Bidur Mallik : Nightingale of Mithila

Bidur Mallik is a descendent of Radhakrishna and Kartaram, the two brothers who started the musical tradition of this family of Mithila. They appeared at the court of Darbhanga (in north eastern India, near the Nepalese border), around 1790 and made a name for themselves by averting a drought through the singing of the magical ‘Rain Raga’ or Raga Megh. As a result, the Maharaja of Darbhanga granted them the title ‘Mallik‘ (Landowner), and conferred to them two villages and the surrounding landed property, where the family lives up to the present day. They served at the court up to the closing down of the state in 1947. After the death of Ram Chatur Mallik, the last actual court singer, in 1991, today Bidur Mallik is the senior musician in the family.

Born on August 15th 1936, he became the senior doyen of the Dhrupad tradtion of Darbhanga after the death of Ram Chatur Mallik in 1990. He inherited the musical knowledge and perfomance techniques of the Mallik Family, without which the annals of classical Indian music would not be complete. Together with his sons and the pakhavaj player Ramji Upadhyaya he visited Europe for the first time in 1983 during a Dhrupad festival organized by Peter Pannke in cooperation with the International Institute for Comparative Music Studies and Documentation.

Khamaj Dadra (Nazariya) :  (Download)

Khamaj Thumri (Chhavi Dikhalaja) :  (Download)

Presently, he directs the ‘Pandit Sukhdeo Mallik Sangeet Samiti‘, a music school he established in the name of his father and Guru in Vrindaban, the centre of Krishna worship and home town of Dhrupad near Delhi. His foremost disciples are his three sons Ramkumar, Anandkumar and Premkumar, who in turn are teaching their own children. As the children have already started to perform to much acclaim, three generations of the family are presently active.

The Malliks are famous all over India for a very rhythmically elaborated interpretation of Dhrupad – a style which is virtually unknown in the West. Except for old Dhrupad and Dhamar compositions – of which they possess an unparalleled stock – they are also known for their exposition of Khyal, Taranas, Ghazals, Bhajans and songs of the medieval poet Vidyapati in Thumri style.

Vidyapati Thumri (Kunja Bhavana Se) :  (Download)

Mirabai Bhajan (Giridhara Nagar) :  (Download)

Bhairavi Thumri (Basiya Na Tere) :  (Download)

In Europe, they appeared first in 1983, at a European Dhrupad Festival organized for the Berlin ‘International Institute for Traditional Music‘ by world music specialist Peter Pannke, who has lived with the Mallik family in India for many years. In 1992, he invited them again for the Parampara Festival in Berlin, where they were performing together in the Tutti Shruti Orchestra. The 1993 European tour climaxed in the opening concert of the New Jazz Festival Moers, in 1994 they appeared at the legendary BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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13 Comments

  1. Aditya Kumar Jha said,

    October 17, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    GuptaJee, I could not download these files. Do you have an alternate location from where I could grab these?

    regards
    Adita

  2. indianraga said,

    October 17, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Try finding these songs in my folders on eSnips. I remember that I had uploaded them there.

  3. Nemesis Of The State said,

    October 18, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Dear Sir

    Can you please upload these songs to a different location as currently they cannot be downloaded.

    Regards
    Aditya

  4. Nemesis Of The State said,

    October 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    SiR, Please post these files to an alternate location.

    thanks
    Aditya

  5. indianraga said,

    October 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    These files are already there in my account on eSnips. Find them in one of my folders. Use eSnips Downloader to download them if you wish.

  6. Aditya Jha said,

    April 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    As an art historian and a keen lover of my own culture, I wanted to know about this gharana. My own family is also more or less associated with this musical tradition .Late Pandit Bideshwar Jha ,my distant grandparent has also served the musical tradition . I salute the whole artist of this gharana and planning sortly to documenting on them.

  7. Surjit Kohli said,

    June 19, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Bidur Mallik’s three pieces namely “khamaj thumri, khamaj dadra and bhajan” are not solos but duets but no credit is recorded of the other voice. Is the other one is Ram Chatur Mallik? It would be interesting and for the sake of posterity if name of the second person may be included.

  8. udayan sharma said,

    July 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    bidur malik ji mahantam gayakon men to parmukh the hi par vah vinamrtam bhi the jab unki yad aati hai to aankh men aansoo aa jate han udayan sharma tarash mandir vrindavan

  9. sanjeev sharma said,

    September 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    No doubt he was a great soul we will miss always, Sanjeev Sharma-Noida-9999166370

  10. April 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Dear Surjit Kohli ji, The other singer singing with Pt Bidur Mallick ji is his son Pt Prem Kumar Mallick.
    Currently, he is the senior musician of Darbhanga Gharana and is a notable musician in the Indian classical music field, a “TOP” Grade artist of All India Radio & TV.
    Thanks

  11. Surjit Kohli said,

    April 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Mallick Bandhu Ji
    Thank you indeed for the information. What a pity that Indianraga is no more active. It has been a wonderful experience for many and I had been personally benefitted with all the information which was brought to the website. God bless Guptaji for this unique experience.

  12. INDRESH MISHRA said,

    September 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    kya baat hai. great vocalist

  13. sp singh said,

    February 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I have the original CD of these songs published in Germany. As a shool boy I heard pundit ramchatur mallik and all his sons and nephews in live concerts.


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