Rangamantrika passes away, Yakshagana community mourns

Arts & Culture Karnataka Yakshagana

Subramanya Dhareshwara, Yakshagana artist and Bhagavatha (main singer) of Perandoor mela, passed away at his son’s residence in Bangalore on Thursday morning. He was 67. Dhareshwara who hailed from Kirimanjeshwara in Udupi district was given the nick name Rangamantrika.

He served as the Bhagvatha of Perandoor mela for 28 years after performing many years at Kota Amriteshwari mela. For his career spanning over 40 years, he got Karnataka Rajyotsava award in 2022.

Dr. Radhakrishna Urala, who runs Kala Kadamba group based on Pauvalapaya style of Yakshagana, expressed grief over the demise of Subramanya. He said “He performed Badaga Thitu form of Yakshagana which is a sub category of Paduvalaya Yakshagana and is performed between Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts.  Mr. Subramanya had a unique way directing new Prasangas (a style where poems are rendered in a musical form) and he took the performances of melas online.”

He added that Subramanya Dhareshwara incorporated modern songs into traditional ragas during his performance.

Shivarudrappa, Registrar at the Yakshagana academy said that Mr. Dhareshwara’s demise has definitely left a vacuum in the Yakshagana community. He was a Bhagavatha for  three to four big melas in northern Karnataka and lately his videos were much appreciated online, he added.

Subramanya Dhareshwara started his journey as an electrician in the Amriteshwari Mela. Later, he learned the art under the Yakshagana artist Narnappa Uppoor. He later became a Bhagavatha at the Amriteshwari Mela where he used to work.

Dr. Radhakrishna said that Subramanya Dhareshwara’s mortal remains are most likely to be taken to his home town either today or tomorrow.