam temple and within a short time it became very popular. Kavirayar was honoured by Maharaja Tulaja, the King of Tanjavur, and by several other patrons of that time. He also composed Seergazhi Sthala Puranam (sirkali), Seergazhi Kovai, Hanumar Pillai Tamil, Ajomukhi Natakam and a few Keertanas.

Some of his famous compositions still popular today are Yaro ivar yaro (Bhairavi), Kanden Kanden Sitayai (Vasanta), Ramanai Kannara Kandane (Mohanam).


  • M. V. Ramana, Pre-trinity composers of Tamil Nadu -
  • Lena Tamilvanan (Ed), (in Tamil) Thamizh Mummanikalin kiirththanaikal, Manimekalai Publications, Chennai 600 017, 1987 (லேனா தமிழ்வானன் (பதிபாசிரியர்), தமிழ் மும்மணிகளின் கீர்த்தனைகள், மணிமேகலைப் பிரசுரம், சென்னை 600 017, முதற்பதிப்பு 1987).


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