Smita Bellur

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Smita Bellur
Genres Hindustani Classical Vocal and Sufi music
Occupations Musician
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 25

Smita Bellur is a renowned Hindustani classical[1] vocalist and Sufi singer.[2] She belongs to Jaipur -Kirana gharana.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Smita Bellur hails from North Karnataka. She is the third child of Late Shri. K.L Subba Rao and Late Smt. K.S. Susheela Rao.[4]

Khayal Gayaki training in Guru Shishya Parampara[5][edit]

Smita Bellur has trained in Hindustani Khayal gayaki under gurus late Shri. P. R. Bhagwat (a renowned musician and recipient of the Sangeet Natak Academy award),‘Sangeet Ratna’ Late Pt. Arjunsa Nakod, a doyen of the Gwalior – Kirana Gharana, Late Pt. Rajabhau Sontakke (disciple of the legendary Sangeet Martand Pt. Omkarnath Thakur) and Pt. Bhalachandra Nakod. She is currently getting ‘taleem’ from ‘Gaan Saraswati’, ‘Sangeet Kaumudi’ Vidushi Dr. Alka Deo Marulkar. [6]

Smita has travelled extensively for concert tours and is a graded artiste of India's national Radio network called All India Radio.

Her concerts are regularly broadcast on TV channels.

Smita is actively involved in the nation wide co-operative of performing artistes, ‘Sangeet Sankalp’ as one of the founder members of its Bangalore chapter. She has also founded Nadanubhava Foundation® - an organisation that promotes Hindustani Classical and Sufi music, and has successfully done more than 63 programmes. She also runs ‘people for Raaga’ and ‘Anhad Naad Sufi Sangeet’.

She is an MS (Quality management) and BE by qualification and also freelances as a music journalist.[7]

Press comments[edit]

“She plays music for the soul” – The New Indian Express, Oct 2012[8]

  • “The old strains of Sufi” – Deccan Herald, Jun 2012[9]
  • “Exploring common threads of pholisophy” – Indian Express, Sep 2011
  • “Music for the Soul” – DNA, Apr 2011
  • “Striking a chord with the masses..Presenting carefully selected verses in her melodious voice, Smita stole the show and enthralled the audience with her scintillating performance” – Deccan Herald, April 2011
  • “Lilting Melody” – Deccan Herald, Jan 2009
  • “A piece of Hindustani” – Deccan Herald, July 2008
  • “Graceful Alliance”…”Her voice traversed the three octaves with ease, dazzling the audience. The synchronisation was perfect, thereby enhancing the euphonious appeal.” – The Hindu, Feb 2008
  • “An evening of Jugalbandhi”..”credit goes to both singers who maintained the style of the system and their individual styles even while singing together” – The New Indian Express, Aug 2007
  • “Melody Makers” – Deccan Herald, Mar 2007
  • “In pursuit of excellence” – Deccan Herald, Mar 2007
  • “Hogging the limelight” – VT Life, Mar 2007
  • “Carving a niche in the realm of Classical music” – Indian Express, Mar 2007
  • “Music of the soul” – Indian Express, Dec 2006
  • “Convincing Kajri and Malkauns by Smita Bellur” – Lokmat, Jan 2006 (translated)
  • “I don’t want to commercialize my passion for singing: Bellur” – Hitavada, Jan 2006
  • “Honesty in art and spirit” – The Hindu, Oct 2005
  • “Melodious monsoon recital” - The Hindu, Aug 2005
  • “Amazing! ...” - Deccan Herald, Jul 2005
  • “that night the audience was spell-bound by the recital of the Gwalior- Kirana gharana vocalist” - Samyukta Karnataka, Jul 2005 (translated)
  • “Hindustani Shastriya yuva gaana kogilegalu” – Navodaya, Jan 2005
  • “With a mellifluous golden voice, sincere approach and abundant talent, her recital was soul-stirring.”- Prajavani, Aug 2004 (translated)
  • “...not only did she develop the raga beautifully, her exquisite taans made her recital magnificent.”- Dainik Bhaskar, April 2004 (translated)
  • “The high point of her performance was the ‘tar saptak’ where the voice traversed effortlessly...” - Vijay Times, Dec 2003
  • “extraordinary talent in Hindustani music...” - Deccan Herald, Nov 2003
  • “...she came in for some extraordinary appreciation from the audience...” - Samyukta Karnataka, 2001 (translated)

