Hi great forum, I'm Delta (my previous username was lost) and next Xmas I have the lucky opportunity to come back in India. I will stay in Tamil Nadu (Madurai, Tanjore, Pondicherry, mainly). I think it's a good opportunity to listen sitar players and maybe (why not) buy a good sitar. Any information about musicians to contact and to listen and places or contacts where to buy a sitar are welcome. Thanks very much.
Tanjore is reputed to be one of the great music towns of the south. I've been trying like hell to research the whereabouts of shops there. So far - no luck. I plan to be there on my yearly shopping tour this Februarey to see if it's possible to scare up a some good Carnatic stuff. In Madras (Chennai) there is Saptaswara and Surela. I missed seeing them last year as my shedule got screwed up and I could only be in Madras one day (Sunday) doh!!! Don't know what kind of quality they offer. It's not that long a train-ride from Madras to Calcutta. You might want to consider that as that's where its at for Sitars. Most shops in India sell generic rubbish and as the focus in the south is on Carnatic music, good sitars are likely going to be scarce. I've seen lots of live music in Tamil Nadu and not once did any of it involve sitars. Tamils are very proud of their Dravidian heritage and that mostly involves instruments that are particular to Dravidian culture.