Exponent of Sopanam Music
Shornnur, Palakkad, Kerala
An exponent of sopanam music, Sri.Njeralath Harigovindan is the sixth descendant of the veteran sopanam musician Sri.Njeralath Ramapothuval, who played a significant role in popularising sopanam music by bringing this art from within the walls of temple. Harigovindan’s contribution to sopanam music is worth mentioning. Performing around 5000 stages, he took an initiative to create an interest to this art among youngsters in Indian and abroad unbiasedly. An author of three artistic works, he is the recipient of 14 various awards. Harigovindan penned, directed, and sang about 50 new songs and is credited as the first musician to present the eminent works such as ‘Vande mataram’, ‘Daivadasakam’,’Soorathul Fatiha’ in sopanam style. He is the master brain of the first ‘state sopanam music festival’(2014), ‘penpattu’(2015),the first women music festival and ‘pattolam’(2016),the first kerala music festival conducted at Shornnur in the banks of the sacred Bharathapuzha. At 35, in the fond memory of his father, Harigovindan established ‘Njeralath kala asramam’ by idolizing ‘idakka’ in the sanctum sanctorum at Angadipuram in Malappuram district. This is also the first temple to idolize an effigy of a musical instrument. “Art alone is the god of all artists” states Harigovindan. He serves as the founder and managing trustee of Njeralath Ramapothuval Public Charitable Trust.
Kerala sangeetha nadaka academy honoured him with an award in 2016 for his contributions in – popularising ‘kottipadisseva’ which was strictly a temple art, by bringing together all the sopanam musicians followed by a collection of music and data – conducting ‘harigovindam’, a new musical venture using idakka and mizhavu – propagating sopanam music and other music forms in kerala – other contributions and services to the world of music. This award becomes dignified for the fact that, Harigovindan was not even an applicant for the award selection. His father received the same award at 65. Presently he is engaged with a demonstration programme among school students and other pupil around the world. ‘Harigovindam’, a 2 hour presentation of combining socially relevant poems, geethagovindam, ancestral sopana keerthanam along with idakka and mizhavu is his key performance. He is also engaged in forming Kerala’s first Kerala music academy in Paruthipra, Shornnur. He was the first Malayalam singer to advocate with proof that sopanam music was only a folksong of a minority group who was allowed entry to the temple and kerala music is the conglomerate of music of the majority muslim-christian populace outside the temple. He considers drought, communalism and capitalism to be the major challenge in our society. He is fully engaged in agricultural activities, rainwater harvesting and forestry. An artist committed to art and related activities, Harigovindan is most concerned about the triviality of art forms and their artists. He takes an initiative to popularize and bring them to the forefront with an altruistic and dedicated effort. He showed bravery in presenting geetham with idakka during Ramadan – 2 hour presentation of harigovindam in Angamaly Kanjoor church and also showed courage to make a muslim, Jowshal Babu sing with idakka in his ‘idakka temple’. His contributions to the world of art at this young age are incredible.
An active member of social media such as Youtube, he is of the strong opinion that art should not be performed for the sake of competition and Guinness like achievements. Art is not a matter of buffoonery. Born in Angadipuram Palakkod village in Malappuram district, Harigovindan presently resides near Shornnur railway station. His father veteran sopanam singer Njeralath Ramapothuval deceased on August 13,1996. Kolleri Lakshmikuttiyamma, his mother is alive. He has 2 brothers and 4 sisters. His spouse Maya is a mathematics lecturer. Sreelakshmi, his only daughter is a 12th std student.
Reach out at
Oruma village, Thekke road
Ganeshagiri (p o), Shornnur
Palakkad district, Pin- 679123