Wahid Khan

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For the vocalist, see Abdul Wahid Khan. For the television director, see Waheed Khan.

Wahid Khan
OccupationSitar & Surbahar player

Wahid Khan was an Indian surbahar and sitar player. He was the son of Imdad Khan and belonged to the Imdadkhani gharana or Etawah gharana of classical music.

Early life[edit]

Wahid Khan was born in Etawah, Uttar Pradesh. He was still quite young when his father Imdad Khan moved to Kolkata from Etawah with his family. In Kolkata the family lived in the house of the connoisseur Taraprasad Ghosh, where Imdad Khan trained his sons, Wahid Khan and Enayat Khan, in sitar and surbahar. Wahid Khan specialised in the surbahar while Enayat Khan specialised in sitar.[1][2]

Wahid Khan, at a very young age, was first initiated into Dhrupad, Khayal and Thumri and then trained extensively on the Sitar and Surbahar, by Imdad Khan for many years.

Performing career[edit]

Imdad Khan, later, moved out of Kolkata to settle in Indore as the Court-musician of the Maharaja Holkar of Indore. His sons Enayat Khan and Wahid Khan accompanied him to Indore. There Imdad Khan died, following which Enayat Khan left Indore and returned to Kolkata, while Wahid Khan was appointed the court musician of the Indore court, where he lived for 18 years on a very high salary. Wahid Khan also served the Patiala court for three years as a court musician. He was also the court musician of the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Wahid Khan was a regular performer at All India Radio. He also performed all over India and received numerous awards and medals from the famous institutions of Tikamgarh, Rewa, Baroda, Mysore, Dhaulpur, etc.

Wahid Khan also appeared in filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s international award winning film Jalsaghar (The Music Room, 1958) where he performs on the surbahar in one of the scenes.

Personal life[edit]

Wahid Khan is the paternal uncle of noted sitar player Vilayat Khan and the surbahar player Imrat Khan.[3] His grandson is Shahid Parvez. His brother Enayat Khan was also a sitar and a surbahar player.



Released 78rpm recordings:

  • Khamaj (Vilambit Gat-toda) on the Sitar
  • Pilu (Drut Gat) on the Sitar
  • Bhimpalasi (Alap, Jod-Jhala) on the Surbahar


  1. ^ "Renowned sitar player to perform at Skidmore". Sartogian. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Vilayat Khan, 76, Musician Who Redefined Sitar Playing". New York Times. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  3. ^ "No compromises in his art". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 January 2012.

^ For reference see the book "Hamare Sangeet Ratna" by Laxmi Narayan Garg

^ Sangeet Natak Award Winners