Welcome to Swaramandakini.com

Rise of Gharanas in Hindustani Classical Music

The present form of Hindustani Classical Music, Dhrupad and Khyal, has evolved over the past five centuries. Khyal singing offered a high degree of freedom to Artists. Individual perception of Swara (Notes), Laya (Tempo) and Tala (a rhythmic cycle of beats produced on a percussive instrument- roughly corresponding to metre in Western Music), Ragas, Compositions and voice patterns of Maestros gave birth to different Gharanas in Hindustani Classical Music, like Gwalior, Agra, Kirana, Jaipur-Atrauli, Patiala, Bhendibazaar, Indore, Mewati, Rampur-Sahaswan and Sham-Chaurasi etc.

Historical importance of the Gharanas

The Gharanas did maintain their special characteristics initially. However, with advents in transmission and recording of music, the special characteristics of Gharanas came to be absorbed by talented musicians of other Gharanas. Thus, we find many musicians in the past and present Generations, who present a beautiful blend of different Gharanas. However, one cannot overlook the historical importance of the Gharanas, their individual styles, Ragas, bandishes, and so on; which were acquired, developed and preserved by Maestros under adverse conditions.


The name sounds strange, isn’t it? It has nothing to do with a market of Bhindi (Ladies finger). BhendiBazaar is the colloquial name of the area- behind the Bazaar- (Fort, the popular name by which the commercial Heart of Bombay was and is still known). The stalwarts of the Gharana used to stay there, and they were called “Bhendi Bazaar ke Gavayye - artists of Bhendi Bazaar”, hence the name of their of Gharana, as Bhendi Bazaar Gharana; like Gwalior, Agra or KairanaGharana, etc.

Highlights of the Web Site

In the pages that follow :
i) one can get a historical information about the Gharana, its lineage, profiles of maestros and senior disciples

ii) Excerpts of live performances of UstadAman Ali Khan, Pandit Shivkumar Shukla, Master Navrang, Pandit Ramesh Nadkarni and Pandit T D Janorikar and some other senior Disciples

iii) Lyrics of 250+ Bandishes composed by UstadAman Ali Khan and Senior Disciples

iv) Audio files of 150+ Bandishes.

Please also visit the website http://oceanofragas.com (launched by the same author) which includes a database of over 1800 Ragas (with description) backed by a software tool “Raga Search Wheel” for search of Ragas by 1 through 8 options; a search wheel to find Scale-Congruent Ragas and audio samples of 850+ Ragas - The web site is virtually an audio handbook of Ragas.

Author: Sudhir V Gadre, Pune
1st May, 2009/ 13th May, 2021