Bhimsen Joshi : Bharat Ratna

Amidst all the depressing events that we watch these days on TV news channels and which have almost become an integral part of our day to day life, here comes a heart warming news at last. This year, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the doyen of hindustani classical music has been chosen for the much coveted ‘Bharat Ratna‘ award, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

Although his singing career of more than seven decades has landed him several distinguished awards, including the prized Padma Shri (1972), Padma Bhushan (1985) and Padma Vibhushan (1999). But Bhimsen Joshi, is just the fourth ‘classical musician’ after M S Subbulakshmi (see earlier post), Ravi Shankar, Bismillah Khan to be awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna‘.

Celebrating this occasion I am tempted to post a few musical gems rendered by him.

Bhairav – Sada Rangeele Balamwa :  (Download)

Shankara – So Janu Re & Kal Na Pare :  (Download)

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, who was born on February 4, 1922, in Gadag, Karnataka, ran away from home at the age of 11 in search of a good music teacher. He finally enrolled as a disciple of Sawai Gandharva, the foremost disciple of Abdul Karim Khan, whom Joshiji admired. In accordance with the ‘guru shishya‘ tradition, Joshiji started living with his guru.

Joshiji’s meeting with Begum Akhtar got him a job as a staff artist at Lucknow radio station where he befriended noted shehnai player Ustad Bismillah Khan. In 1943, Joshi shifted to Bombay (sorry, Mumbai), but his real break came in 1946 at a concert to mark the 60th birthday of Sawai Gandharva. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is a big draw at the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival held in Pune every year.

Maru Bihag – Rasiya Ho Na & Tadpat Raina Dina :  (Download)

Puriya Kalyan – Aj So Bana & Bahut Din Beete :  (Download)

May Panditji live for a hundred more years and enthrall his audience for a long time to come.

P.S : My earlier posts on a series on the ‘Voices along the Ganges’ have received a boost too : River Ganges has been declared the National River of India (wasn’t it so, even before the declaration, or at least in the hearts of all Indians ??).

Enjoy !!



  1. Sydhwaney said,

    November 7, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Nicely laid out information and you bet me to it.. Did not know he is only the fourth musician to receive Bharat Ratna Award.. Heartening.. Sumi

  2. Anonymous said,

    November 8, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Wanted to ask you about your e-snips folder that speaks of Basant Bahar composution of Salamat Ali Khan having been rendered in honour of Raja of Champanagar. Where did you get the story. I am descendant of the Raja and was interested. My e-mail is

  3. lagu bhalchandra said,

    November 9, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    I have just visited your site. It’s a great job. I am also a music lover i.e. good music may it be films, concerts, classical (Vocal and Instrumental). Also I have learned for hobby sake SITAR AND TABLA. And recently started learning Vocal Classical and Harmonium.

    Thanks with regards

    Lagu B. Y.

  4. indianraga said,

    November 12, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    I normally post all the descriptions based on information available on the web. As regards the ‘Basant Bahar’ by Salamat Ali Khan some of the details are available at :


    I confess some of the details are based on the simple calculation of the age of the artist and his presence and occupation at the time of rendition of the songs.

  5. Richa said,

    November 13, 2008 at 11:18 am


    I am Richa from SiliconIndia. I am also an avid blogger for a while now and participating actively in Indian blogosphere. I read your blog posting and found them very interesting and informative. We would love to see a copy of your blogs posted here, whenever you are posting it on Here are some of the benefits of posting your blogs here:

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  6. ANANDRAJ said,

    December 7, 2008 at 1:46 pm


  7. Mahesh said,

    December 27, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Great site, Hearty congrats for putting together this gem of site, with lots of information and samples of Indian Classical music. On addition to your post on Pt. Bhimsen Joshi , He is not only main attraction at Sawai Festival as you have mentioned he has led the initiative to organize this festival in honor of his Guru

  8. chula kanishka said,

    January 2, 2009 at 11:38 am

    pandit ji is my favorite singer. im really lucky to listen to him.

    his voice makes my life a LIFE!


    chula from SRILANKA


  9. subrata chakraborty said,

    October 5, 2009 at 1:41 am

    punditji live for another hundred yrs.

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