Varanasi, or Benaras, (also known as Kashi) is one of the oldest living cities in the world. Kashi is the cultural capital of India and, considering that Dhrupad’s themes mostly revolve around deities, it is only natural that the festival would begin here as an ode to Maha Shivaratri. He explained Dhrupad’s historical context with the reverence that I recognised as a trademark Kashi trait. History. Every musician I met took me deeper into the musical web of Kashi, which defies simple classification. Other instrumentalists who have left their mark are Madan Mohan, Bhola Nath, Pathak, Mannuji, Amarnath Mishra, Brindwan Das, Ramdeo and Subodh Babu Sarnath: Famous Buddhist monument - See 2,914 traveler reviews, 2,694 candid photos, and great deals for Varanasi, India, at Tripadvisor. This one is the oldest music festivals of Kashi. Tabla player Tim Richards (left) performs with sarangi player Anish Mishra. Kono Maremoto, on the other hand, is a flautist from El Salvador who lives in Rishikesh but visits Kashi every year to buy what he swears are … The Ganga Aarti on the bank of Ganges river is very famous among the tourists. It is located in Uttar Pradesh India at the bank of river Ganga. Sometimes they will rope you in and ask you what you think. Today, his remains have been kept near the very same lake. Varanasi is taken from the river Varuna and one of the Famous Ganga’s ghat of Banaras, name- Assi. The evenings would often be lit up by impromptu jamming of anything from the hang (hang drum) or violin to tabla on the ghats, and nights would end with the last aarti of the day at Kashi Vishwanath Mandir. • Barring a few exceptions, all concerts are free, especially the best ones. She has also directed and shot award-winning wildlife documentaries, “In The Pink” and “The Last Dance”. These toys are made without any joints, and are attractive and safe playthings for children. All the different musical sounds of Kashi that I had experienced drew me back to the city much after I left it physically. This list may not reflect recent changes (). No one besides me seemed surprised by his presence. He studies under Pandit Kanhaiyalal Mishra, a disciple of sarangi player Pandit Hanuman Prasad Mishra. Varanasi is the microcosm of Hinduism, a city of traditional classical culture, glorified by myth and legend and sanctified by religion , it has always attracted a large number of pilgrims and worshippers from time immemorial. It is a popular place to visit around Varanasi for those seeking peace and solitude after jostling their way through the frazzled ghats and gullies of Kashi. This was my Banaras of Varanasi… • Ganga Mahotsav: Organised by Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department, Ganga Mahotsav is held during Diwali over five days and features many local classical music maestros. Here it is possible to listen to the complexities of the Banaras gharana in a divine setting where the guru-shishya parampara (teacher-student tradition) is still alive, and where laypeople have the chance to experience music closely. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Source. Well, we'll tell you where we get off -- at Accuracy Station. To the south of Kabir Chaura is the sprawling Banaras Hindu University. At dawn, before the crowds arrive, the otherwise crowded Kedar ghat takes on a serene, ponderous tone. Varanasi grew as an important industrial centre famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. Varanasi 1. Ritwick Sanyal, who trained under the famous Dagar brothers, is a leading dhrupad singer who has performed at the Dhrupad Mela every year since its inception in 1975. I spoke to Sanyal just after he had spent three nights awake, performing and listening at the 2013 festival. Famous instruments that play here are Flute, Sitar, Sarod, and Tabla. When I asked where and when I could find a good concert, his response was poetic, “Is there a particular time to eat really? To be in Varanasi is an experience in itself an experience in self–discover an eternal oneness of the body and soul. Is addressed by names. It is one of the important centres of Shiva worship. • Check the local newspapers for announcements of bigger concerts. • Banaras Hindu University organises concerts every Thursday from August to February, providing a platform to its students as well as inviting visiting musicians to play. It is also best gift to connect with Lord Krishna and the … Raju Mishra, a flute seller at Ghoda ghat, says he spends his afternoons teaching foreigners how to play the flute. Banaras Hindu University’s department of performing arts has been training students in traditional dance forms since 1949. Jordi spoke passionately about the intimate relationship between guru and student, built over years, transcending all monetary and cultural differences. All rights reserved. During the time of Gautama Buddha (born circa 567 