|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
|Birth name||Baijnath Mishra|
Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh
|Genres||Indian classical music singer|
Baiju Bawra or Baijnath Prasad or Baijnath Mishra (1542–1613) was an Indian dhrupad singer. He was the court musician of Raja Mansingh Tomar of Gwalher, now Gwalior, along with Nayak Charju, Bakshu,Tansen and others. Much of the information on Baiju Bawra is legendary and not historically verifiable.
Bawra was born in Chanderi (Gwalior division)on Sharad Purnima in the month of Ashwini in 1599 according to Vikram Samvat calendar (1542 CE). He was called Bawra (crazy) because he was insanely in love with Kalavati dancer in Chanderi. Baiju learnt Dhrupad music by Guru HariDas Goswami in Vrindavan.
Bawra was a musician at the court of the Raja of Chanderi (now in the Guna District of Madhya Pradesh). Later, he became a musician at the court of Raja Mansingh of Gwalher (modern Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh). Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat had also patronized Baiju.
According to historical books preserved in Jai Vilas Mahal in Gwalior, he would light oil lamps by singing Raga Deepak, make it rain by singing the ragas Megh, Megh Malhar, or Gaud Malhar, and bloom flowers by singing raga Bahar as well as melting of stone by singing raga malkauns.
Historian Abul Fazal at Emperor Akbar's court and historian Faqirullah at Emperor Aurangzeb's court have written that Baiju defeated Tansen in a singing competition at the court of Akbar. Tansen then touched Baiju's feet and asked for his own life. In response, kind-hearted Baiju went back to Gwalior.
In popular culture
Baiju Bawra, a Hindi-language film was made on him in 1952. In the movie, Baiju is a musician who believes that Tansen is responsible for his father's death. He attempts to avenge his father's death by challenging Tansen to a musical duel and is successful in defeating him. This film's story is completely different from Baiju's real life, but still became a huge commercial success, especially due to the songs like 'O Duniya Ke Rakhwale' sung by the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi.
- Indian Council for Cultural Relations, ed. (1971). The Indo-Asian Culture. Indian Council for Cultural Relations.