Sikkil Neela

Sikkil Neela

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Category: Music

Sikkil Neela Profile

  • Name:
  • Sikkil Neela
  • Born:
  • September 9, 1938
  • Spouse:
  • K. S. Venkataraman

Sikkil Neela Biography

Sikkil Neela along with her elder sister Sikkil Kunjumani 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. The Sikkil sisters 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. Sangeetha Kalasikhamani and Sangeetha Kalanidhi are other major honours received by them.


Most of the family members are musicians, associated with flute, including Sikkil Mala Chandrasekar, her daughter, who carries forward the family legacy. She accompanied Sikkil Sisters for their live concerts for many years before she embarked on a solo journey. 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 1947-1961, and was a ground engineer during World war second.


Sikkil Neela was born on 9 September 1940. She is 13 years younger to her elder sister, and later married her sister’s husband 15 years senior to her. She was initiated to the world of music by her sister, who served as her mentor too. Her first public performance was done when she was aged 7 and later started giving concerts with her sister since 1962, till her death in 2010. She received musical lessons from her elder sister after she moved back from Mumbai, after staying there for 10 years with her husband. Later K. S. Venkataraman married her also and their musical journey was well supported by him. The sisters started performing together, and they earned fame as Sikkil Sisters.

Published: June 05, 2019

Updated: June 05, 2019


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