No matter how modern our lifestyles become, our link to the past always stays strong. A recent video of students of the Raghu Leela School of Music (RLSM) presenting the Nagara Sankeerthane is a fine example of this.
What is the Nagara Sankeerthane?
Nagara Sankeerthane is an old custom where musicians and dancers walked through residential areas while singing devotional songs. The custom gradually lost its luster over time but it is being slowly brought back to life.
The video that brought it into the spotlight
A video of a group of Raghu Leela School of Music students being led by a dancer shone a light on the Nagara Sankeerthane custom.
The video may be only 8-minutes long but it gathered 6.3 million views in just two days. While the students sign bhajans accompanied by a few cymbals, the dancer illustrates the words with her mudras and expressions.
The Raghu Leela School of Music restarted the practice about 3 years ago. It was paused for 9 months during the COVID-19 pandemic and has recently been restarted. Early, on the first Sunday of every month, students walk from one temple to another for about an hour singing devotional songs for people enroute.
Over time, they have expanded their musical repertoire to include vachanas, folk songs, tatva padas and patriotic songs. They have also started the practice in Shringeri and Udupi.
About the Raghu Leela School of Music
The Raghu Leela School of Music is based in Mysuru. It was started in 2003 by Sunitha Chandrakumar, a prominent singer and composer. The school was a tribute to her gurus.
Since its inception, the school has hosted quarterly and annual programs to showcase its student’s talents. The school has over 200 students between the ages of 10 and 60 years. Many students have gone on to sing professionally, win awards, and release music albums.