Voices along the Ganges : Saints & Beggars

The Ganges, above all is the river of India, which has held India’s heart captive and drawn uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history. The story of the Ganges, from her source to the sea, from old times to new, is the story of India’s civilization and culture, of the rise and fall of empires, of great and proud cities, of adventures of man…
Jawaharlal Nehru in Discovery of India

Twenty centuries ago, the essential role of music of India was deemed to be purely ritualistic. Much part of Indian music is folk music. Indian classical music is said to have evolved out of the fusion of these. It is presumed that folk music existed long before the Aryans in India. Indian classical music has become unique in the world.

Hindustani music is an enveloping influence in Indian life. It pervades the big and small events of Indian life, from the birth of the child to it’s death, religious rites and seasonal festivals. Originally, not all developments of music were transformed to writing. To keep their traditional integrity, they were imparted orally from master to pupil : the Guru Shishya tradition in gurukul.

Winding 2,510 km across northern India, from the Himalaya Mountains to the Indian Ocean, the Ganges river is NOT just a flowing body of H2O (water), but a whole culture and way of life to India. Innumerable stories, plays, songs, movies, history is woven along the wild journey of this mighty river. From the small but wild Himalayan birth to the mighty, fast paced or silent journey into the fertile Indo Gangetic Plain, and cities of Allahabad, Benaras, Patna and Kolkata, the Ganga is a major contributor to the political history and spiritual culture of this subcontinent.

Gangotri – Ganga Stuti :  (Download)

Kanpur – Nautanki :  (Download)

Mirzapur – Badhaiyya :  (Download)

Voices along the Ganges‘ is an effort to take the listener on an odyssey down the river Ganges, from Gangotri to Kolkata. The rich music, a fusion of various instruments, permeates the senses infiltrating them with a soulful confluence. The compositions have been beautifully woven around a meditative pattern ranging from soft to rhythmic and highly energetic.

Mirzapur – Gauna :  (Download)

Mirzapur – Kajri :  (Download)

We will travel further south and savour more of the Gangesflavour‘ in my future posts.

Enjoy !!




  1. Red Soul said,

    October 18, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Hi. Can you tell me how many types of gharanas exist? I’m just an amateur trying to learn. Thx.

  2. indianraga said,

    October 18, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I am an amateur too….will post the answer as soon as I find it.

  3. Dr.S.K.Basu said,

    August 31, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Your site is an amazing discovery for me while searching the photo of Sant Kabir at Google site. I congratulate you for this unique effort. Your presentation is also unique. the other day I was going through February2009 Archives. Darbari kanara presentation from various artists was a treat for me. Introduction part of every raga and items is very informative. I do not think I need any other site to quench my thrust of music. My state of mind is as Kabir says ‘ Man mast hua man kiun bole, Hansa paya mansarovar tal talaia kiun dole’ Congratulations

  4. indianraga said,

    August 31, 2009 at 9:14 am

    @ Dr. S.K. Basu

    One of the best compliments I have received till date. Welcome abode.

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