BCE), Varanasi was the capital of the Kingdom of Kashi. Monkeys above, cows below; don’t mess with either, they say. • Sankat Mochan Music Festival: Concerts held across five days and nights at the Sankat Mochan Temple feature many accomplished musicians. Gulab bari is another such dying tradition. “This area is known for legendary classical musicians such as Pt Ramsahay Mishra. There are plenty of shops of musical instrument in Varanasi. So you will find plenty of shops in the local markets that sell musical instruments. We are all open-minded, fun loving people, who enjoy meeting new people from all over the world, talking and exchanging experiences and ideas. You can also learn musical or classical ragas as there are also several music schools in Varanasi to teach them. Inquire with locals or plan your trip during the bigger festivals. Varanasi is taken from the river Varuna and one of the Famous Ganga’s ghat of Banaras, name- Assi. 15 Days - North India with Nepal Tour. He is the former dean and the current head of the university’s department of vocal music and ex-dean of the faculty of performing arts. Qamaruddin, famous as Bismillah Khan (1916-2006), spent his childhood in Varanasi, where his uncle was the official shahnai player in the Vishwanatha temple. Banaras is commonly known by… Qamaruddin, famous as Bismillah Khan (1916–2006), spent his childhood in Varanasi, where his uncle was the official shahnai player in the Vishwanatha temple. Along with bathing in the waters, the chief attraction is a wonderfully-maintained 19th century palace constructed by Nepalese king Sanjay Vikram Shah. Soon after, the mist begins to clear and the sun rises, lighting  up India’s oldest city. Another musician I met in Varanasi was Colin LeBlanc, who came from Turkey in search of an instrument that creates the Middle Eastern spiritual sounds he so likes. Among all these artists, Kabir Das, a 15th century saint, is the most famous poet to be born in Varanasi. Every traveller wants to be surprised, and Kashi doesn’t disappoint. Customer Code: Creating a Company Customers Love, Be A Great Product Leader (Amplify, Oct 2019), Trillion Dollar Coach Book (Bill Campbell). I’m wary of revisiting places I’ve loved in the past, scared that the mayhem of progress will have spread its tentacles deeper. There are stories of profound relationships with Varanasi’s music at every step. Varanasi`s Prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unrevealed. This unassuming network of gullies is the very heart of the Banaras gharana; where it was founded, where its greatest musician-families thrived, and where they created their greatest compositions. Tulsidas, the author of one of the great Indian epics, the Ramayana, lived in Varanasi for a time. Pandit Ram Sahai founded the Banaras gharana style of playing tabla in Kabir Chaura over 200 years ago, and his legacy has been carried forward by other tabla virtuosos, such as Pandit Sharda Sahai (his great-great-grandson), Pandit Samta Prasad, and Pandit Kishan Maharaj, who also lived here. Don’t be afraid to contribute. Varanasi was a commercial and industrial center famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. Photo: Ashima Narain, Anish took it upon himself to acquaint me with Banarasi mizaaz (temperament), which he insists is unique. But it looks like Varanasi will outlast this era too. Varanasi grew as an important industrial centre, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. After a particularly exasperating chapter, I considered flinging it into the Ganga, but stopped myself; there are things even gods don’t need to be subjected to. Tulsidas Ji wrote Ramcharitmanas in this city. Here a group of Koreans ordering paneer-banana dosas, there a sadhu preaching in Spanish. In another century, Mark Twain commented on its incredibly antiquity, and Kashi’s own sons like Premchand, Kabir, and Tulsi Das narrated tales of the city’s cultural, religious, and social milieu. Stranger than Fiction: Hostel-hopping in ’90s America, The Secrets Paved Into London’s Roman Road, Hometown Discoveries: Agra, Beyond the Taj, Where To Go in 2020: For the Love of Water, Where To Go in 2020: Finding Feni and Inland Treats in Goa. The King of Pop and an international superstar, Michael Jackson was a musical entertainer whose work – both with Jackson 5 and solo – won accolades and hearts worldwide. Famous Places in Varanasi Tourist to Visit Banaras, 1 of the 7 holy cities for Hinduism, is a very famous pilgrimage center as well as a tourist destination. Famous chanawala of Varanasi #indianfoodFood vlogStreet food He takes santoor classes in an ashram in the winter, and retreats to a Buddhist monastery in Sikkim in summer. Which famous musician born on April 7th at Varanasi created music for Satyajit Ray's famous Apu trilogy? I became a silent companion to Laxman Baba’s sunrise chai ritual. There are also many Jain temples and Buddhist stupas. Varanasi Travel Guide. Kashi is older than Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Photo: Ashima Narain. Yeah, yeah, we know. It is a musical event that usually takes place in a rose garden during the week following holi. Most of us aren’t pro at playing Sitar,Tabla but we can always buy Flute of any size from Varanasi. