Rampur-Sahaswan gharana

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Rampur-Sahaswan gharana is a gharana (musical heritage) of Hindustani classical music centred in the North-Uttar Pradesh towns of Rampur and Sahaswan. Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan (1849–1919) was the founder of this gharana.


The gharana find its origins in Ustad Mehboob Khan, the chief khayal singer in the royal court of Rampur State (in present Uttar Pradesh), his tradition was followed by his son Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan (1849–1919) and in turn by Inyat's brother-in-laws, Ustad Haider Khan (1857–1927), and Padma Bhushan Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan (1878–1964) (The First recipient of the Padma Bhushan Award) ( , thus all the singers were connected with each other, and gharana was named after their ancestral place, Sahaswan, in present Badaun district.[1] Amongst noted disciples of Padma Bhushan Ustad Mushtaq Hussain are Padma Shri Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan, married to his youngest daughter and associated with the Music department of the Delhi University, Sulochana Brahaspati, Sumati Mutatkar, Shanno Khurana and Naina Devi.[2]

Inayat Khan was a child prodigy, and his first married the daughter of Haddu Khan of the Gwalior gharana, and took talim (training) from Ustad Bahadur Hussain Khan, a descendant of Mian Tansen himself. The style has influences of the Dhrupad singing typical of the Gwalior gharana, and the Rampur-Shahaswan style is sometimes regarded as an off-shoot of the Gwalior gharana.

Singing style[edit]

The Rampur-Sahaswan gayaki (style of singing) is closely related to the Gwalior Gharana, which features medium-slow tempos, a full-throated voice and intricate rhythmic play. The gharana style is also known for the diversity and intricacy of the taans (rapidfire elaborations), as well as tarana singing.

The renowned singers of this gharana include the first and, perhaps the foremost disciple of Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan, Ustad Hyder Khan sahab. In fact, Ustad Hyder Khan and his family plays a vital role in upbringing the legacy of this illustrious family as, not only him but, after his demise, his son Ustad Fida Hussain Khan and his grandson, the renowned maestro Padma Bhushan Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan made sure that the legacy carries forward to the next generation.

Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan was not just a singer but a great teacher who has given the gharana what it has in the modern era. Also, another legendary singer of this gharana is Padma Bhushan Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan, who was a disciple of Ustad Hyder Khan and later on, groomed by Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan sahab. He was the recipient of the first Padma Bhushan award in singing.

Belonging to the family of the gharana are the disciples and relatives of Padma Bhushan Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan Sahab, one of the other pioneers of the gharana. His family consists of his sons, Ustad Ishtiyaaq Hussain Khan,Ustaad Is-haaq Hussain Khan, Ustad Ghulam Hussain Khan,Ustad Afzal Hussain Khan Nizami,son-in-law Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan (recipient of Padma Shri),Ustaad Ghulam Abid Khan, Ustad Ghulam Taqi Khan!,Ustad Wajid Husain khan (Lagan Piya),Ustad Jafar Hussain Khan Badayuni, Ustad Ghulam Nizam-ud-deen Khan,Ustaad Ghulam Fareed-ud-deen Khan,Ustaad Shujaat Hussain Khan,Ustaad Sakhawat Hussain Khan, Ustaad Shehzad Hussain Khan,Ustaad Maqbool Hussain Khan,Ustaad Muhammad Ahmed Khan,Ustad Ghulam Siraj Khan,Ustad Ghulam Abbas Khan,Ghulam Naqi Khan,Ghulam Rasool Khan,Ghulam Habib Khan,Naushad Ali Khan,Ghulam Azeez Khan,Usama Khan Niazi,Zeashaan khan,Salman Khan Niazi,Ghulam Fakhr-ud-deen Khan,Amir Khan,Areeb Khan Niazi,Ghulam Hasan Khan,Nihal Khan Nizami,Muneer Khan Niazi,Mushtaq Hasan Khan and the youngest Classical singer of the gharana Master Mehndi Hasan Niazi.

Belonging to the other family of the same gharana are also the disciples and relatives of Padma Bhushan Ustad Mushtaq Hussain khan. Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan gave some of the best exponents in the field of Indian Classical Music (Hindustani/ North Indian Style) such as Ustad Hafeez Ahmed Khan (ex Deputy Chief Producer of A.I.R, ex Vice-Chancellor of the Indira Kala Vishwa Vidyalaya, the only musical university of India and a recipient of Padma Shree Award), Ustad Sarfaraz Hussain Khan (ex Producer of A.I.R and the eldest son of Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan), Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan (recipient of Padma Bhushan Award), Ustad Iftikhar Hussain Khan Ustad Ghulam Akbar Khan, Zulfiqar Hussain Khan, Ateeq Hussain Khan, Ustad Rashid Khan (one of the leading vocalists of the modern era and recipient of Padmashri award), Ustad Mujahid Hussain Khan, Mushahid Hussain Khan and Wajahat Hussain Khan and Ghulam Niyaz Khan. Also belonging to the same lineage are Ustad Aftab Ahmed Khan (disciple and son of Ustad Waris Hussain Khan and brother of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan), Ghulam Qadir Khan, Ghulam Murtuza Khan, Nadeem Khan, Danish Hussain Khan, Azeem Khan, Shazeb Hasan, Arshad Khan, Rizwan Khan and Shahbaaz Hussain.

Apparently, there were artists who came in and learned under the able guidance of these legends of Rampur Sahaswan Gharana such as Chajju Khan and Nazir Khan (disciple of Inayat Hussain Khan Sahab), Pandit Ganpat Rao (considered to be the godfather of Harmonium playing in Sub continent territories), Ustad Hafeez Khan of Gudiyani (Gurgaon).

Some other famous names in the same category of musicians who came from elsewhere and learned in Rampur Sahaswan Gharana are Shanno Khurana[3](recipient of Padma Bhushan Award), Sulochana Brihaspati (recipient of Padma Shree Award), Arun Bhaduri, Deepak Chatterjee, Pradeep Chatterjee, Pranab Biswas, Prasad Kharpade, Chandan Das, A.Hariharan, Sonu Nigam and Shaan, to name a few.

In 2006, Dr Sakuntala Narasimhan, herself a disciple of Ustad Hafeez Ahmed Khan, published a book on the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana titled, The Splendour of Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana.[4][5]


  1. ^ Wade. p. 136
  2. ^ Mukherji, p. 134
  3. ^ "It's raining ragas". The Hindu. 20 July 2007. 
  4. ^ "Notes from another time: Sakuntala Narasimhan's book on the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana captures the cultural history of a period". The Hindu. 16 September 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  5. ^ S. Kashif Ali (29 May 2009). "Quietly fading into oblivion". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 


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