You're browsing: Home / Meri awaaz suno / The Shanmukhananda Hall celebrated its Golden Jubilee

The Shanmukhananda Hall celebrated its Golden Jubilee

Article by

The Shanmukhananda Hall celebrated its Golden Jubilee just 2 years back. On a muggy, monsoon evening in Mumbai, actor Dilip Kumar and music director Naushad saab were among those who listened enchanted as Srikkanth Narayan, a leading singer of the `Keep Alive’ music group, committed to preserve and popularise the melodious Hindi film music of the 1950s and 1960s belted out a meaningful number Insaf ka mandir hain, bhagwan ka ghar hain. The song, from the 1950s film “Amar”, produced and directed by the late Mehboob Khan and pictured on Dilip Kumar, had lyrics by Sahir saab, its music composed by Naushad saab and the songs sung by Mohammad Rafi. It was appropriate that the noble sentiments of the song stressing communal unity, national integration and equality before God found an immediate echo among the packed audience at Mumbai’s Shanmukhananda Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Auditorium which completed 50 years on August 31st 2002.

Mohd Rafi and various other legendary playback and film artists have given various performances in the Shanmukhananda Hall.

When Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, at a meeting in Bombay in the early 1950s, lamented the absence of a large auditorium in the city, a group of Matunga citizens decided to build a hall that could accommodate more than 3,000 people. Matunga music lovers including T. V. Ramanujam, R. S. Mani, S. R. Kasturi, S. Seshadri had three local cultural organisations merged and collected money through donations, loans and cultural shows. The sabha, started in 1952, had the building ready in August 1963 at a cost of Rs. 27 lakhs.

As the temple of music came into being on August 22, 1963, a sanctum was constructed for Lord Shanmukhananda and on June 5, 1966, the artistic abode of the Nadabrahmam was consecrated with full religious fervour. Shanmukhananda stands for national integration and cultural synthesis. The sabha is a national institute of fine arts and the golden jubilee celebration only stresses its rightful place in the world of culture. After renovation, the capacity of the hall was reduced from 3,012 to 2,787, but it is still the largest auditorium this side of the Suez.

The statue of Lord Shanmukha sculpted by L. Somanatha Stapathi of Tiruchi under the guidance of Ganapati Stapathi, Head of School of Sculpture, Tamil Nadu, was unveiled on June 3, 1970. The redesigned and renovated auditorium after the disastrous fire on February 28, 1990, presents a picture of luxury, aesthetic beauty and comfort. The stage offers all modern amenities for the performers.

Hailed as a premier cultural institution in the country, the sabha was almost razed to the ground by a disastrous, freak fire in 1990. An Operation Rebuild was launched which has so far cost Rs. 14 lakhs. The sabha elicited patronage from all political parties that regarded it as a shining cultural symbol of Maharashtra.

Proclaim your love for Rafi Sahab on twitter

Post your Comment on this Blog

If your comments hit the moderation queue, comments will be moderated within 7 days.

Post your Comment on Facebook

Receive updates in your inbox. Enter your email address:

Other Writeups

Social Collaboration