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Bajras are large boats, on which concerts are held at night during the Dev Deepavali or Budhwa Mangal celebrations. • International Music Ashram near Dasaswamedh Ghat is one such popular institution that has concerts every Wednesday and Saturday. Dhrupad is vipassana (meditation), performed out of love…the musicians who sing here do so out of generosity and not for money.”. Some of the great musicians of India such as Ravi Shankar or Girija Devi have come from Varanasi. Varanasi has its own style of classical Hindustani music, and has produced prominent philosophers, poets, writers and musicians in Indian history, including Kabir, Ravi Das, Munshi Premchand, Jaishankar Prasad, Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Hariprasad Chaurasia and … It is a place where every tourist from all over the world come and stay. “Fusion is unavoidable to a certain extent, every famous classical maestro has done it at some point,” says Ravi Tripathi, a tabla player and Kashi resident who runs the Baba School of Music. Want a weekly dose of travel inspiration in your inbox? The performances could last all night, often with smaller boats floating alongside. Varanasi is associated with divinity, civilization, and the birthplace of modern culture. Varanasi grew as an important industrial centre, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. Based on archaeological evidence, it is estimated that the city of Varanasi was inhabited as early as the 20th century BC, making it one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities. A little shared tip about Varanasi is to visit Sarnath – a Buddhist pilgrimage site. Another musician I met in Varanasi was Colin LeBlanc, who came from Turkey in search of an instrument that creates the Middle Eastern spiritual sounds he so likes. Famous Places to Visit in Varanasi: Varanasi a holy place in India. If I had a single musical bone in my body, I too would be a student of music here, but for now I satisfy myself with riverside ramblings. The city was first named as Kashi. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. It is the birthplace to world – renowned artists and musicians like Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Bismillah Khan. How can there be such a flood of intensity in one place? Pages in category "Musicians from Varanasi" The following 36 pages are in this category, out of 36 total. That was in 2001. “Good or bad, there is always music in Banaras,” said Tomas Jacquot, a French musician learning sitar. On one hand, it is a pleasure to hear a distinctly classical sound defining a city, on the other there is the fusion of the classical with foreign influences that many musicians bring. There is live music throughout the year in Varanasi, but October to April is the peak season, when concerts are held nearly every week. Ustad Qamruddin ‘Bismillah’ Khan was born on 21 March 1916 and was an Indian Musician who is credited for popularizing ‘Shehnai’ not only as a folk instrument but at the concert level and that too globally.. Upon meeting the famous flautist Pandit Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi, he was deeply influenced by his music and began learning to play the flute under his guidance. Glide along the banks of the holy river Ganges, foreign tourist clicking pictures and also one can see the famous ghats of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.Varanasi / Banaras, is a city on the banks of the Ganges (Ganga) in Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (200 mi) southeast of the state capital, Lucknow. The great writer, musician of India has lived in the city of Varanasi. Equally popular were his unique dance moves that created sensation and shaped future dance styles. One of the oldest living cities in the world—Varanasi—is situated on the western bank of the Ganga and extends beyond the riverbank into a labyrinth of alleys. Varanasi is home to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most important places of worship in the country. At five o’clock on a February morning Varanasi is still dark. 14 Days - Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi … I know of no better setting to contemplate eternity. Tulsidas wrote Ramacharitamanas here, and Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath located near Varanasi … The brothers are famous for Khayal style of Indian classical music. Shivala ghat was built by Raja Balwant Singh in honour of Lord Shiva. You will hear people on