Galaxy of Composers
KSHETRAGNA (1600 -1680)
Musical Background: A great scholar in music, he was a contemporary of Venkatamakhi. His original name is believed to be Varadayya. He came to be called Kshetragna (or Kshetrayya), as he went from place to place, visiting temples and other sacred places.

Region: Born in Andhra Pradesh.

Contribution: He is credited with over 4100 Padams. He perfected the Padam to what it is today. He composed in several rare Ragas, which always seem to be perfect for the emotions he was conveying in the particular Padam. It is customary to start many of his Padams at the Anupallavi and then come back to the Pallavi. They are still performed in both dance and music concerts.

Theme: The simple beauty and appeal of the lyrics and the emotional quality of the music make his Padams very moving. They deal with the themes of longing for the Lord, pangs of separation, jealousy, betrayal etc., using the Nayaka-Nayaki approach of Jayadeva.


Signature: Kshetragna seems to have been a great devotee of Gopala, the presiding deity of his village. Thus, he chose the Mudra, Muvva Gopala, for his compositions. His mudra appears in any of the section of the Padam, as opposed to the usual norm where it appears in the last section.

Language used: Telugu

Popular Compositions: Ramarama (Bhairavi), Gaddari (Kalyani), Yemandu namma (Kedaragowla), Kontegadu (Surati) and so on.


Pre-trinity composers home

Galaxy of composers home

Trinity and contemporaries

Post-trinity composers

Living composers