About Gamaka

Gamaka is a traditional art unique to Karnataka. It brings alive great epics for the benefit of the common man. Gamaka is centuries old, believed to date back to the time when Valmiki narrated the Ramayana and twins Lava-Kusha sang them.

Gamaka includes rendition of the verses in epics like Torave Ramayana and Kumaravyasa Mahabharata set to a classical raga, and an interpretation of the same with a brief explanation generally called vyakyana.

Earlier Gamakis were part of Maharaja's court, but their art was not limited to the palace. They sang at temple, wedding, village katte, popularising it among the people. The art slowly faded away but was revived during the 1900's  by eminent persons of literature like Prof. A.R. Krishna Shastry, D.V. Gundappa and others. Gamaki gained ground during G. Narayana's tenure as Kannada Sahitya Parishat's President and later as Karnataka Gamaka Kala Parishat's President since 1982.

Some of the early Gamakis included Abhinava Kalidasa Late Basavappa Shastry, Late Bharat Bindurao, Late Krishnagiri Krishna Rao and Late Shakuntalabai Panduranga Rao while the recent names include B.S.S. Koushik, Hosahalli Keshavamurthy, Gangamma Keshavamurthy and others.

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