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Kirana Gharana

Kirana Gharana

Today, we shall discuss Kirana Gharana in Hindustani Classical Music.

There is much debate about ‘to whom should we consider as the founder of this Kirana Gharana?’ Some mention the name of famous Bin Player Bande Ali Khan Saheb and others name Dhondu and Dhannu brothers. As per the anecdote related with Kirana Gharana, Dhondu and Dhannu were great devotees of Lord Shrikrishna. At the end of their worship through their singing, they would always ask for a boon, “O Lord, please grant our singing the same melody that your flute has!” Lord was pleased and granted those brothers what they always had wished for. This is considered as the origin of the melodious Kirana Gharana.

The name Kirana Gharana, has its roots in the name of a small village near Ambala in North India. Bin player Bande Ali Khan Saheb was from this village.

Though, there are always some arguments about the founder of this Kirana Gharana in Indian Classical Music, yet everybody agrees that Khan Abdul Karim Khan Saheb was the one who offered this Kirana Gharana a high repute.

Kirana Gharana Artist
(Ustad Majid Khan, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and Ustad Abdul Haqq Khan of the Kirana gharana.)

He had his formal musical training from his father Kale Khan, uncle Abdulla Khan and Haidar Baksha. Abdul Karim Khan Saheb’s disciples are Sawai Gandharva (Rambhau Kundgolkar), Suresh Babu Mane, Roshan Aara Begum. Vishwanath Buva Jadhav, Behere Buva, Kapileshwari Buva, Hirabai Badodekar (Abdul Karim Khan Saheb and Hirabai should be given the credit to make classical music popular in the society. They would arrange their concerts in local theaters.), Saraswati Rane, Prabha Atre (it is the greatness of her singing, with which she made Kirana Gharana singing in Hindustani Classical Music popular in foreign countries also), Firoz Dastur are the famous singers of Kirana Gharana in Indian Classical Music. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal are the disciples of Sawai Gandharva. Music reviewer Dr. Sulabha Thakar, assuring singers like Kaivalyakumar Gurav and Jayteertha Mevundi are also the singers from this Gharana. These days this Gharana is at the peak of popularity.

Salient feature of Kirana Gharana:

A popular proverb related with this Gharana is ‘ताल गया तो बाल गया, सूर गया तो सिरही गया’ i.e. if you lose Taal in singing, you will lose your hair. But if you lose Soor, you will lose your head. This is the importance of Soor in this Gharana.

Melody, gentleness, deepest emotions in singing are the foremost characteristic of this Gharana. Therefore, some describe this Gharana as the Gharana of romantic singing. Not only the singers, but also when the Tanpuras of this Gharana start their tunes, listeners get enthralled.   Todi, Jogiya, Malkans, Shuddha Kalyan are some of the most widely Raag in this Kirana Gharana. Some famous singers from this Gharana added more charm in the qualities of this Gharana and advancement.

  • Interesting Fact: 

Legendary Indian Classical singer Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi had a less known angle to his personality.

He was wanderlust, an authority swimmer, a dedicated yoga enthusiast and a football player in his young days. He also had a great love for riding bikes and driving cars. He also was interested in trains and their mechanical engineering. Every vehicle would attract his attention.

Read about his car love here… Pandit Bhimsen Joshi : Become a car lover

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