Gangubai Hangal

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Gangubai Hangal
Gangubai Hangal.jpg
Gangubai with young daughter Krishna in the 1930s
Background information
Native name
ಗಂಗೂಬಾಯಿ ಹಾನಗಲ್
Born(1913-03-05)5 March 1913[1][2]
Hangal, Karnataka, India[3]
OriginDharwad, Karnataka, India[1][2]
Died21 July 2009(2009-07-21) (aged 96)
Hubli, Karnataka, India[2]
GenresHindustani classical music
Years active1931–2006[4]

Gangubai Hangal (5 March 1913 – 21 July 2009) was an Indian singer of the khyal genre of Hindustani classical music, who was known for her deep and powerful voice.[5] Hangal belonged to the Kirana gharana.[6]

Early life[edit]

Gangubai Hangal was born in Dharwad to Chikkurao Nadiger, an agriculturist[1] and Ambabai, a vocalist of Carnatic music.[7] Hangal received only elementary education[4] and her family shifted to Hubli in 1928 so that Gangubai could study Hindustani music.[1][8][9] She began to train formally aged 13 with Krishnacharya Hulgur, a kinnari (stringed instrument like a veena)player, studying Hindustani classical music.[10] From Hulgur, Gangubai learned sixty compositions in one year before he stopped teaching her after an argument about his fees. She also learned from Dattopant Desai before studying under Sawai Gandharva, a respected guru.[2][11] Hangal could only study sporadically under Gandharva when he returned to his home, but she received an intensive training of three years after he relocated permanently to Hubli.[10]

Musical career[edit]

Hangal's mother's family was considered to be of low social status and for women of her generation singing was not considered appropriate employment; Hangal struggled against this prejudice and made a career.[2] She performed all over India and for All India Radio stations until 1945.[10] Hangal had initially performed light classical genres, including bhajan and thumri, but concentrated on khyal.[10] Later, however, she refused to sing light classical, saying she sang only ragas.[12] Hangal served as honorary music professor of the Karnataka University.[4] She gave her last concert in March 2006 to mark her 75th career year.[4] She had overcome bone marrow cancer in 2003, and died of cardiac arrest at the age of 96, on 21 July 2009, in Hubli, where she resided.[4] She had her eyes donated to increase awareness for organ donation.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Hangal married at age 16 to Gururao Kaulgi, a Brahmin lawyer.[13] They had two sons, Narayan Rao and Babu Rao,[14] and one daughter, Krishna, who died from cancer in 2004, aged 75.[15]

Awards and honors[edit]

Hangal on a 2014 stamp sheet of India

Gangubai Hangal received a number of awards, which include:

The Karnataka state government declared two days of mourning for Hangal.[19] A state funeral was announced for 22 July in Hubli by the district commissioner of the Dharwad district.[4]

In 2008, The State Government of Karnataka decided to name the proposed Karnataka State Music University, Mysore after Gangubhai Hangal. Subsequently, the Karnataka State Dr. Gangubai Hangal Music and Performing Arts University Act, 2009 has been passed by the State Legislature. Presently the Karnataka State Dr. Gangubhai Hangal Music and Performing Arts University operates from Mysore, Karnataka.[20]

Gangothri — the birthplace of Gangubai Hangal — has been converted into a museum by the Government of Karnataka.

Dr Gangubai Hangal Gurukul in Hubli trains artists in traditional Guru-Shishya parampara to become performing artists.

Further reading[edit]

  • Nanna Badukina Haadu (The Song of My Life), as told to Mr. N.K.Kulkarni, translated into English by G. N. Hangal, published by Sahitya Prakashan, Hubli.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Pawar, Yogesh (21 April 1999). "Classic revisited". Indian Express. Archived from the original on 25 July 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Veteran Indian singer Gangubai Hangal dies". Google News. Associated Press. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.[dead link]
  3. ^ ABC of English. Government of Karnataka. p. 57.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Gangubai's concert of life ends". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 21 July 2009. Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  5. ^ "Veteran Indian singer Gangubai Hangal dies". Google News. Associated Press. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  6. ^ Viswanathan, Lakshmi (27 March 2005). "Grand legend". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  7. ^ Ganesh, Deepa (25 February – 10 March 2006). "A life in three octaves". Frontline. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 25 July 2009.
  8. ^ Hangal, Gangubai (2002). EnKay, ed. Nanna Badukina Haadu (in Kannada). Hubli: Sahitya Prakashana.
  9. ^ Hangal, Gangubai (2003). EnKay, ed. Song of my Life. Hubli: Sahitya Prakashana.
  10. ^ a b c d Wade, Bonnie C. (2001). "Hangal, Gangubai". In Sadie, Stanley. The New Grove dictionary of music and musicians. 17 (2nd ed.). London: Macmillan Publishers. p. 820. ISBN 0-333-60800-3.
  11. ^ Ramnarayan, Gowri (29 November 1998). "Where north meets south". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  12. ^ "जैक्सन के चिकित्सक पर गैरइरादतन हत्या का आ&#2".
  13. ^ "Gangubai's journey to become doyen of Hindustani music". Press Trust of India. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  14. ^ "Hindustani music exponent Gangubai Hangal passes away". The Times of India. 21 July 2009. Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  15. ^ "Krishna Hangal dead". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 3 September 2004. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  16. ^ a b "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (India). Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  17. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees — Music — Vocal". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  18. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Fellows". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  19. ^ "Two-day state mourning as mark of respect to Gangubai". Press Trust of India. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  20. ^ "Three years after formation, music varsity hits the right note". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 8 May 2011.

External links[edit]