Recitals and concerts[edit]

Smita is a regular B High artiste of All India Radio, Dharwad. She gave her first performance at the age of fourteen, at Rastrothana Parishat and since then has given several recitals at important forums/music festivals, including:

  • Raj Bhavan
  • Academy for Creative Teaching, Bangalore
  • Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, New Delhi
  • India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
  • Guruvarya Kulkarni Punyatithi - Solapur
  • 67th Shri Thyagaraja Annual Festival of music, Tirupati
  • Bharat Sangeet Utsav, Bangalore
  • Sangeet Sankalp Pune – Sudarshan Rang Manch, Pune
  • Saptak - Ahmedabad
  • Swar Sadhana Samiti – Mumbai
  • Pt. Manmohan memorial festival, Jaipur
  • Parthasarathy Sangeet Sabha – Chennai
  • Bangalore Habba 2006
  • Nizar Kala Sansthan, Nagpur
  • Pt. ShankarRao Gaikwad Punyatithi, Pune
  • ‘Yuva Vandana’, Sree Satya Sai Baba Ashram, Whitefield Bangalore
  • Sursagar, Bangalore
  • Pt. Sawai Gandharv Punyatithi, Kundgol
  • Asthavinayak Pratishtaan, Lathur, Maharastra
  • Delhi Karnatak Sangha
  • 4th National Level “Bharat Ratna M S Subbulakshmi” Memorial Music Festival - Gitanjali 2009 for Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University
  • Pt. Omkarnath Thakur Smriti
  • Ustad Imammuddin Dagar Music festival, Jaipur
  • Sree Rama Seva Mandali - Fort High School, Bangalore
  • Avani Rasika Ranga, Dharwad
  • Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore
  • Shree Gururaghavendra Temple at Mantralayam, Andhra Pradesh
  • Dutta Gaana Sabha – Barshi, Maharastra
  • Nadashri Sangeet Sabha, Hubli
  • Sangeet Pratishtana, Belgaum
  • Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
  • All India Saraswat Cultural programme at Goa
  • ‘Yuva Gana Mela’, Karnataka Ganakala Parishat, Mysore and Hassan
  • Pt. Panchakshari Gawai Punyatithi at Shree Veereshwar Punyashram- Gadag
  • Government of Karnataka, Department of Culture and Kannada Music Festivals like ‘Chalukyotsav 2006’,‘Karavalli Utsav’,‘Lakkundi Utsav’ etc.


  • Rotary Vocational Excellence award 2010
  • ‘Sangeeta Shri 2007’ award by Shraddha Sangeeta Kala Samiti, Bangalore
  • Dr. Puttaraj Gawai Krupa Bhushana Prashasti 2007

Audio CD releases[edit]

  • ‘Vachana Kirana’ – Shivasharana Vachana by Lahari Audio
  • ‘Kaisi Madhur Shyaam’ – Bhajan, Holi, Chaiti CD for the cause of ‘End-Polio’ by Rotary International

Broadcasts on TV and Radio[edit]

  • ‘Krishna Bhakti Karanji’ – on Suvarna News
  • ‘Anwar-e-Ramadaan’ on ETV Urdu - Naat
  • ‘Bhakti Maalike’ for ETV Kannada
  • ‘Jashn-e-Sufi’ – special Sufi music programme on TV9
  • ‘Namana’ – Vachana programme on Suvarna News Kannada
  • ‘Jugalbandhi’ – musical concert/appreciation 1.5 hour programme on TV9
  • ‘Naada’ on Udaya TV (Sun TV Network) and Vachana on Kasturi channel
  • Interviews on Suvarna News, TV 9 and Zee TV Kannada
  • Doordarshan I/Chandana and Doordarshan Sahyadri
  • All India Radio, Dharwad


  • Hindustani Classical: Khayal gayaki
  • Semi classical varieties such as thumri, dadra, kajri, chaiti and jhoola.
  • Sufi music: ‘Jashn-e-Sufi’, ‘Sufiana Kalaam’
  • Bhaktigeet: Bhajan, Abhang (Marathi), Vachana (Kannada) and Daasarapada (Kannada) and a special philosophy based ‘Dasa-Sufi-Sharanara Anubhaava Lahari’
  • Colours of Diversity: singing in 6-7 languages
  • Jugalbandhi with Carnatik music (have performed at various Utsavs like Rama Seva Mandali, Rudrapatna Sangeetotsav, Vadirajara aradhane etc.)
  • Lecture demonstrations

Propagation and promotion of Indian classical music[edit]

Nadanubhava® – aimed at providing a platform for talented artistes and high quality classical concerts to music lovers, Smita has successfully hosted more than 63 well-received programmes in about 5 years under this banner which was earlier called Nadasree Sangit Sabha. People for Raaga – a forum of thinking minds working for propagation of classical music among people of all age groups and walks of life. Anhad Naad Sufi Sangeet – is a forum for Sufi philosophy and music.