the ghats discuss the trivialities of the material world. As I walked further into the gullies, there seemed to be an endless stream of madness. At a concert by the violinist Pandit Sukhdev Prasad Mishra, I met didgeridoo player Eliah Jasper from Holland, who has travelled to India especially to record with local musicians. Fortunately, Kashi, as the city is also known, turned out to be more exciting than the book would have you believe. Veer Bhadra Mishra, founding president of the Sankat Mochan Foundation; former professor and HOD of Civil Engineering at IIT (BHU), Varanasi Sudama Panday 'Dhoomil' , Poet Shiv Prasad Mishra , Writer This city is famous in world for its work of art and when that art is hand created nothing could be better. Varanasi has its own style of classical Hindustani music, and has produced prominent musicians, philosophers, poets, and writers in Indian history, including Kabir, Munshi Premchand, Jaishankar Prasad, Pandit Ravi Shankar, and Ustad Bismillah Khan. ABOUT VARANASI Varanasi is the holy city of India & also oldest city of India. There are many ghats and temples are situated in Varanasi. Varanasi attracts tourists from different parts of the world. Ghats of Varanasi: Sanskrit scholars, enchanted poets, sitar maestros, silk weavers, social workers, documentary filmmakers, musicians, painters, and graffiti artists merge with crowds of pilgrims. Varanasi has produced a number of well-known political leaders, poets, revolutionaries, classical dancers and several other personalities from other spheres. Each year thousands of tourists come just as tourists and hundreds of them make this place their home – such is the richness of this pious place! Every few ghats, I see a painter attempting to capture Kashi’s sweeping panorama. Another musician I met in Varanasi was Colin LeBlanc, who came from Turkey in search of an instrument that creates the Middle Eastern spiritual sounds he so likes. FAMOUS PERSONALITIES OF VARANASI Music & Art Ashutosh Bhattacharya (1917–2004), Tabla Player, Music Educator, Girija Devi, Singer, Padma Bhushan Siddheshwari Devi, Khayal Singer, Padma Shri Sitara Devi, Padma Shri Bismillah Khan, Shehnai Player, Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan Birju Maharaj, Kathak Guru, Padma Vibhushan Kishan Maharaj, Tabla Player, Padma Vibhushan Channulal … 7 Days - Taj Mahal Tour with Khajuraho. Banaras is commonly known by These two Varuna-assi, later it is known by Varanasi. Vishwanath Temple – The Vishwanath Temple of Kasi is one of the oldest and most sacred Hindu temples in India. Ashima Narain has worked as a fashion, wildlife, wedding, and ngo photographer. Tomas calls Kashi the “city of music” because, he feels it offers the perfect ambience to practice music. Top Places to Visit in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh: See Tripadvisor's 98,737 traveller reviews and photos of Varanasi attractions. © 2019 National Geographic Society. On that trip, I was accompanied by Eric Newby’s Slowly Down The Ganges. Varanasi is famous worldwide for its art culture such as the silk and Banarasi Sarees, handicrafts, ornaments, metal work, textiles, clay, woodwork and many more. Several major figures of the Bhakti movement were born in Varanasi, including Kabir and Ravidas. Photo: Ashima Narain. A comprehensive directory of world's most famous musicians. On the ghats of the Varanasi, visitors feel very calm and peaceful. Away from the ghats of Kashi lies a neighbourhood few tourists frequent, at the centre of which, 500 years ago, sat a Muslim weaver who wrote poetry that would challenge and alter the city’s religious fabric. Pilgrims light thousands of diyas on the Ganga’s waters every day. Today, while he tours the world, he still considers Kashi to be the finest place to play a concert. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. With Richards, I met Anish Mishra, a young sarangi player from Kabir Chaura, born into a family of musicians. Where do we get off? Stepping out for breakfast I’d pass by the Bihari labourer who is known to Kashivasis for singing old Bollywood tracks loudly through the day as he ferries vegetables and eggs from vendors to shops. Varanasi really wasn't quite as overwhelming as we'd feared. Priests perform the Ganga aarti here every evening. Kabir Chaura, along with the nearby Ramapura area, is home to an overwhelmingly large number of illustrious musicians. Located 13 km northeast of Varanasi, Sarnath is among the famous Buddhist pilgrimages in India that will give you the best Varanasi sightseeing experience. Varanasi: The world's oldest living and one of the most famous cities in India. Or how about you start learning Hindi? Tell us what you think at web.editor@natgeotraveller.in. Some of Varanasi’s musical traditions have faded over the years. It reminds me of the city’s heritage that goes far back in time, a living impression of