The book presents a wealth of information on the music rituals in temples at various places in south India. Following visits to a number of temples and based on interviews with temple artistes, the author shows that the musical traditions of temples differ from temple to temple, particularly from Vaishnavite to Shaivite temples.
Beginning with the place of music in the Vedas, the book discusses music itself as a form of worship and the role of temples in promoting it. It focuses on the musical contributions of Nayanmars and Alvars whose hymns are sung today as a daily ritual in many temples, and compares their music. It concentrates on both vocal and instrumental music, dance forms as rituals in temples, and music and singing involved in temple festivals. Many interesting inscriptions and sculptures related to dance and music have also been taken up for discussion. In a fascinating attempt, the author has dealt with unique music traditions in some temples of south India like ragas associated with specific temples only and the tradition of nadasvaram playing in Tiruvarur temple.
The volume will enthral scholars of Indology, particularly those involved in study of religious art and music traditions.