GURU KAARAIKKUDI MANI
Karaikudi Mani is an Indian percussionist, primarily adept in the mridangam. He is regarded by many Carnatic connoisseurs and aficionados as one of the all-time greats in mridangam. He received his first national award at the age opf 18 from the then President of India, Radhakrishnan. For the next four decades, he declined scores of prestigious awards that were offered to him, until 1999 when he accepted the national award from "Sangeeth Natak Academy". This was presented by the President of India at the time, K. R. Narayanan. In 1989 he founded the Sruthi Laya Seva School that now has centres at Chennai, Bangalore, Australia, London, USA, and Canada.