Wazir Khan (Rampur)

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Wazir Khan
Descendant of Naubat Khan Chief Musician of Hamid Ali Khan of Rampur's court.jpg
Background information
BornRampur, Uttar Pradesh
GenresHindustani classical music

Wazir Khan was the chief musician or nayak at the court of Nawab Hamid Ali Khan of Rampur.[1] Without the blessings and patronage of Wazir Khan, it was nearly impossible for a musician to find employment in the durbar.

Early life and background[edit]

Wazir Khan was born in the erstwhile Rampur State to Ameer Khan Beenkar[2] Wazir Khan, was the descendant of Naubat Khan and Saraswati Devi (Tansen's daughter). He was also a musicologist who wrote the Risala Mousibi. He was passionate about photography. He established the Rampur theatre in the building of club ghar at Rampur.[3] Wazir Khan was the student of Daagh in Poetry.[4]


Naubat Khan's family was very fond of food. They were able to develop their own cuisine. It was different from the Dastarkhan of Nawab of Rampur. It was deeply influenced by the Awadhi cuisine. Rice preparations were included in their meals and kebab featured regularly. Rakabdars from the court of Awadh were employed in their kitchens. It was said that if anyone from this family is not fond of dessert than he is not a Naubat Khani. These preparations were so rich in ingredients that once Nawab Hamid Ali Khan said that if this family was not fond of such good food they could have houses made of gold and silver.


Nayak Wazir Khan was the master of Nawab Hamid Ali Khan of Rampur,[5] Allauddin Khan,[6] Hafiz Ali Khan,[7] Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande. Alauddin Khan went on to establish the modern Maihar gharana with disciples like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Pannalal Ghosh, Bahadur Khan, and Sharan Rani.

Wazir Khan (centre) with other musicians

Struggle of Alauddin Khan[edit]

Wazir Khan lived like a prince. It was not easy for a commoner to approach the musician directly. Alauddin was quite desperate to become his disciple. It is said that one day he stood in front of the Nawab's vehicle and begged to become Wazir Khan' disciple.[8] The Nawab of Rampur was pleased with his perseverance. The Nawab sent the vehicle to fetch Wazir Khan and Alauddin was made the disciple of Wazir Khan. Wazir Khan taught him nothing for two years, but when he came to know about the hardships Alauddin's wife was facing at home, he started teaching Alauddin.[9]

1907 Ford owned by Ustad Wazir Khan, the earliest Ford car in Calcutta
Imtiyaz Ali Khan, nephew of Wazir Khan

Family tree[edit]

  • Simple gold crown.svg I. Samokhan Singh, Maharaja of Kishangarh.Imperial Forces fought with the forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar.Samokhan Singh was killed in the battle
    • Simple gold crown.svg II. Jhanjhan Singh, Yuvraj Sahib of Kishangarh. Present in the battle and was killed.
      • Simple gold crown.svg III. Misri Singh (Naubat Khan), Yuvraj Sahib of Kishangarh.Put under house arrest.Accepts Islam.Akbar confers title of Khan.First marries Ahmad Khan Mughal's daughter then later Marries Saraswati daughter of Tansen.Jahangir confers the title of Naubat Khan and promotes him to the rank of 500 personal and 200 horse..


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Lost World of Hindustani Music". google.co.in. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Sitar and Sarod in the 18th and 19th Centuries". google.co.in. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  3. ^ Tareekh-Rohella by Nafees Siddiqui
  4. ^ Tareekh-e-Rhela by Nafees Siddiqui
  5. ^ Rampur ki Sadarang Parampara by Saryu Kalekar,1984 New Delhi Publications
  6. ^ "The Dawn of Indian Music in the West". google.co.in. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  7. ^ "The Life of Music in North India". google.co.in. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  8. ^ Mehta, Ved (15 December 2013). Portrait of India. Penguin Books. p. 75. ISBN 9789351182771. Retrieved 24 July 2017 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: South Asia : the Indian subcontinent". google.co.in. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  10. ^ Tareekh-e-Rohela by Nafees Siddiqui
  11. ^ Islamic Culture Journal by Prof. Abdul Haleem, October 1945, P.P 357-386
  12. ^ "Romance of the Raga". google.co.in. Retrieved 31 January 2015.