its ancientness. At 4.30 a.m., my neighbour in the guesthouse would begin chanting the Durga Sapta Shloki mantra, making for the most melodious beginning to any day. It’s possible to know its local heroes and daily routines, to tell who’s a new arrival and who knows how to navigate the labyrinth. Varanasi has its own style of classical Hindustani music, and has produced prominent philosophers, poets, writers and musicians in Indian history, including Kabir, Ravi Das, Munshi Premchand, Jaishankar Prasad, Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Hariprasad Chaurasia and Ustad Bismillah Khan. Appeared in the April 2013 issue as “The Musical Sounds of Kashi”. Today, the smattering of musicians who still live in Varanasi teach from their homes to mostly foreign students who come to learn from them because of its exotic appeal. Yeah, yeah, we know. The flute is the most common of all that is sold even by the … Some of the great musicians of India such as Ravi Shankar or Girija Devi have come from Varanasi. Varanasi is famous for its mystic spirituality,life on Ghats, widening alleys, old temples, silk sarees and its food. I realised the city has its own rhythm, and if you look closely, you too can feel its song. It was New Year’s eve and there were at least six Hindustani classical concerts in progress, open to anyone with even the slightest inclination for deeply meditative music at midnight. Music is another identity of Varanasi and you can hear sweet sounds of music in the street here. At six, the smell of camphor wafts out of every house following the morning aarti. You can change your ad preferences anytime. He started learning Sarangi at a very young age … 10 Days - Golden Triangle Tour with Khajuraho and Varanasi. Allen Ginsberg wrote many poems about Dasaswamedh ghat; Jorge Luis Borges wrote about Kashi without ever visiting the city. There are plenty of Wi Fi cafés, restaurants with owners who virtually wave their hygiene certificates in front of you and traditional music performances. After achieving enlightenment at Bodhgaya, the Buddha came to Sarnath seeking his former … Local organisations such as Kashi Sangeet Samaj (which is over 100 years old) and Sangeet Parishad Kashi are attempting to revive the baithak, for instance. Here in a music school a woman learns to sing classic ragas, there on a narrow roof overlooking the vast river two dancers fuse kathak and flamenco. Simar Preet Kaur is a Himachal-based writer. He not only introduced the shahnai to the concert stage with his recital at the All India Music Conference at Calcutta in 1937, but also single-handedly took it to world renown. Varanasi is generally believed to be about 3,000 years old. It looks its age despite its changing cityscape; the architectural and cultural texture of the narrow gullies inspires time travel. Whose names- Kabirdas, Vallabhacharya, Munshi Premchandra, … Veli Peltonen, a musician from Finland, told me of Gianni Ricchizzi, an Italian who has been studying the vichitra veena and coming to Kashi for 35 years. Buddha is believed to have founded Buddhism here around 528 BC when he gave his first sermon, "The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma", at nearby Sarnath. Photo: Ashima Narain. “This music isn’t for everyone; one can’t just start jamming in the living room with classical instruments… this isn’t the Beatles,” he said. Kathak storytellers and Kabir Panthis still live in this musicians’ mohalla and keep the centuries-old traditions alive. In fact, its popularity with tourists, particularly the very hygiene-conscious Japanese, makes it quite a cosy place to be! Varanasi always remains motivation for many writers and you will read many quotes on Varanasi. On Ram ghat, Laxman Baba lays out his makeshift kitchen and sets about preparing hot chai. The city is thought to be more than 2,500 years old, and many travellers feel overwhelmed upon arrival. As I made my way from the railway station to Dasaswamedh ghat, I saw Lord Shiva, clad in tiger skin and holding a trident. Now customize the name of a clipboard to store your clips. Sehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan is famous world wide while Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar has earned wide acclaim throughout the world. Like what you see (or not)? He returns to Varanasi every year, knowing his pursuit is endless, knowing that his guruji who has been playing for over 40 years still does not take on the title of Pandit before his name. Sunrise chai ritual emotional connection with the most renowned musicians, artists and poets in India was Kabir, retreats... Being screened at several guesthouses ; it is said that the smoke of the centres... Is something of a clipboard to store your clips Bhupen Hazarika pilgrimage site musicians and audience universities is Banaras University! 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