Pandit Kishan Maharaj

Biography of Kishan Maharaj

Pandit Kishan Maharaj, a famous Indian tabla player, born at 3rd September 1923 in the Kabir Chaura, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He was born at the propitious Hindu festival day named Sri Krishna Janamashtami in the family related to the professional music. Kishan Maharaj has passed away recently at his 84 at 4th May 2008 in the Khajuri near to Varanasi. He belonged to the Benares gharana and had dedicated his life to the Hindustani classical music.

His father name was Hari Maharaj, who had trained him in the classical music. He discontinued his training because of the death of his father but was again continued by his uncle named Kanthe Maharaj. He got married with the Savita Devi (daughter of the Siddheshwari Devi). He has a son and three daughters named Puran Maharaj, Anjali, Purnima and Indira.

Tabla career of the Kishan Maharaj

When he had started his tabla career by performing in the shows, he was just 11. In the later years, he stared performing stage shows together with the famous personalities like Omkarnath Thakur, Faiyaz Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Ravi Shankar, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Girija Devi, Sitara Devi and many others. He was fully capable to perform in any environment with any accompaniment. He was comfortable with the variety of instruments such as Sitar, Dhrupad, Sarod, Dhamar. He became a famous representative of the Banaras Gharana in the field of Indian classical Music.
Solo Tabla performance of Kishan Maharaj
Kishan Maharaj has performed his tabla solo performance many times in many regions of the India. He has given a performance named Sangat for several great dancers such as Sri Shambhu Maharaj, Sitara Devi and many more. He had many followers; some of them are Sukhvinder Singh Namdhari, Balkrishna Iyer, Ranesh Mishra and many more.

He was fond of participating in the prominent occasions all over the world. Some of his great events are Edinburgh festival as well as the Commonwealth Arts festival of the UK in 1965. He performed his last performance for the Nagari Natak Mandali on 3rd March. At this event he felt uncomfortable because of heart attack and admitted in the ICU. He has also performed in the film ‘Banaras Utsav’ in 2003.

Awards and Recognitions

He was honored with the Padma Shri award in the 1973 and the Padma Vibhushan award by the Indian President in the 2002. In the 1969, he again honored by the title of Sangeet Samrat from the Prayag Sangit Samiti. UP Sangeet Natak Akademi pleased him in 1972. He got Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1984 and Hafiz Ali Khan Award in 1986. He also awarded with the Ustad Inayat Khan Memorial award in 2002.

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