Expression through writing[edit]

Smita freelances as a journalist writing on classical artforms, especially music. More than 50 of her articles have been published and appreciated too.

Music for a cause[edit]

As a thinking musician who believes in contributing back to society, Smita Bellur has joined many causes with her music contribution:

  • Has sung free for Rotary’s End-Polio Cause that aims to raise 200 million dollars as a matching grant to Bill gates foundation grant. The proceeds from the sale of the CD are entirely for the End-Polio cause.
  • working with an NGO that spreads awareness about the National rural Employment guarantee scheme such that rural unemployed get to know their rights to employment/wages – composing and singing songs about the scheme. This will be aired by A.I.R in rural areas.
  • working for the propagation of Shivasharana literature – Vachanas among the youth for its simple message that is relevant to the current day
  • working with a country wide artistes-co-operative Sangeet Sankalp

Music for communal harmony and national integration[edit]

Music has no borders of religion, caste, race or language. The universal nature of Indian classical and spiritual music is explored to the fullest to bring out the harmonious aspects of different faiths.


Compositions of the great Sufi poets of India like 13th-century poet Amir Khusrau, Bulla Shah, Kabir, Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudaraz, Baba Farid etc. were presented by Smita Bellur along with explanations by the Spiritual Guru and Prof. Dr. Ejazuddin Ashrafi (Retd Prof. Hindi at Government Arts and Science College, Bangalore, Former MLC Government of Karnataka), an authority on Jainism, Sufism and Veerashaiva Philosophies. Presented at several fora like corporate events (SAP Labs India, SAP Analyst Day etc.), Indian Institute of World Culture; televised and broadcast by news channel TV9.

Daasa-Soofi-Sharanara Anubhaava Lahari[edit]

Exploring the common threads of Dasa, Soofi and Shivasharana philosophies with multi-lingual music that celebrates 'unity in diversity'. Compositions from Haridasas of Karnataka like Purandaradasa, Venkata Vittala Dasa, Shivasharana saints like Basavanna and Akkamahadevi, along with Soofi saints like Bullah Shah and Amir Khusrau were presented in Avadhi, Kannada, Hindi, Punjabi and Pharsi. The music is accompanied by an explanatory lecture by Dr. Yejazuddin Ashrafi. Presented in Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs etc.,

Smita’s team – Music of the soul offers a variety of programmes including[edit]

  • Theme based music Like "Monsoon melodies", "Peace and Unity" etc.
  • Shastriya Sangeet: Hindustani Classical Music Programme
  • 'Music of love’: Semi-Classical/Light Classical music
  • Mystic verses/Sufi tunes: Sufi/Nirguni music programme
  • Colours of Diversity: Multi-lingual devotional/patriotic music that celebrates 'unity in diversity'
  • Bhaktimala:spiritual/religious music.
  • Uttar-Dakshin Sammilan: Confluence of Hindustani and Carnatic styles.
  • Indo-western fusion


  1. ^ article, Newspaper (2012-05-24). "The Hindu article on Smita Bellur". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  2. ^ "Entertainment Bangalore / Music : Honesty in art and spirit". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2005-10-07. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  3. ^ April 28, 2011 By Smita Bellur (2011-04-28). "‘Sufism moves me’". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  4. ^ Sufi singer, Smita Bellur's website. "Smita Bellur website". internet. 
  5. ^ Smita Bellur's website, Hindustani Classical Vocalist. "Hindustani Classical Vocalist and Sufi singer Smita Bellur". Internet. 
  6. ^ ' Budding talent ', Newspaper article on Smita Bellur. Deccan Herald |url= missing title (help). 
  7. ^ "Music festival to be held in February | Editorial-News Releases". Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  8. ^ The New Indian Express |url= missing title (help). 
  9. ^ Deccan Herald |url= missing title (help). 

External links[edit]