Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar

Chembai was a well renowned musician in Carnatic style. He was very religious and an ardent devotee of Lord Sree Guruvayurappan. From the age of 20, he never missed Lord Guruvayurappan's darshan every Ekadasi day.

In 1931, on the Ekadasi day, a musical concert was organised at Calicut under the auspices of Zamurin Rajah. When he entered for appearance on the platform he found that he could not utter a single word. The performance was postponed, he rushed to Guruvayur and on that Ekadasi day he poured his heart before Lord Guruvayurappan. A non-descript Namboodiri whom he met there administered some medicine. He regained his voice immediately and gave the performance in Calicut out of schedule. That day he found a new voice and vigor and his performance was rated high by one and all.

Since then he made it a point to conduct Udayasthamana pooja and musical concert on the Ekadasi day. After his death on 16th October 1974, his disciples and Guruvayur Devaswom decided to commemorate Chembai's name by conducting Chembai 39 Sangeetholsavam every year during Ekadasi. It was initially a four day festival, but is now for 15 days due to the increase in the number of participants in the events.