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Oothukadu venkata subba iyer


Friday, 1 January, 1700 to Tuesday, 1 January, 1765


He was also popularly known as venkata kavi. He is believed to have spent his entire life at the oothakkadu Kalinga Narthana Temple, composing songs in praise of Lord Krishna. He lived in the early part of 18th century prior to the period of the trinity of carnatic music. He was known for his extreme bakthi and advaita philosophy. Though he sang primarily on the presiding deity Lord Krishna, he has also composed songs on other deities including Shiva and Parvathi.

Brief history: 

Venkata Subramanian (later known as Venkata Kavi) was born as the eldest son of Subbu Kutti Iyer. Their family resided in a  village around the town of Mannargudi. Venkata Kavi  moved to the village of Oothukadu (near Kumbakonam )later. Legend has it that, Venkata Kavi did not find a proper guru in that place and hence prayed to Lord Krishna for a guru. Lord Krishna himself became Venkata Kavi’s guru . Venkata Kavi mentions this in one of his compositions, Guru Paadaravindam. Some scholars suggest that Bhaskara Raya was Venkata Kavi’s guru and his guide in the worship of Goddess Devi.

Musical Journey: 

Venkata Kavi believed that bhakthi was the path to spiritual enlightenment and his music reflected that. His music knowledge was vast and he was adept at using many ragas and his approach was vey distinct. His command over the language and his vivid imagination stand out in his compositions. Venkata Kavi created many musical operas.


Venkata Kavi’s popular operas include – Krishna Ganam, Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Daksha Yagam, Pranavopadesham among others. He has composed several kritis including Saptaratnas, Navavarnams and Anjaneya Ratnas.




Kuzhaloodhi Manamellam



Swagatham Krishna



Thaaye Yeshodha




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