Varanasi Gharana – The Gharana of Indian Classical Music

Varanasi Gharana of Indian Classical Music

Tbe  Varanasi Gharana of Indian Classical Music is a very old gharana of both Vocal music and instrumental music covering Dhrupad, Khayal, Thumris and major instru­ments like Rudra Bin, Surbahar, Sitar, Tabla and Shahnai in which it has given the country some of the finest perfor­mers.

On the Sitar side, it branched out from the gharana of the famous Prasidhu and Manohar (singers) who were brought up and trained in Varanasi, then migrated to Nepal and again came back to Varanasi. At Nepal Durbar, they were collea­gues of the great Wasat Khan Dhrupadia of the Senia dynasty. Prasidhu/Manohar and their descendents received detailed training in Rudra Bin and Surbahar from descendents of Naubat Khan Son in law of Miyan Tansen. Thus their Sitar baaz also acquired a powerful Dhrupad and Rudra Bin base.

In that tradition came Pundit Pasupati Missir the fabulous Sitar player and Vocalist. He was master of melody and layakari and bad a great collection of gats set to various ragas and talas. In those days, he charged such high fees that only Maharajas and Nawabs could engage him.