Gundecha Brothers

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Gundecha Brothers
Gundecha Brothers (2012). Left to right: youngest brother Akhilesh Gundecha (Pakhawaj), younger brother Ramakant Gundecha (Vocal), elder brother Umakant Gundecha (Vocal)
Gundecha Brothers (2012). Left to right: youngest brother Akhilesh Gundecha (Pakhawaj), younger brother Ramakant Gundecha (Vocal), elder brother Umakant Gundecha (Vocal)
Background information
OriginUjjain, India
GenresHindustani classical music, Dagar vani
Occupation(s)Classical Vocalist
Years active1985 – present
LabelsHMV, Music Today
WebsiteOfficial site

The Gundecha Brothers are Indian classical singers of the dhrupad genre of the Dagar vani. From 1985 to 2019 the duo consisted of brothers Umakant Gundecha and Ramakant Gundecha and were awarded the Padma Shri for art for 2012.[1] Following the death of Ramakant Gundecha in 2019, his son Anant began to perform with Umakant in the Gundecha bandhu.[2]

Early life and background[edit]

They studied at the local Madhav Music College.[citation needed] Umakant has a post-graduate degree in music and economics and the younger Ramakant in music and commerce.[citation needed]

They moved to Bhopal in 1981 for training in Dhrupad music under Zia Fariduddin Dagar and his brother Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. Both gurus were second cousins of the two major Dhrupad forces in the second half of the 20th century; two duos known as the senior Dagar Brothers (Nasir Moinuddin & Nasir Aminuddin) and the junior Dagar Brothers (Nasir Zahiruddin & Nasir Faiyazuddin) respectively.

Ramakant Gundecha died in Bhopal on 8 November 2019 from a heart attack at the age of 57. He was married and had a son.[3] He was cremated on 9 November 2019 in Bhopal.[3]


Ramakant Gundecha (2012)

After training for four years, they performed in public for the first time in May 1985, at the Uttaradhikar dance and music festival in Bhopal. They have worked to expand the dhrupad repertoire by incorporating texts by Hindi poets such as Tulsidas, Padmakar and Nirala.

The Gundecha Brothers also sing the Dhrupad compositions of India's senior Kathak exponent Mahamahopadhyay Dr. Pandit Puru Dadheech, in particular, his famous Shankar Pralayankar composition.[4]

They have set up a Dhrupad institute outside Bhopal where they teach students from all over the world. They run a music school in the Dhrupad tradition, according to the guru-shishya style of teaching that is prevalent in India for teaching of the arts.[5]

Recordings and fellowships[edit]

Umakant Gundecha (2012). Ramakant Gundecha in background.

They have recorded many cassettes and CDs by H.M.V., Music Today, Rhythm House, IPPNW Concerts Berlin, Navras and Audio Rec London. They have also sung for many television channels in India and have been broadcast on British, U.S., German and French Radio as well. As well as being an integral part of all of India's prestigious music festivals, the brothers have also performed at many important international music festivals and institutions in Europe, U.S.A., Australia, Singapore, Bangladesh, U.A.E. and Hong Kong.

They have received M.P. Govt. Scholarship from 1981 to 1985, National Fellowship from 1987 to '89, Ustad Allauddin Khan Fellowship in 1993, Sanskriti Award in 1994 and Kumar Gandharva Award in 1998 by Govt. of Madhaya Pradesh and Dagar Gharana Award by Mewar Foundation in 2001.[citation needed]


  • National Fellowship 1987–89
  • Ustad Allauddin Khan Fellowship 1993
  • Sanskriti Award 1994
  • Kumar Gandharva Award by Government of Madhya Pradesh 1998
  • Dagar Gharana Award by Mewar Foundation 2001
  • Rajat Kamal—National Film Award for Best Music Direction 2006
  • Puttaraj Gawai Award from Puttaraj Gawai Pratishthan, Dharwad 2010
  • Padma Shri by Government of India 2012
  • Spandan Sammaan 2016
  • Shrimati Vatsala Joshi Samman 2016
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by Union Bank 2017
  • Madhya Pradesh Gaurav Samman 2017
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2017
  • Swati Tirunal Samman 2018


