Jaipur-Atrauli gharana

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Singer Shruti Sadolikar accompanied by Anant Kunte on sarangi (2007)

The Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana (also known as the Atrauli Gharana, Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana, and Alladiyakhani Gharana) is a khyal-based stylized singing family-hood (gharana), founded by Alladiya Khan (1855–1946) in the late 19th century. His family belonged to Atrauli near Aligarh, and subsequently migrated to Jaipur, giving the gharana its name.[1][2][3]

Evolved from dhrupad singing[citation needed], the Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana acquired its name and status as a Gharana in the early half of 20th century as a result of the musicians such as Kesarbai Kerkar, Mogubai Kurdikar, Mallikarjun Mansur and Dhondutai Kulkarni.

The gharana is known for its unique layakari (rhythmic play) and rich repertoire of ragas, especially jod ragas (compound ragas) and sankeerna ragas. Signature and specialty ragas of this gharana (some revived or created by Alladiya Khan) include Sampoorna Malkauns, Basanti Kedar, Basant Bahar, Bihagda, Khat, Gandhari and Nat Kamod.


Four major gharanas are recognised in Hindustani classical music: Gwalior, Agra, Kirana, and Atrauli-Jaipur gharana. Others are less pervasive, but no less enchanting, such as Indore, Rampur, Mewati, Patiala, Bhendi-Bazar, and Sham Chaurasia gharana.

The Jaipur-Atrauli gharana acquired its name and status as a gharana from the time of Alladiya Khan in the early half of the 20th century. This gharana mainly evolved from Dagar-bani of Dhrupad, however it also absorbed finer essence of Gauhar-bani and Khandar-bani[citation needed].

Many of the ragas and compositions sung in the Jaipur gharana come from the tradition of Haveli Sangeet, such as the compositions "Deva Deva Satsang" in Savani Kalyan, "Aadidata Ant" in Malkauns, "Anahat Aadi Naad" in Savani Nat, "Devta Aadi Sab" in Kukubh Bilawal, and "Devi Durge" in Sukhiya Bilawal.


Scholars say the hyphenated moniker of this gharana recognises that Jaipur-Atrauli gharana musicians originally came from Atrauli Village in Aligarh district and migrated to the court of the Maharaja of Jaipur, their principal patron.

Others say they came to the Jaipur Maharaja's court and then dispersed to various other courts in the area, like Jodhpur, Uniyara, Bundi, Atrauli, and so on. After establishing himself in the North, Alladiya Khan migrated to the court of Shahu Maharaj in Kolhapur and became his court musician.


Ghulam Ahmad "Alladiya" Khan was initiated into music by his father, Khwaja Ahmad Khan and his uncle, Jehangir Khan in both the Dhrupad and Khayal styles. He also had the privilege of being guided by two famous composers of the time, Ramzan Khan "Rangeele" and Mehboob Khan "Daraspiya". The young Alladiya Khan was closely associated with Behram Khan Dagar at Udaipur and Jaipur and with Wazir Khan "binkar" at Indore and Bombay. Today, only the Khayal tradition remains. He was known to have been greatly influenced by Mubarak Khan's style of taans to some extent.


Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana Gayaki (style and trends)[edit]

Most gharanas apply notes in simple succession in aalap and taan, whereas in the Jaipur gayaki, notes are applied in an oblique manner with filigree involving immediately neighbouring notes. Instead of the flat taan, gamak (taan sung with double notes with a delicate force behind each of the component double-notes of the taan) makes the taan spiral into seemingly never-ending cycles. Meend in aalap and gamak in taan are the hallmark of this gayaki. To his immense credit, the great exponent of Kirana gharana, Bhimsen Joshi is one of the very few singers outside the Jaipur gharana, who tried to adopt the gamak taan to some extent, but he has not quite achieved the intricacy and grace of gamak that is the signature of Jaipur. Sharp edged harkats and murkis (crisp, quick phrases to ornament the alaap) are relatively uncommon. Not only are the notes sung in rhythm with the taal but progress between the matras (beats) is in fractions of quarters and one-eighths. While being mindful of so many factors, musicians of this gharana still have a graceful way of arriving at the Sam without having matras to spare. This is particularly evident in the way bol-alaap or bol-taan is sung, where meticulous attention is given to the short and long vowels in the words of the bandish that are being pronounced, and the strict discipline of avoiding unnatural breaks in the words and in the meaning of the lyrics. No other gharana has paid so much attention to the aesthetics and laykari in singing bol-alaaps and bol-taans[citation needed].

