Allah Rakha (sarangi)

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Alla Rakha (sarangi player)
Born 1932
Sialkot, Punjab, Pakistan
Origin Pakistan
Died 2000
Occupation(s) sarangi player
Instruments sarangi

Allah Rakha (1932–2000), also referred to by the title Ustad, was a Pakistani sarangi player and often performed with music groups on Pakistan Television.

Early life and education[edit]

Allah Rakha was born in Muzaffar, a village in Sialkot District of Punjab, in 1932. During early childhood, his family moved to Amritsar, British India where he was raised. He acquired his initial education in classical music and sarangi playing from his father, Ustad Lal Din. Later, he became the student of three renowned sarangi players, Ustad Ahmadi Khan, Ustad Allah Diya, and Ustad Nathu Khan of Pakistan Television, Karachi Center.[1]


His talent was first appreciated in his early teenage years, when he performed in a contest at a local wedding, and was lauded for his performance of Raga Desi.

After 1947 partition, Allah Rakha migrated to Pakistan, and settled temporarily in Karachi, where he also remembers to have had the honor of playing live for Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It was also here that he met Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and honed his skills as a sarangi accompanist to performing musicians on TV.[2]

He moved to Lahore in 1948, and for almost two decades, he worked at the Radio Pakistan Lahore Station, and also in the Pakistani film industry as a recording artist. In Lahore, his knowledge of music was further broadened during his association with Ustad Sardar Khan (vocalist), son of Umrao Khan, and grandson of 'Tanras Khan.[3]

He moved to Rawalpindi in 1968, and became a regular employee of Radio Pakistan, Rawalpindi, where he served till his retirement in 1992. In 1995, he was awarded the Pride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan for his lifelong devotion to classical music.

He had also traveled abroad several times and performed in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, India, China, Dubai, France, Hungary, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany.[2] In 1997 he performed as a soloist with the Belgian Rajhans Orchestra in a concert tour starting in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, directed by composer-conductor Hans Vermeersch.[4]


  1. ^, Top 5 sarangi players of Pakistan, Retrieved 18 Feb 2016
  2. ^ a b, Biography and recordings of Allah Rakha (sarangi player), Retrieved 18 Feb 2016
  3. ^, Biography of Allah Rakha on The News International newspaper, Published 31 May 2015, Retrieved 18 Feb 2016
  4. ^, Live Performance of Allah Rakha on All Pakistan Music Conference on YouTube, Retrieved 18 Feb 2016