Renowned music composer Ilaiyaraaja was awarded the Harivarasanam Award for 2020 by the Kerala Government.
- ‘Harivarasanam’ is a Malayalam devotional song written in eight stanzas, called ‘Ashtakam’.
- It was written by Kambakudi Kulathur Srinivasa Iyer, a guruswami, in 1947.
- It is recited at Sabarimala (the principal Ayyappan pilgrimage site), before closing the temple door every night.
- Criteria: The award is given to a person for their contribution to propagate the spirit of secularism, equanimity, and universal brotherhood of Sabarimala through the songs.
- Cash prize: ₹1,00,000.
- Instituted by: Kerala state government and the Travancore Devaswom Board.
- Instituted in: 2012.
- Previous recipients of the award: KJ Yesudas (2012), KG Jayan (2013), M Jayachandran (2014), SP Balasubrahmanyam (2015), MG Sreekumar (2016), Gangai Amaran (2017) and KS Chitra (2018) and P Susheela (2019).
Source : Times of India