I present to, you, Sir, Shri Balasubramanya Sastrigal, popularly known as Balu Bhagavatar. Shri Balasubramanya was born in 1897 in the village of Melattur in Tanjore District. He received his training in the Bhagavata Mela Natakam art from Shri Sitarama Battachariar, Shri Vaithyanatha Bhagavatar, Shri Bharatam Natesa Iyer and Shri Muthukrishna Iyer. For several years now Shri Balu Bhagavatar has been the principal preceptor for the Bhagavata Mela plays presented as part of the annual temple festival at Melattur. He has also been a teacher in this art for many years. For his dedicated and sustained work in the field, he has received various titles and honours. For his contribution to the enrichment of the Bhagavata Mela Natakam, Shri Balasubra- manya Sastrigal receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.