Malika Pukhraj

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Malika Pukhraj
Malika Pukhraj in 1920s, Jammu.
Malika Pukhraj in 1920s, Jammu.
Background information
Hamirpur Sidhar, Jammu, British India (present-day Jammu and Kashmir, India)
Died4 February 2004 (aged 92)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
GenresFolk music and Ghazal
LabelsRadio Pakistan
All-India Radio

Malika Pukhraj (Urdu: ملكہ پکھراج‎) (1912–2004) was a highly popular Ghazal and folk singer of Pakistan. She was generally known as "Malika", meaning "The Queen", publicly. She was extremely popular for her rendition of Hafeez Jalandhri's nazm song, Abhi tau main jawan hoon ("I am still young"), which is enjoyed by millions not only in Pakistan, but also in India.[1] Others among her popular numbers were Lo phir basant aaii[what language is this?], Quli Qutub's Piya baaj piyala piya jaey na[what language is this?], and Faiz Ahmed Faiz's Mere qatil mere dildar mere paas raho[what language is this?].

Early life[edit]

Malika Pukhraj was born in Hamirpur Sidhar to a Singer family of professional musicians.[2] She was given the name "Malika" at birth by Baba Roti Ram 'Majzoob', a spiritualist, in the Akhnoor area, and named Pukhraj (Yellow Sapphire) by her aunt who herself was a professional singer-dancer.[3][4]

Malika Pukhraj received her traditional musical training from Ustad Ali Baksh Kasuri, the father of legendary singer Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.[citation needed]

Performing career[edit]

At the age of nine, she visited Jammu and performed at the coronation ceremony of Maharaja Hari Singh, who was so impressed by her voice that he appointed her as a court singer in his Durbar.[5] She stayed there as a singer for another nine years.[4]

She was among the well-known professional singers of India in the 1940s and after Partition of India in 1947, she migrated to Lahore, Pakistan, where she received much more fame, through her radio performances with composer Kale Khan at Radio Pakistan, Lahore. Her voice is most suitable for 'folk songs of the hills' (Pahari Songs).[citation needed]

In 1980, she received the Pride of Performance Award from the President of Pakistan. In 1977, when All India Radio, for which she sang until the Partition in 1947, was celebrating its Golden Jubilee, she was invited to India and awarded with the 'legend of Voice' award.[6] Malika Pukhraj also recorded her memoirs in the novel Song Sung True.

Malika Pukhraj died in Lahore, Pakistan on 4 February 2004. Her funeral procession started from her residence at West Canal bank, and the ceremony was held in the house of her eldest son. She was buried at Shah Jamal graveyard in Lahore.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Malika Pukhraj was married to Shabbir Hussain, a junior government official in the Punjab, and had six children including Tahira Syed, also a singer in Pakistan.[8][9]


  1. ^, "Abhi tau mein jawan hoon" song on YouTube by Malika Pukhraj, uploaded 10 May 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2016
  2. ^ Prof RL Kaul, Kashmir and Jammu: A History pub Jammu: Indar V Press, 1955, p. 102
  3. ^, Malika Pukhraj article on Dawn, Karachi newspaper. Retrieved 1 February 2016
  4. ^ a b Biography, Biography of Malika Pukhraj on website. Retrieved 1 February 2016
  5. ^ Unparalleled queen of gayaki The Hindu, published 4 June 2004. Retrieved 1 February 2016
  6. ^, Malika Pukhraj 'Biography', Unparalleled queen of gayaki, published 4 June 2004, The Hindu newspaper. Retrieved 1 February 2016
  7. ^, Death Anniversary of Malika Pukhraj, Radio Pakistan News website, published 4 February 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2016
  8. ^, Biography of Malika Pukhraj on Dawn, Karachi newspaper, published 4 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2016
  9. ^, Tahira Syed 'Profile' on YouTube, uploaded 9 January 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2016

External links[edit]