Specialty and Jod Raags[edit]

A highlight of Jaipur gayaki is the mastery over Jod Ragas (mixed or hybrid Raags). Singers from other gharanas tend to sing one raga in aaroha (ascent) and the other in avaroha (descent). Some others sing one raga in the lower half of the octave and then switch to the other raga in the upper half. Alternatively, they may sing alternate phrases of the two component ragas. In Jaipur gayaki, the two ragas are fused so that it sounds like a homogeneous raga in its own right, giving the feel of both component ragas, not as a heterogeneous mixture cobbled together. The listener hears an amalgam of both ragas without losing their distinctive identity. Alladiya Khan introduced many lesser-known or obscure ragas in his repertoire such as Basanti Kedar, Jait Kalyan, Kafi Kanada, Raisa Kanada, Basanti Kanada, Savani Nat, Savani Kalyan, Bhoop Nat, Nat Kamod, Bihari, Khat, Khokar, and Sampoorna Malkauns.

Exponents of the Gharana[edit]

  • Alladiya Khan (1855–1946), Gharana founder; learned from uncle Jehangir Khan.
  • Haider Ali Khan (Brother of Alladiya Khan)
  • Bhaskarbuwa Bakhale (1869–1922), learned from Alladiya Khan and Natthan Khan
  • Manji Khan (1888–1937), second son of Alladiya Khan. Learned from Alladiya Khan.
  • Bhurji Khan (1890–1956), third son of Alladiya Khan. Learned from Alladiya Khan.
  • Gulubhai Jasdanwalla, learned from Alladiya Khan
  • Gajananrao Joshi learned from Bhurji Khan
  • Kesarbai Kerkar (1892–1977), learned from Alladiya Khan
  • Mogubai Kurdikar (1904–2001), learned from Alladiya Khan and Haider Ali Khan
  • Dhondutai Kulkarni (1927–2014), learned from Natthan Khan, Manji Khan, Bhurji Khan, Laxmibai Jadhav, Azizuddin Khan and Kesarbai Kerkar.
  • Wamanrao Sadolikar (1907–1986) learned from Bhurji Khan and attended many of Alladiya Khan's lessons to his disciples
  • Vamanrao Deshpande (1907–1990), learned from Natthan Khan and Mogubai Kurdikar
  • Mallikarjun Mansur (1910–1992), learned from Manji Khan and Bhurji Khan and later from Azizuddin Khan
  • Kishori Amonkar (1932–2017), daughter and disciple of Mogubai Kurdikar, Anwar Hussein Khan of Agra Gharana, Anjanibai Malpekar of Bhindi-Bazar Gharana
  • Mohanrao Palekar(1898–1962) learned from Ahmed Khan and Bhurji Khan
  • Ratnakar Pai (1926–2009), learned from Gulubhai Jasdanwalla and Mohanrao Palekar
  • Rajshekhar Mansur (born 1942), learned from father Mallikarjun Mansur
  • Padma Talwalkar (born 1948), learned from Mogubai Kurdikar and Gajananrao Joshi
  • Shruti Sadolikar (born 1951), learned from father Wamanrao Sadolikar, Baba Azizuddin Khan and later Gulubhai Jasdanwalla
  • Bharati Vaishampayan (born 1954), learned from Nivruttibua Sarnaik
  • Ashwini Bhide Deshpande (born 1960), learned from mother Manik Bhide and later from Ratnakar Pai
  • Raghunandan Panshikar (born 1963) learned from Kishori Amonkar and Mogubai Kurdikar
  • Sanjay Dixit (born 1960), learned from Madhusudan Kanetkar, Bhaskarbua Shaligram, and Dhondutai Kulkarni


  1. ^ Manorma Sharma (2006). Tradition of Hindustani Music. APH Publishing. pp. 49–51. ISBN 978-81-7648-999-7. 
  2. ^ Jeffrey Michael Grimes (2008). The Geography of Hindustani Music: The Influence of Region and Regionalism on the North Indian Classical Tradition. ProQuest. pp. 142–. ISBN 978-1-109-00342-0. 
  3. ^ Kumāraprasāda Mukhopādhyāẏa (2006). The Lost World of Hindustani Music. Penguin Books India. pp. 154–. ISBN 978-0-14-306199-1.