Temple Board award for Yesudas
†Eminent playback singer and classical vocalist K J Yesudas has been chosen for the first ''Harivarasanam'' award of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the statutory body that manages major temples in south Kerala, including the famed Sabarimala hill temple.
Besides his valuable contributions to music, Yesudas's dedication to secular values was also taken into account while choosing him for the honour, Kerala Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar told a press meet here today.
The prize, comprising a purse of Rs 50,000, citation and memento, would be presented to the singer on 'Vishu' (Malayalam new year) day in April, TDB president M Rajagopalan Nair said.
An ardent devotee of Lord Ayyappa, Yesudas has rendered scores of highly appreciated devotional songs dedicated to the presiding deity of Sabarimala temple.
His highly popular song "harivarasanam...." the title of the award, is played in the shrine every evening.
Yesudas, who celebrated his 72nd birthday at Kollur Mookambika temple in Karnataka last week, is seen as a living symbol of religious harmony by his huge fan following.
He has sung hundreds of Hindu, Christian and Muslim devotional songs in a career spanning over 50 years.
Significantly, a verse of saint-reformer Sree Narayana Guru who preached the message of "one caste, one religion and one God for man", was the first film song rendered by Yesudas' mellifluous voice on November 14, 1961.