Sikkil Kunjumani

Sikkil Kunjumani

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Category: Music

Sikkil Kunjumani Profile

  • Name:
  • Sikkil Kunjumani
  • Born:
  • June 10, 1927
  • Died:
  • November 13, 2010
  • Spouse:
  • K. S. Venkataraman

Sikkil Kunjumani Biography

Sikkil Kunjumani along with her younger sister Sikkil Neela are together known as ‘Sikkil Sisters’ – the famous female flautists of Carnatic music. They inherited music from their family, and was born to Azhiyur Natesa Iyer was a mridangist. Most of the family members are musicians, associated with flute, including Sikkil Mala Chandrasekar, the daughter of Sikkil Neela, who carries forward the family legacy. Sikkil Kunjumani’s grandson Sikkil Gurucharan, quite different from other family members, a member of fourth generation of music is a well-known Carnatic vocalist with a promising career. The sisters were married to K. S. Venkataraman, who worked in Air Force during World war second and later. Her step-daughter alias niece Sikkil Mala Chandrasekar has accompanied Sikkil Sisters for their live concerts for many years before she embarked on a solo journey.


Sikkil Kunjumani was the elder of the sisters, and she was born on 10 June 1927. She was initiated to the world of music by her father and later uncle Azhiyur Narayanaswami Iyer became her formal guru in flute. Years later Kunjumani taught her younger sister (born in 1940) and served as her mentor too. Her first public performance was done when she was aged 9 and later started giving solo concerts. After her marriage with K. S. Venkataraman, she moved to Mumbai, and her musical journey was well supported by him. After 10 years she moved back to Chennai with her husband, taught her younger sister, continued learning under her father as well.


Since 1962 the sisters started performing together, and they earned fame as Sikkil Sisters. Her husband later married her younger sister. She performed with her sister till her death in 2010. The Sikkil earned many honours and recognitions. Kalaimamani given by the Tamil Nadu Sangeetha Nataka Sangam was their first honour, which they received in 1973. It was followed by prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Shri.


Published: June 05, 2019

Updated: June 05, 2019


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