While it is known that the Music Academy honoured women with the Sangita Kalanidhi from 1968 (first recipient M.S. Subbulakshmi), The Indian Fine Arts Society began recognising women in the 1930s itself.

In 1936, it awarded the Harikatha Marga Prasanga Darshini to C. Saraswathi Bai.

Then the Tamil Isai Sangam presented the Isai Perarignar to K.B. Sundarambal in 1966.

Published today in The Hindu -http://www.thehindu.com/arts/music/article2729818.ece