Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, a legend in
Carnatic classical music
, was born at Chembai in Palakkad District
in September 1896. A member of a musical family, he received his training in music from his father Shri Anantha Bhagavathar. In 1905, he made his debut performance along with his brother Shri Subramaniam at a temple in a town named
. But he became a famed vocalist after the concert conducted at the Triplicane Sangeeta Sabha in 1918. Chembai is the recipient of several honors, prominent being Padma Bhushan and
Sangeet Natak Akademi
award. Though he passed away in 1974, every year a music festival popularly known as ‘Chembai Music Festival’ is conducted in his remembrance.