Yakshagana exponent Subrahmanya Dhareshwar passes away

He was revered for filling the vacuum that arose after the departure of Kalinga Navada, who had created a new wave in Yakshagana.


Published Apr 25, 2024 | 4:38 PMUpdatedApr 25, 2024 | 4:38 PM

Subrahmanya Dhareshwar

Yakshagana thespian Subrahmanya Dhareshwar (67), who had earned the fame of ‘Bhagavata Shrestha’ for his scintillating voice, passed away on Thursday, 25 April in Bengaluru.

Family sources said the end came at his son’s house in Bengaluru in the morning following a brief illness.

He is survived by his wife, son and a daughter.

He was revered for filling the vacuum that arose after the departure of Kalinga Navada, who had created a new wave in Yakshagana in the Badguthittu version.

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Career of Subrahmanya Dhareshwar

Subrahmanya Dhareshwar had served 46 years in the field of Yakshagana, a unique dance form from coastal Karnataka, which involves distinct singing, dancing and drama styles that have a resemblance with the Theyyam art form of neighbouring Kerala.

Dhareshwar had served as the main singer for 28 years in Perdoor Mela alone and before that, he had started his journey in Amriteshwari Mela.

As a disciple of Upparu Naranappa Bhagavata, he sang in thousands of Yakshagana ballets held all over Karnataka, some in other states and few in other countries.

Contemporary to the iconic Yakshagana singer Kaalinga Navada, Dhareshwar had sung in Yakshagana episodes enacted by top artistes like Chittani Ramachandra Hegde, Gode Narayan Hegde, Krishna Yaji Ballur, Kondadakuli Ramachandra Hegde and many more.

Born in Gokarna in Uttara Kannada district in 1957, he used to practice music and perform.

People express condolences

The news about ‘Bhagavata Shreshtha’ sent a shockwave among the Yakshagana aficionados, many of whom would attend the Yakshagana events to listen to his songs.

He was a source of inspiration for many young Yakshagana enthusiasts who would cherish singing like him in the loud and roaring voice that sometimes would give goosebumps to his audiences.

Mourning his demise, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he was saddened by the news about the death of Subrahmanya Dhareshwar, a well-known Yakshagana Bhagavat of the coastal region.

Dhareshwar, who entertained art lovers with his melodious voice for 45 years, is known for his experiments in the Yakshagana singing, he noted.

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