On 4 September 2020, a student of Dhrupad Sansthan (training school run by Gundecha brothers) accused the late Ramakant Gundecha and Akhilesh Gundecha of sexual abuse. Following this event, several more students came forward with their allegations of abuse in discussions with the media.[6][7][8][9] The school announced Akhilesh Gundecha would be stepping down while the accusations were investigated by the internal committee.[10][11]

As part of an internal probe conducted by the institution, an ICC was constituted to investigate the allegations. The ICC passed adverse recommendations against Akhilesh Gundecha. Among many other recommendations, it advised reconstitution of the institute's board of trustees to include a majority of non-family members,as well as penalties on the institute, disciplinary action and measures for reparation.[12]

The Gundecha Brothers approached the Madhya Pradesh high court challenging the ICC report and recommendations.[13]

In response,12 women filed an intervening application in support of the ICC. [14]


Rhythm House (MCs):

  • Vol. 1, Raag- Bhimpalasi, Gurjari Todi, Malkauns
  • Vol. 2, Raag- Bihag, Madhumad Sarang, Sohni

Music Today (MCs and CDs)

  • Bhaktimala / Rama – Vol. 1
  • Bhaktimala/ Shiva – Vol. 1
  • Bhaktimala/ Hanumana – Vol. 2
  • Bhaktimala/ Ganesh – Vol. 1
  • Young Masters -Vol.1
  • Raga – Shyam Kalyan and Jaijaiwanti

HMV (MCs and CDs) Naad Sugandh

  • Vol. 1, Raga – Bhupali, Puriya Dhanashri, Shankara
  • Vol. 2, Raga- Jounpuri, Megh, Komal Rishabh Asawari

Raga – Bihag, Night Melody- Raga IPPNW – CONCERTS, Germany −1995

  • Raga- Darbari, Audio Rec – UK −1998
  • Navras- UK (CD) – Raag- Yaman and Charukeshi
  • Isha Music – Durga Kavach
  • Raga- Komal Rishabh Asawari – Dhrupad Vocal, Sundaram Records- 2003

Raga – Komal Rishabh Asawari Sense world Music, UK – 2003

  • Raga- Bhairava – Dhrupad Vocal, Sundaram Records- 2003
  • Dhrupad- Live of 19th Tokyo Summer Festival
  • Arion Edo Foundation and Intoxicate Records
  • DVD – Raga- Miyan Malhar, Megh, Shivaranjani,
  • Malkouns, Adana
  • Manthan- Lecture Demonstration on Dhrupad
  • Raga- Miyan Malhar– Dhrupad Vocal
  • Raga Bageshri
  • Raga Bilaskhani Todi
  • Sundaram Records- 2004
  • Sacred Chants of Jainism: Bhaktamar Stotra – 2006


  1. ^ "Padma Awards". pib. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  2. ^ Shuchita Jha (10 November 2019). "Nephew Anant to sing with Pt Umakant Gundecha". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Dhrupad maestro Ramakant Gundecha cremated". Yahoo! News. PTI. 9 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  4. ^ Shankar, Vijay (7 November 2018). "Sunil performs 'the Naayak' in Kathak". The Afternoon Despatch Courier. Archived from the original on 11 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  5. ^ Biplav, Ankur (13 May 2019). "Gundecha brothers hold a masterclass in Dhrupad". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Gundecha brothers caught in sexual abuse row, Dhrupad Sansthan probes". The Indian Express. 5 September 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Two of 3 Gundecha brothers in sexual abuse row in Bhopal". The Times of India. 6 September 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Bhopal based Dhrupad Sansthan blamed for sexual misconduct". From the world of Indian Classical Dance & Music. 7 September 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  9. ^ Dhillon, Amrit (1 October 2020). "India's classical music and dance 'guru' system hit by abuse allegations". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  10. ^ Yadav, Sidharth (5 September 2020). "Akhilesh Gundecha steps down from Dhrupad Sansthan amid sexual harassment charges". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Gundecha Brothers: Famous Indian music gurus accused of sexual assault". BBC News. 4 April 2021.
  12. ^ "12 women file affidavits in Madhya Pradesh HC in sexual harassment case against 2 Gundecha Brothers". The Times of India. 26 June 2022. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  13. ^ "12 women from abroad move HC against Gundecha Brothers accused of sexual harassment". The New Indian Express. 26 June 2022.
  14. ^ "Twelve women from abroad move MP HC against Gundecha brothers accused of sexual harassment". The Hindu. 26 June 2022. Retrieved 19 October 2022.

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